The FTI pilot has been launched in January 2015 by the European Commission to facilitate and support increased innovation within the European industry.
The FTI is a bottom-up programme, project funding proposals being invited for any ideas of developing sustainable innovative products, processes and services that both address societal challenges and/or are highly competitive in global markets. They must be however based on a business plan underpinned by clear market potential and a credible, concrete commercialisation strategy.
FTI is focused on supporting projects undertaking innovation from the demonstration stage through to market uptake, including stages such as piloting, test-beds, systems validation in real world/working conditions, validation of business models, pre-normative research, and standard-setting. It targets relatively mature new technologies, concepts, processes and business models that need a last development step to reach the market and achieve wider deployment.
Proposals are to be submitted by consortia of min. 3 and max. 5 participants, in which industry must be in majority. Universities, research and technology centres, cluster organisations, industrial associations, incubators, investors, or the public sector may also participate. First-time industry applicants and SMEs are particularly welcome. A minimum of 3 EU or associated countries need to be represented through the consortium.
The maximum EU contribution per project is EUR 3 million and not more than 70% of the overall budget.
The total 2015 budget of the FTI programme is of EUR 100 million, hence approximately 35-40 projects are envisaged to be funded.
Applications are being received on a continuous basis, however the selection of projects for funding taking place after a number of cut-off dates: 29th April, 1st September and 1st December 2015.
- Fast development, commercial take-up and/or wide deployment of sustainable innovative solutions (products, processes, services, business models etc.) in enabling and industrial technologies and/or for tackling societal challenges.
- Time to initial market take-up no later than 3 years after the beginning of the FTI project. In very well-justified cases linked to the specific characteristics of a particular innovation field or industry sector, the time to initial market take-up could be longer.
- Enhanced competitiveness and growth of business partners in the consortium, measured in terms of turnover and job creation.
- Leveraging more private investment into research and/or innovation.
- Where appropriate, addressing transnational value-chains and/or EU-wide or global markets.