Pillar III – Innovative Europe

Home Structure Pillars Pillar III – Innovative Europe

This pillar focuses on scaling up breakthrough and market-creating innovation through a European Innovation Council (EIC) as well as activities aimed at enhancing and developing the overall European innovation landscape. It also includes support to the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

Pillar III strengthens sustainable innovation ecosystems across Europe, fosters the development of entrepreneurial and innovation skills in a lifelong learning perspective, supports EU universities in integrating more entrepreneurial education, brings new solutions to global societal challenges to the market,creates synergies and added value within Horizon Europe.

What is funded under Pillar III?

Pillar III aims to foster all forms of innovation, including breakthrough innovation, and market deployment of innovative solutions.

The European Innovation Council builds on the success of the Enhanced EIC pilot in Horizon 2020 and serves as a ‘one-stop shop’ for European innovators. It channels funding through three main instruments:

  • EIC Pathfinder – supporting research and deep tech projects with a high degree of scientific ambition and risk.
  • EIC Transition – supporting maturation and validation of novel ideas from lab to business. A bridge between research and application development.
  • EIC Accelerator supporting start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises to develop and scale up to new markets or disrupt existing ones.

European Innovation Ecosystems connects with regional and national innovation actors and supports the implementation of joint cross-border innovation programmes by Member States and Associated Countries, enhancing soft skills for innovation in addition to other types of research and innovation actions. Actions complements the ERDF support for innovation eco-systems and interregional partnerships around smart specialisation topics.

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Europe’s largest innovation network strengthening innovation since 2008. Its mission is to create jobs and deliver sustainable and smart growth. EIT involves bringing together organisations across business, education, and research. The goal of these partnerships is to find and commercialise solutions to pressing global challenges. For each global challenge, there is an ecosystem of partnerships called Knowledge and Innovation Communities. To face these global challenges, the community of partners offers a wide range of education courses, business creation and acceleration services, and innovation-driven research projects.