The EIC Transition Open is a unique funding opportunity that aims to further develop early-stage innovations achieved under H2020/Horizon Europe towards deployment in the market. In our first article about this new funding opportunity, we discussed properties, eligibility criteria, and funding opportunities. Now, in this present article, we will dive deep into the EIC Transition Open’s evaluation process.
The EIC Transition Open evaluation
The Evaluation criteria
EIC Transition Open is a unique scheme in terms of competitiveness, since its substance isn’t exclusively scientific (in terms of novelty), but also market-related. Therefore, the quality of the applications is also measured by the extent to which they develop and promote innovations at low-medium TRL towards maximization of their commercial potential. Hence, the evaluation criteria take into consideration both scientific and market-related aspects, and the reviewers will look for their successful combination as an indication of their potential to “move on to the next step”.
As always, it is very important to adhere to the specific criteria on which your proposal will be evaluated, and understand what reviewers are looking for. In this case, the EIC Transition Open proposal will be evaluated based on the following 3 criteria:
The Excellence criteria refers to the novelty and feasibility of your project. That is to say, the extent to which it advances the respective technology, and the feasibility of its implementation. It includes the following:
- Technological breakthrough – the technology’s level of novelty, and its applicability to potential breakthrough uses and functionalities.
- Technology feasibility – the application’s feasibility, based on the results of the previous technology demonstration.
- Objectives – the objectives’ suitability to the proposed development of the technology and the planned validation activities.
The Impact criteria refers to the value of the project and the potential effect(s) of its results. It mostly concerns the market and business dimensions of the application, and includes the following:
- Business and market fit – the extent to which the proposed application contributes to the commercialisation of the technology’s final product. Project activities are expected to support the proposed business model. This can be evident by the inclusion of additional relevant aspects (eg intellectual property rights, certification and standardisation) in the application, and the involvement of potential end-users and customers in the testing phase, to assess relevant data.
- Economic and/or societal benefits – The capacity to create a considerable demand with the potential for new European or global markets, as well as other positive impacts (e.g., employment, environmental, societal, scientific etc.)
- Entrepreneurship – The extent to which the proposed measures under the application will help to create a professional and motivated team with suitable expertise, that is capable to execute the project and fulfill its overarching goal of bringing innovation to the market.
- Partnerships and investment readiness – The level of effectiveness of the proposed activities with regards to making the innovation ready for investments. It should be indicated by potential future partners and continued activities.
The implementation criteria refers to the project’s execution plan and concerns its participants and the efficiency of its implementation phase. It includes the following:
- Quality of the team – the applicants have the required expertise, ability, and motivation to advance the commercial value of the emerging technology towards a market/investment opportunity.
- Milestones and Work plan – the proposed application has a clear course, leading to the final deployment in the market. The work plan is coherent and its milestones are clearly defined and advance the project towards the achievement of its objectives.
- Allocation of resources – the resources are allocated effectively (concerning partners, equipment and planned activities).
The evaluation process
The evaluation process of the EIC Transition Open scheme is as follows:
Step 1: First evaluation
After submitting your proposal, it will be reviewed by at least three EIC evaluators. These are external experts which have been selected from the EU’s Funding & Tender Opportunities portal expert database. The scoring criteria for EIC Transition Open are composed of three dimensions of the proposed application: Excellence, Impact and Implementation. Each criterion will be scored separately, and the overall score for each one of them will be the median value of the scores given by evaluators (each evaluator will score it individually). The final score will be the total sum of these criteria together. At the end of the first step, you will receive a detailed Evaluation Summary Report (ESR).
Step 2: face-to-face interview
Based on the outcome of the 1st evaluation, applicants that have passed to the 2nd step will be invited to a personal interview. The EIC jury which conducts this interview will include 6 external experts (for example independent investors and entrepreneurs) that have been selected by the EIC from the EU’s Funding & Tender Opportunities portal expert database. One of the jurors may be an EIC internal programme manager from the applicant’s area of expertise. The EIC’s Programme Managers are carefully selected based on their expertise (in the respective field), experience with multidisciplinary teams and programmes, professional competence and communication skills. They come from various backgrounds such as academia, R&I, market, authorization bodies, national laboratories, etc. In the interview, the project must be presented by the applicants participating in the implementation phase only (no other/external representation is allowed), and the number of presenters is limited to five. Following the interview, the EIC jury will decide whether to fund the project or not (“GO” or “NO GO”). All applicants participating in this step will receive feedback on the interview from the jury.
Having a good understanding of the evaluation process of this unique funding scheme is an important step before you begin the proposal application process. If you would like to head out on the path of preparing a competitive application for this grant, do not hesitate to contact us for additional support.