The new “vEIColo” call is launched online: €1.7 million to support Italian research

The new “vEIColo” call is launched online: €1.7 million to support Italian research

Promoted by Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione Cariplo and Fondazione CDP, the initiative aims to encourage the participation of Italian researchers in the funding opportunities of the European Innovation Council programmes.

The new call “vEIColo - Support for the development of research is now online, to help address a systemic difficulty the country faces in transforming the results of scientific research into practical projects and market value.

The call for proposals is jointly promoted by  Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo, within the framework of the Mission of Enhancing Research under the Planetary Objective,  Fondazione Cariplo, through Mandate Line 4 “Creating Enabling Conditions for Strengthening Communities” and Fondazione CDP within the action sector “Scientific Research and Assistance”.

The initiative is part of the European Horizon Europe programme, which aims to improve Europe's position on competitiveness in the field of innovation. As part of this programme, the European Innovation Council (EIC) was established to promote cooperation between research and industry by supporting the development of technological innovations capable of creating new domestic and international markets, to facilitate the transition of technologies from an early stage of development to a stage sufficiently advanced to allow industrial application, while at the same time reducing technological risk.

The EIC finances three different programmes: Pathfinder, Transition and Accelerator, where Italy is overall below the European average in terms of funding received, mainly due to the low number of participating organisations, especially in the South of Italy.

Against this backdrop, the vEIColo initiative aims to improve participation in European competitive calls promoted by the European Innovation Council within the EIC Pathfinder and EIC Transition programmes, and to increase the fund-raising capacity of universities and public and private research institutions in Italy, while supporting research projects that are not funded by the European Horizon programme due to a lack of funds.

In order to achieve these objectives, the call makes use of two distinct lines of intervention:

  • Line 1 - Upgrading: aimed at research projects that have achieved an adequate level of evaluation following an application to one of the EIC Pathfinder or EIC Transition funding programmes, but have not been funded due to a lack of funds. Only projects that were submitted in 2022 and 2023 and in which the applicant acted as Coordinator will be eligible for this line of intervention. Successful applicants will receive a grant to support actions to consolidate the research activity and strengthen the partnership and skills of the project team, as well as up to 50 hours of coaching from experienced EIC consultants to review the application and prepare a new application.
  • Line 2 - New Opportunities: to stimulate new applications for an EIC Pathfinder and EIC Transition call for innovative research projects with high technology transfer potential. Applicable projects must foresee the proposing body as Coordinator of the partnership. Successful applicants will benefit from training and coaching, up to a maximum of 75 hours, on how to write a new application from experienced EIC advisers.

Applications, which are open to universities and public and private non-profit research organisations with registered offices in Italy, must be submitted via the “ROL online application” procedure accessible from the homepage of the website of  Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation at this link: please ensure to select the appropriate form for the call in the “List of calls and applications” section and respect the deadlines below: for Line 1 no later than 1pm on 8 February 2024; for Line 2 no later than 1pm on 28 March 2024 to participate in the EIC Pathfinder Challenges or Transition 2024 calls and no later than 1pm on 30 May 2024 to participate in the EIC Pathfinder Open 2025 call.