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Implementation of the European Innovation Council (EIC)


Complementing our Joint Statement on the EIC dated 27th April 2016, fifty-one leading doctoral-granting universities of science and technology from twenty-six countries with a follow Statement provide further and concrete input on the implementation of the EIC also feeding into the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020. Our key messages are:

  • Filling an evident gap in the current Technology Readiness Level (TRL) driven European innovation funding instruments landscape, the EIC should strengthen the role of universities feeding into disruptive innovation by supporting highly interactive innovation eco-systems and by supporting bottom-up science-driven inventors, entrepreneurs and their ideas.
  • The EIC should focus on three types of funding opportunities, i.e. 1) an open Proof-of-Concept (PoC) scheme, 2) a true bottom-up instrument targeting innovators and their ideas and 3) support local and thematic innovation eco-system players. A flexible approach to types of applicants is needed and portability of grants should be allowed.
  • It is of paramount importance that the EU also reviews incentives for risk capital provision to science and technology-driven start-ups and small and medium enterprises.
  • The EIC should evaluate and assess proposals with regard to opportunities to create a new market, the level of business excellence in the team, the distance to market and the level of developmental risk in the project.
  • Direct interaction between the evaluators and the proposer before the completion of the evaluation report is essential, allowing for the clarification of questions and the verification of information.
  • A life-cycle and support to move towards implementation approach will enable the EIC to develop a portfolio of market-creating innovation projects at various stages.
  • The EIC should periodically monitor the progress of all projects in its portfolio and review how they have followed up on prior recommendations. Rather than a `tick-box` exercise, such monitoring should investigate whether the projects are agile enough to respond to developmental and market conditions.
  • The European Commission should educate and train regional and thematic interlocutors - such as National Contact Points, the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) and interlocutors linked to thematic networks - enabling them to effectively and efficiently inform potential beneficiaries about the opportunities at the EIC and to collaborate with institutional interlocutors.
  • The websites - such as the Participant Portal – used to communicate with innovators should present information from the perspective of the seeker (demand driven).

For more information and enquiries, please contact our Secretary General David Bohmert at david.bohmert@cesaer.org

Download Statement on the implementation of the European Innovation Council (EIC) (PDF)

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