The Pathfinder targets visionary and radically new technologies that can bring about decisive transformations in social life while addressing global challenges and creating new markets. To this end, the Pathfinder supports the pursuit of scientific breakthroughs that can enable such technologies. The focus is on building scientific foundations to support those breakthrough technologies that demonstrate the potential to realise disruptive innovations. Pathfinder projects are designed to support early stages of the development of technological ideas that carry both high risks and great opportunities, and operate in the TRL 1-4 spectrum to do so.
Consortia from all scientific disciplines and technology sectors, for example consisting of universities, research institutions, SMEs, start-ups, natural persons or industrial partners, are eligible to apply. At least three partners from three different countries must be involved in a Pathfinder project.
Five months have been scheduled for the application evaluation process and the announcement of its outcome. If it is successful, the Grant Agreement could be signed eight months after the Call deadline.
Besides the planned funding amount of EUR 3 million, which can be increased in justified cases, Pathfinder projects can apply for a maximum of EUR 50,000 each up to three times in succession in order to take additional steps towards commercialisation or to advance the implementation of portfolio activities. For such additional activities to be funded, they must not already have been described in the original Pathfinder application. All the above funding options are complemented by the already free access of the consortia to business acceleration services and partnering events.
To conclude EIC Pathfinder projects, the "Proof of Principle" is a major project goal, as is the validation of the scientific basis of future technologies. The results of the project should also be included in scientific "top level" publications that have been published Open Access.
It is necessary to ensure adequate protection of intellectual property from Pathfinder projects (IPR-protection) for the transition to further funding instruments such as the EIC Transition.