Fast Track to Innovation – the latest EU funding scheme for industry

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.

Expected impact

  • 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.
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