The FTI pilot supports 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. To this end, if a proposal involves technological innovation, the consortium must declare that the technology or the technologies concerned are at least at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6, where appropriate [[For a definition of TRL, see Part G of the General Annexes.]] . Projects can be interdisciplinary.
Proposals must relate to any field under the specific objective ""Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies"" and/or to any of the specific objectives under the priority ""Societal challenges""[[For proposals which fall under the ""Secure Societies"" societal challenge, an additional specific procedure may apply (see Participant Portal – H2020 Grant Manuals – Horizontal issues – Security Issues).]].
Proposals should specify the intended outcome of the project and describe its key performance indicators/success criteria.
Proposals must also include a business plan clearly describing the market potential (potential users/customers and benefits for them; targeted European/global markets, etc.), the business opportunities for participants, measures to enhance the probability of eventual commercial take-up and a credible commercialisation strategy that identifies next steps and specifies other actors to be involved. Particular attention should be paid to IP protection and ownership and to the possibility of commercial exploitation ('freedom to operate').
The expected impact should be clearly described in both qualitative and quantitative terms. Factors such as time sensitivity and the international competitive situation should be considered in the light of the technology/innovation fields and industry sectors concerned. Possible impacts on sustainability or climate change, in particular, or on other cross-cutting objectives of Horizon 2020[[Please see Article 14 of the Horizon 2020 Regulation: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/legal_basis/fp/h2020-eu-establact_en.pdf]] should also be highlighted.
Consortia must involve participation from industry. Universities, research and technology organisations and further innovation actors may also participate. Actors that can play a key role in the commercialisation process are encouraged to take part, such as cluster organisations, end-users, industrial associations, incubators, investors, or the public sector. First-time industry applicants[[In the context of the FTI pilot, a ""first-time industry applicant"" means a legal entity that is a private, for-profit organisation that has obtained a PIC (Participant Identification Code) for the first time under Horizon 2020. See step 4 of http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/funding/]] and SMEs are particularly welcome.
Innovation is fostered when new ideas can emerge and easily translate into socio-economic value. Working together, partners with complementary backgrounds, knowledge and skills, and in new and established value-chains, can turn these ideas into sustainable innovative products, processes and services that both address societal challenges and/or are highly competitive in global markets. FTI aims to accelerate this commercialisation process by providing extended funding opportunities through an open and agile scheme nurturing bottom-up ideas from innovative constituencies across Europe.
- 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.
- Increased industry participation, including SMEs, and more industry first-time applicants to Horizon 2020.
- Leveraging more private investment into research and/or innovation.
- Where appropriate, addressing transnational value-chains and/or EU-wide or global markets.