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A few days ago the European Commission (DG-RTD) has launched a new instrument called Fast Track to Innovation (FTI). The pilot initiative will promote innovation by reducing the time it takes to bring innovative ideas to market. It has a budget of €200 million (€100m in 2015), it is cross-sectorial and can be applied to any technology development with TRL >6. The call is always open with 3 cut-off points in 2015 for reviewing proposals which have been submitted. Follow the link below for the announcement:
It looks an interesting initiative which hopefully EARSC members can benefit from and seems to be in-line with the DG-RTD goal which we heard about at our AGM last year, to focus more on the economic benefit of R&D actions and job creation. This welcome as we have said in hearings that we think industry should be consistently more involved in FP7 and now H2020 projects. This will ensure that there is a market driven approach in many more projects than is currently the case. For the FIT, a minimum TRL is specified (6) for the technology brought into the project and this seems a sensible approach but we could envisage a cut-off at a lower TRL (>3?).

The projects funded under the pilot are to be ‘business-driven’ (a business plan is required) to ensure promising innovative ideas are exploited faster. More information is available at:

 

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