EIC Announces Successful Projects of the 2023 Pathfinder Open Call

A total of €169.5 million will be allocated to 53 research projects to achieve breakthroughs throughout a range of fields including health, artificial intelligence, computing, environment, and energy.

The European Innovation Council (EIC) has announced that 53 cutting-edge projects will receive a share of €169.5 million through the 2023 EIC Pathfinder Open call.

The EIC is the European Commission’s primary tool for identifying and supporting breakthrough technologies and significant innovations with the potential to scale up internationally and become market leaders. The EIC Pathfinder enables multidisciplinary research teams to develop the scientific basis to underpin breakthrough technologies. This route supports early stage development of future technologies up to proof of concept.

The majority of funding issued through the EIC takes the form of Open Funding with no predefined thematic priorities, although a challenge-driven approach is also used to provide funding to address specific technological and innovation breakthroughs.

The 2023 EIC Pathfinder Open call was open between 10 January and 7 March 2023. A total of 783 proposals were evaluated by the EIC, of which 53 projects have been selected for funding, a success rate of 6.7%.

Participants mostly come from higher education and research organisations, with SMEs accounting for around 18% of participants. The highest number of selected applicants were from France, Spain, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.

Examples of selected projects include the following:

  • E-COOL – A holistic approach of electric motor cooling – E-COOL develops a holistic cooling technology for electric motors, maximising heat transfer through direct-contact spray cooling optimised with the aid of new Machine Learning (ML) algorithms. The project aims to provide unprecedented cooling rates at local temperature hot spots.
  • ICONIC – In-situ and operando organic electrochemical transistors monitored by non-destructive spectroscopies for organic CMOS-like neuromorphic circuits – The ICONIC project will develop ultra-flexible, conformable and implantable artificial intelligence organic electronic devices which hold promise to revolutionise the real-time monitoring and treatment of chronic diseases. In a long-term vision, healthcare devices will enable signal recognition with body-friendly electronics and administer medication without the risk of human error.
  • 4TunaTES – For tunable thermochemical energy storage – 4TunaTES will unlock potential thermal energy storage by delivering a groundbreaking flexible Thermo-Chemical Energy Storage (TCES) technology that can be easily adapted to different applications (variable in- and output temperatures) and thereby reduce the development costs by 90%.
  • FASTCOMET – Future Data Storage Using Colloidal Memory Technology – Fastcomet will develop a new concept for low-cost, high-storage-density memories which are urgently needed to keep storage capabilities in line with the growing demand. It is based on a colloidal memory concept in which colloidal nanoparticles are considered data carriers. The long-term aim is to develop an integrated device that is able to store data using nanoparticles smaller than 15 nm. This would ultimately result in ultra-high bit densities exceeding 100 Gbit per square millimetre and potentially reaching 1 Tbit square millimetre at a lower cost than existing data storage technologies.

The total EU contribution for the selected projects is €169.5 million, averaging €3.19 million per project. Each project will also have access to tailored coaching under the EIC Business Acceleration Services and potential fast track access to the EIC Accelerator. Further details of successful projects are available on the EIC website.

In addition to the Pathfinder Open call, the EIC Pathfinder Challenges 2023 call opened on 20 June 2023 and will focus on the following areas:

The deadline for applications for the Challenge call is 18 October 2023 (17:00).

(This report was the subject of a ResearchConnect Newsflash.)