The European Commission adopted the updated 2014-2015 Horizon 2020 Work Programme which confirms the amounts for the actions to be implemented through next year's budget. It also introduces a new pilot Call for Fast Track to Innovation and 5 Research Innovation Prizes.
Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) provides funding for close-to-market, business-driven projects and is open to proposals in any area of technology or application. Applications are not restricted to SMEs but require strong business involvement in small consortia (3-5 organisations). FTI should promote trans-disciplinary and cross-sector cooperation. The aim is to reduce time from idea to market, stimulate the participation of first-time applicants to EU research funding, and increase private sector investment in research and innovation. The FTI budget for 2015-2016 is euro 200 million. FTI will be open for applications from 6 January 2015.
Innovation prizes ("inducement prizes") are designed to deliver breakthrough solutions to problems of societal interest in Europe (e.g. ageing society, public health, etc.). In an open competition, a cash prize is awarded for the accomplishment of a challenge. The target is defined and specified through award criteria, but without prescribing how it should be achieved. The innovation prizes will start in late 2014 / early 2015, with a total budget of euro 6 million
For more information please see the Commission's web site: