The European Innovation Council (EIC) has as its goal to put Europe on top of the next wave of breakthrough and disruptive innovation that creates new markets. Space-based technology fits this profile and there are number of funding opportunities available under open EIC calls that may be of interest to space-tech innovators.
Support for deep-tech, high-risk SMEs and innovators
One such opportunity is the (previously known as the SME Instrument), which supports innovative, high-potential SMEs to develop and bring to market new products, services and business models. The EIC Accelerator supports, for example, trials, prototyping, validation, demonstration and testing in real-world conditions, and market replication.
Projects will receive between EUR 0.5 and EUR 2.5 million in the form of grants. The EIC Accelerator also offers blended finance in the form of an optional investment in equity in addition to the grant, to single for-profit SMEs. Grants will finance activities from Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 6-8. Activities above TRL 8 will financed only through blended finance. You can find a map of current EIC Accelerator companies . The next cut-off date for applications is 18 March 2020. You can .
Novel ideas for radically new technologies
Another opportunity is the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Open call , which is looking for proposals for cutting-edge, high-risk or high-impact interdisciplinary research. This research should have a radical vision and target a novel and ambitious science-to-technology breakthrough that opens up new areas of investigation.
FET Open aims to establish European leadership in the early exploration of future technologies. It looks for opportunities that are of long-term benefit for citizens, the economy and society. With this aim in mind, it strives to mobilise Europe's most creative and forward-thinking researchers from all disciplines to work together and explore possible leading technology paradigms of the future.
Other funding is available
If your profile does not fit any of the above opportunities, take a look at this Guide to European GNSS Funding Mechanisms, recently published by the GSA. This funding guide provides a snapshot of the various funding mechanisms available to any team or individual working on an EGNOS/Galileo technology or application.
The guide illustrates the nature of the various funding mechanisms, explains their target applicants, the markets in which they operate, and the funding envelopes they can be expected to provide. It also highlights the eligibility criteria, if any, and the additional support mechanisms for each project.
Last year, as part of its call, the EIC looked for proposals for projects that aimed to demonstrate a new technological paradigm for human-centric Artificial Intelligence, contributing to the wider debate on the sociotechnical, organisational and AI-ethical dimensions of these technologies and systems. Also targeted were proposals for implantable autonomous biomedical devices and materials and breakthrough solutions for zero-emissions energy generation.
FET Proactive aimed to identify the future and emerging technologies with the highest economic and societal potential. It looked to establish a broad and solid European basis in terms of knowledge, key technological building blocks and interdisciplinary communities to ensure that Europe has the best 'first mover' position to capitalise rapidly and effectively on emerging societal and industrial opportunities.
EGNSS R&D White Paper
The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has gathered input from EGNSS (Galileo and EGNOS) users, confirming the importance of investing in the development of EGNSS downstream applications in order to capture economic and technological returns.
This can be achieved by identifying the priority areas for investing in downstream applications by market segment; analysing the different funding tools that could support EGNSS market uptake; and describing the desirable characteristics that define best practices for EGNSS R&D programmes.
The results of this research have been complied in a White Paper outlining recommendations for areas of focus and innovation funding for EGNSS R&D, which is available for download .
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