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Have you come up a disruptive idea and you need funding to develop it? The European Union offers multiple funding programmes and we know it is not always easy to find the one that suits you best. The team of experts of Innovarum has prepared this 2-step guide to help you in this decision, so let’s get to it!

Question 1. Which is the TRL of your idea?

Ok, but what is TRL? Technology Readiness Level (TRL) is a measurement system used to assess the maturity level of a particular technology. Each technology project is evaluated against the parameters for each technology level and is then assigned a TRL rating based on the projects progress. There are nine technology readiness levels. TRL 1 is the lowest and TRL 9 is the highest.

Question 2. Are you applying on your own or do you plan to form a consortium?

Most of the funding programmes support collaborative research projects where at least three organisations from different countries form a consortium. However, there are a number of opportunities also for mono-participant actions.

  • Research and Innovation Actions (RIA): Funding for research projects tackling clearly defined challenges, which can lead to the development of new knowledge or a new technology.
  • Innovation actions (IA): Funding is more focused on closer-to-the-market activities. For example, prototyping, testing, demonstrating, piloting, scaling-up etc. if they aim at producing new or improved products or services.
  • SME Instrument Phase I&II: Funding is aimed at highly innovative SMEs with the ambition to develop their growth potential. It offers lump sums for feasibility studies, grants for an innovation project’s main phase (demonstration, prototyping, testing, application development…).
  • Fast Track To Innovation (FTI): Funding is focused promoting close-to-the-market innovation activities. It helps co-create and test breakthrough products, services or business processes that have the potential to revolutionise existing or create entirely new markets.
  • LIFE+: Funding is destined to supporting eco-innovation, environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects.
  • European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF): Funding is focused on making the fisheries and aquaculture sectors more sustainable, conservation of the marine environment and on supporting growth and jobs in coastal communities.


In following posts, we will guide you through the specific details and requirements for each programme.



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