EIC Pathfinder Open 2021

Deadline: 19-05-2021

Source: European Commission


Horizon Europe Framework Programme (HORIZON)


EIC Pathfinder Open 2021 (HORIZON-EIC-2021-PATHFINDEROPEN-01)

Type of action


Type of MGA

HORIZON Action Grant Budget-Based [HORIZON-AG]

Deadline model


Opening date

08 April 2021

Deadline date

19 May 2021 17:00:00 Brussels time

Topic description


You should apply to this call if you are looking for support from EIC Pathfinder Open to realise an ambitious vision for radically new technology, with potential to create new markets and/or to address global challenges. EIC Pathfinder Open supports early stage development of such future technologies (e.g. various activities at low Technology Readiness Levels 1-4), based on high-risk/high-gain science-towards-technology breakthrough research (including ‘deep-tech’). This research must provide the foundations of the technology you are envisioning.

EIC Pathfinder Open may support your work, especially if it is highly risky: you may set out to try things that will not work; you may be faced with questions that nobody knows the answer to yet; you may realise that there are many aspects of the problem that you do not master. On the contrary, if the path you want to follow is incremental by nature or known, EIC Pathfinder Open will not support you.

Before applying you should verify that your proposal meets all the following essential characteristics (‘Gatekeepers’):

  • Convincing long-term vision of a radically new technology that has the potential to have a transformative positive effect to our economy and society.
  • Concrete, novel and ambitious science-towards-technology breakthrough, providing advancement towards the envisioned technology.
  • High-risk/high-gain research approach and methodology, with concrete and plausible objectives.

For more details, see the EIC Work Programme 2021.

Topic conditions and documents

1. Admissibility and eligibility conditions: This call is open for collaborative research. Your proposal must be submitted by the coordinator, on behalf of a consortium that includes at least three independent legal entities, each one established in a different Member State or Associated Country and with at least one of them established in a Member State. The legal entities may for example be universities, research organisations, SMEs, start-ups, industrial partners or natural persons. The standard admissibility and eligibility conditions are detailed in Annex 2, and the eligibility of applicants from third countries in Annex 3 of the EIC Work Programme 2021.

2. Proposal page limits and layout: described in Part B of the Application Form available in the Submission System

Sections 1 to 3 of the part B of your proposal, corresponding respectively to the evaluation criteria Excellence, Impact, and Quality and Efficiency of the Implementation, must consist of a maximum of 17 A4 pages. Excess pages will be automatically made invisible, and will not be taken into consideration by the evaluators. Please also consult Annex 2 of the EIC Work Programme 2021.

3. Financial and operational capacity :described in Annex 2 of the EIC Work Programme 2021.

4. Evaluation and award:

This call will take part of a pilot with the aim to test a ‘right-to-react’ (or rebuttal) evaluation process. About 2-2.5 months after the call deadline participants will receive via the Funding & Tenders Portal the evaluators’ comments and will have the chance to reply to them within 7 working days with a strict page limit (maximum two A4 pages). The participants’ replies cannot be used to alter or add to the content of the proposals, but must strictly focus on providing clarifications and/or on responding to potential misunderstandings or errors by the evaluators. These replies will be made available to the evaluation committee who will decide on the final score on the basis of the individual scores and the outcome of its consensus discussions, taking into consideration the comments from the right-to-react procedure.·

You will be informed about the outcome of the evaluation within 5 months from the call deadline (indicative), and, if your proposal is accepted for funding, your grant agreement will be signed by 8 months after call deadline (indicative).

 5. Legal and financial set-up of the grants: Please refer to the Model Grant Agreement (MGA) used for EIC actions under Horizon Europe

Call document and annexes:

EIC Work Programme 2021

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Standard Application Form (EIC Pathfinder Open 2021)

List of Pathfinder Open Descriptors

Model Grant Agreement (MGA) used for EIC actions under Horizon Europe

Additional documents:

EU Financial Regulation 2018/1046 

Rules for Legal Entity Validation, LEAR Appointment and Financial Capacity Assessment

Funding & Tenders Portal Online Manual

Funding & Tenders Portal Terms & Conditions

Funding & Tenders Portal Privacy Statement

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