EIC Transition to Innovation Activities

Instrument/Program eligible areas: 

Specific Challenge:

to turn promising results from FET-funded projects into genuine technological or societal breakthrough and disruptive innovations. Since the typical researchers' mind-set is to identify further opportunities for research, promising research results that could be the basis for breakthrough and disruptive innovation risk to remain unexploited. The challenge is to create a fertile ground for those results to mature, to a level where exploitation and investment opportunities can start to be discussed, and ultimately towards future market uptake. While recognising that this may still take further research and development, it is crucial to complement research excellence with a focus on entrepreneurial ambition and commitment at an early stage.


The EIC Transition Activities pilot aims at bringing promising technologies as they are at the end of a typical FET-Open or FET Proactive project (i.e., TRL 2/3) to a level of development, validation and demonstration where they become a credible basis for entrepreneurship, business creation, investment and, ultimately, economic and/or societal returns. The project shall be driven by a partner with the vision, ambition and commitment to bring the technology to actual use (possibly through the creation of a start-up or spin-off).

Proposals must build on results from an ongoing or finished project (Research and Innovation Action), funded as a result of a FET-Open or FET Proactive call under Horizon 2020[1]. The targeted technology should be in one of the following areas:

Micro- and Nano-technologies

Artificial Intelligence and advanced robotics

Technologies for the life sciences, health and treatment

Low-carbon energy and climate change technologies

Interaction technologies (including virtual- augmented- and mixed reality,…)

The precise link(s) with the relevant FET project(s) is to be explicitly described in the proposal. This topic does not fund research or activities that are/were already foreseen in the original FET project(s).

Participants must have essential capabilities to increase the maturity of the targeted technology. Activities proposed should reflect the level of maturity of the result to be taken up. Proposals can include activities with, for instance, partners for technology transfer, licence-takers, investors and other sources of financing, user/client organisations or potential end-users.

Proposals should specify the intended outcome(s) of the project and describe its key performance indicators/success criteria. Proposals must also include an exploitation plan describing the market or societal potential (potential users/customers and benefits for them; targeted European/global markets, etc.), measures to enhance the probability of take-up and a credible development strategy that identifies next steps, possibly using the services and funding/financing opportunities offered in the context of the EIC Accelerator pilot. Particular attention should be paid to IP protection and ownership and to the possibility of commercial exploitation ('freedom to operate').

The Commission considers that proposals for actions up to 24 months and requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1.00 and 2.00 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately.

Expected Impact:

Increased value creation from FET projects and contributing to the competitiveness of European industry/economy by developing further promising technologies and innovation opportunities.

Fast development, demonstration and economical/societal take-up of promising FET technologies.

Increased H2020 first time participation of high tech SMEs (including Spin-offs and Start-ups) and industry.

Leveraging more private investment into research and/or innovation.

Delegation Exception Footnote:

This topic is part of the European Innovation Council Enhanced Pilot (2019-2020) and funded from budget line 08.020102. In accordance with article 6.5 of Horizon 2020 regulation No 1291/2013, credits from budget line 08.020202 will be transferred to budget line 08.020102.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

EIC Pilot
Socio-economic science and humanities

[1]Any Research and Innovation Action funded as a result of Horizon 2020 call H2020-FETOPEN-2014/2015, call H2020-FETPROACT-2014, call H2020-FETOPEN-2016-2017, call H2020-FETPROACT-2016-2017, call H2020-FETOPEN-2018-2020 or call H2020-FETPROACT-2018-2020


1. Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects. See the information in the Online Manual.


2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme. The following exceptions apply:


Proposals must build on results from an ongoing or finished project, funded as a result of call in any FET topic under Horizon 2020 and clearly identified in the proposal.

Proposals must include a declaration by the coordinator of the necessary rights and ownership of results to be exploited, as described in the proposal. Applicants that are not the owner of the result to be further developed in the proposal must provide a letter from the relevant beneficiary or beneficiaries of the previous FET project that own(s) the result that confirms the existence of the necessary agreements with the coordinator of the current proposal, including on IPR.

Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below.


3. Evaluation:


Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the Work Programme. The following exceptions apply:

Grants will be awarded to proposals according to the ranking list. At least each of the two highest-ranked proposals for each sub-topic or area will be funded provided that it attains all thresholds. Then, respecting the ranking, the third ranked proposals (if any) from each sub-topic or area is awarded within available funding budget. Finally, any remaining funding budget is allocated according to the ranking list, respecting where applicable the minimal and maximal budget allocation per sub-topic or area.


The following aspects are taken into account:

Clarity, quality and level of ambition of the innovation idea and its link with the vision and results of the previous or ongoing FET project, as indicated in the proposal.

Concreteness of the research and innovation objectives and intended outcomes, and their pertinence for moving results of the previous FET research to a level of development, validation and demonstration where they become a credible basis for entrepreneurship, business creation, investment and, ultimately, economic and/or societal returns.

Suitability and necessity of the proposed research and innovation activities to reach the stated objectives, including their complementarity to actions already foreseen or expected from the previous or ongoing FET project.

Threshold: 4/5, Weight: 40%


Contributions to the impacts listed under this topic in the work programme:

Added innovation potential with respect to the FET project from which this innovation originates.

Extent of economic and/or societal benefits resulting from this innovation; clarity, concreteness and credibility of the proposed exploitation strategy and next steps.

Suitability of innovation measures to enhance the probability of success, including through engagement with prospective exploitation partners, other stakeholders, users or society.

Threshold: 4/5, Weight: 40%

Quality and efficiency of the implementation

The following aspects are taken into account:

Quality of workplan and management (including IP protection, ownership and freedom to operate).

Ambition and commitment from at least one partner driving the technology to actual use.

Relevance of expertise in the consortium to reach the research and innovation objectives.

Appropriate allocation of resources (person-months).

Threshold: 3/5, Weight: 20%

The following specific page limits apply. Sections 1 to 3 of the part B of the proposal should consist of a maximum of 70 A4 pages. The limits will be clearly shown in the ‘proposal templates’ in the Funding & Tenders Portal electronic submission system. Sections which are not subject to limits will be indicated.

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

Information on the outcome of evaluation (single-stage call): maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

Research and Innovation Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Specific proposal template: please refer to the specific proposal template in the submission system below
Specific evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement

6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
Classified information
Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

For grants awarded under this topic for Research and Innovation Actions the Commission or Agency may object to a transfer of ownership or the exclusive or non-exclusive licensing of results to a third party established in a third country not associated to Horizon 2020. The respective option of Article 30.3 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

Open access to research data
The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in Annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.


8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
2. Future and Emerging Technologies (FETs) WP 2018-20
17. European Innovation Council (EIC) WP 2018-20
18. Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation WP 2018-20
20. Cross-cutting activities WP 2018-20

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Guide to ICT-related activities in H2020 work programme 2018-20

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme

Project budget maximum: 
26 000 000,00 €
Opening date: 
19th Mar 2019
Deadline date: 
13th Nov 2019
Call typology: