European Innovation Council Transition results: 19 projects selected to mature from cutting edge science to market readiness

European Innovation Council Transition results: 19 projects selected to mature from cutting edge science to market readiness

For the first time, the call for challenge funding was open to projects that follow up results achieved by any project under Horizon

The European Innovation Council (EIC) has selected 19 projects following the April 2023 EIC Transition cut-off. These successful proposals, selected among 180 eligible submissions, will receive altogether €46.76 million of EU financial contribution (up to €2.5 million each). The selected participants come from 18 EU Member States and Horizon Europe-associated countries.

This latest EIC Transition call included ‘open’ funding, available for proposals on any field of science or technology. This was complemented with targeted funding for three specific challenges.

EIC Transition funding provides follow up funding to results achieved by EIC Pathfinder and ERC projects, and for the first time the call for challenge funding was open to projects that follow up results achieved by any project under Horizon.

The 19 selected projects consist of:

  • 14 under the open funding,
  • 3 under the “Chip-scale optical frequency combs” challenge,
  • 2 under the “Full scale micro-nano-bio devices for medical and medical research applications” challenge,
  • No projects were selected for the “environmental intelligence” challenge, but the budget remains available under the next cut-off.

Some examples of projects are:

  • NextMRI - Truly portable MRI for extremity and brain imaging anywhere & everywhere

The EU-funded Histo-MRI and PR Scanner projects  have recently demonstrated in vivo images taken with a light, small footprint, low-field extremity MRI scanner outside the controlled settings provided by medical facilities. This included the first-ever MRI images obtained at a patient’s home and even in open air, connected to a gasoline generator. The NextMRI project will take the necessary technical, industrial, and entrepreneurial steps to tackle the massive deployment of low-field portable systems for point-of-care and bedside imaging in large and small clinics large, home and hospice care, rural areas, sports facilities, events, etc. This will make MRI available to a large fraction of the world population who currently have no or insufficient access. To advance towards this highly ambitious goal, the objectives of the NextMRI project include: i) expanding the current technology to both extremity and brain imaging; ii) improving the diagnostic capabilities with machine learning; iii) improving the portability and usability to meet end-user needs; iv) optimising production costs; v) gathering medical evidence of the technology performance with clinical trials; and vi) developing a sustainable business case and model towards commercialisation.

  • Nano4Rare - Preclinical development of a nanomedicine candidate for Fabry rare disease treatment to enter clinical phase

The Nano4Rare team has developed a patent-protected nanoencapsulation Key Enabling Technology for the development of cost-effective therapies for rare diseases, based on biomolecules. The Nano4Rare team has successfully used this technology for the development of a new patent-protected medicinal product candidate, named nanoGLA, for the treatment of Fabry disease, which is one of the most devasting LSD rare diseases. NanoGLA has been designated, in January 2021, as Orphan Drug by the European Medicine Agency (EMA) and the European Commission. Under the EU-funded Phoenix project, nano-GLA production will be scaled-up and brought to GMP conditions. As a first objective, the Nano4Rare project will use nanoGLA engineered batches produced in the frame of the Phoenix project to complete the preclinical phase and generate sufficient quality data on safety, efficacy, and quality to get approval by regulators to proceed with the clinical phase. As a second objective, a new spin-off company will be created for the advancement of nanoGLA towards the market and the commercialisation of the patent protected nanoencapsulation platform to generate new product candidates for rare disease treatments.

  • FabouLACE- Dispersion force masked-based helium atom lithography

Photolithography is currently used for the initial patterning step of chip manufacturing as cutting-edge chips require ever smaller features. The smallest features that can be produced with this technology (26 nm at present and expected to reach 16 nm in 2028) not only improves the performance and power efficiency of cutting-edge chips, but also supports the opening of new markets linked to quantum devices and silicon devices with integrated light sources. The FabouLACE project seizes this opportunity through a disruptive lithography approach that uses metastable atoms and dispersion force-based masks and enables features of 2 nm. The technology, currently at proof of concept stage and protected by two patents, will be brought to TRL 6 by the end of the project by developing a prototype. Its performances will be validated together with Imec (key actor in the development, testing and early adoption of nano- and digital technology innovations, including lithography) and end-users in the markets of interest.

Background information

EIC Transition projects focus on results generated by EIC PathfinderFET (Future and Emerging Technologies – as the predecessor of EIC Pathfinder) or European Research Council (ERC) Proof of Concept projects, to mature the technologies and build a business case for specific applications. Each project will receive a grant of up to €2.5 million to validate and demonstrate technology in application-relevant environment and develop market readiness.

The selected projects will have access to EIC Business Acceleration Services including coaching, mentoring, and partnering events. Projects are also eligible for the fast-track scheme to access the EIC Accelerator for supporting the commercialisation and scale up phases.

The next cut-off date for applications is 27 September which is open to both Transition open and challenge funding.

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