Go back

EIC publishes strategies for its portfolio challenge areas


Programme managers draw up plans for five fields supported by European Innovation Council’s Pathfinder scheme

The European Innovation Council has published strategic plans for five focus areas of its early stage Pathfinder funding scheme.

Pathfinder supports “high-risk, high-gain” research on emerging technologies, with individual grants of up to €4 million, combining bottom-up open calls and top-down challenges selected by programme managers.

On 29 November, the EIC announced that those programme managers have now drawn up strategic plans for five challenge areas they chose in 2021: engineered living materials; cell and gene therapy; novel routes to green production of hydrogen; tools to measure and stimulate activity in brain tissue; and ‘awareness inside’, which covers consciousness and artificial intelligence.

Unlike traditional systems of awarding grants purely based on the merits of individual projects and letting those projects run, EIC programme managers play a more active role in coordinating projects after funding has been awarded. The agency said the new strategic plans are the result of “a year of discovering, learning and experimenting”, and that they have been created in collaboration with the portfolios of funded projects.

The plans include activities related to technology development, communication and dissemination of results, and ethical issues.

“They also include activities that contribute to better understand and improve the current regulatory framework, market analysis mappings, discussions on intellectual property management and training activities which would be beneficial to all the projects of the portfolio,” the EIC said.