FTI Fast Track to Innovation Pilot
The FTI Pilot is a funding scheme that forms part of the Horizon 2020 programme from the European Commission. It aims to speed up market update of new technologies, concepts, processes and business models that need a last development step to reach the market and achieve wider deployment. Proposals need to be submitted by an international consortium of project partners (see Fund Criteria below). It is worth noting that the FTI Pilot scheme will be very competitive with success rates expected to be around 5%.
This fund is subject to general Horizon 2020 funding rules, where private sector consortium partners are entitled to 70% funding of direct costs and public non-profit entities can claim 100% of direct costs. In addition, each consortium partner can claim indirect costs at a flat rate of 25% of their direct costs. Eligible costs include project related capex, labour, sub-contractor and research costs.
Applications should be made by a consortium of three to five companies from at least three different countries within the EU and involving participants from industry, universities, research and technology organisations and/or organisations such as cluster organisations, end-users, industrial associations, incubators, investors or the public sector. The consortium also needs to meet either of the following two conditions:
at least 60% of the overall budget of the proposal must be allocated to consortium partner(s) from industry; OR
the minimum number of industry participants must be 2 in a consortium of 3 or 4 partners, and 3 in a consortium of 5 partners.
All sizes of enterprise are eligible, however it should be noted that applications made by consortia that include an SME or a “first time industry applicant” (a private sector business applying to an EU fund for the first time) are given priority.
Proposals must be related to a field under the specific objective "Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies" click here and/or to any of the "Societal challenges" click here of Horizon 2020. Interdisciplinary or cross-sectoral projects are encouraged.
Successful proposals will need to demonstrate that their project will add significant value to the economy and/or society at European level, that it will leverage investment from the private sector in research and innovation, and that the end product has real prospects on wide market take-up (i.e. in several countries at least).
Project duration should be 12 to 24 months, with no longer than 36 months until initial market take-up of the innovation. (Please note: if the 36 months are exceeded EU guidance states that “although this will be regarded as a failure, no specific sanction will be applied to the consortium responsible for the development of the innovation”.)
The aim of this fund is to speed up market uptake and it will only consider projects that are already at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 or at a similar level for non-technological innovations.