H2020 - FAST TRACK to Innovation


Fast Track to Innovation is a new subsidy tool within the updated 2014-2015 Horizon2020 Work Programme to support the European economy, realise accelerated market access of technologies and further innovation. The tool will support groups of innovators in bringing good ideas to the market fast in the form of collaborative research/innovation actions. €100 million has been reserved for this tool for 2015 by the European Commission with a possible extra €100 million for 2016.

The reason for the Commission to launch the Fast Track to Innovation tool now is that the programming cycle of European framework programmes (i.e. Horizon2020) is slow: themes have to be identified, then put into bi-annual work programmes, published in calls for proposals, proposals have to be written, evaluated and selected and finally contracts have to be signed. This can take two years or more. That may be all right for scientific research, but not for innovations that need to get to market fast in order to win the innovation race with international competitors.

This new tool will help to boost innovation and increase private sector participation under Horizon 2020. Fast Track to Innovation is a full-scale pilot to test the 'Fast Track to Innovation' tool aiming to speed up the time from idea to market and to increase the participation of industry, SMEs and first time applicants. The pilot will be set up in 2015 and assessed as part of the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020.

The scope of Fast Track to Innovation in principle covers the whole innovation chain - from proof of concept of innovative ideas to first market applications. Fast Track to Innovation should give support to help innovators beat bottlenecks at any point in the innovation chain. The main focus will be demonstration and commercial uptake activities.

Submission is possible from January 2015 onwards. Fast Track to Innovation is open for each and every innovation provided it is accompanied by a good business case. It is bottom-up and therefore technology neutral. The maximum support per project is €3 million voor a maximum of 5 partners (minimum 3 partners). The majority of funds (=at least 60% of the budget) should go to industry participants in the consortium.

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