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Story 15 May 2024

Open Call – EIC Pioneer Programme launches a new batch for innovative researchers


As part of the EIC Tech to Market (T2M) Entrepreneurship Programme, the European Innovation Council (EIC) invites EIC Pathfinder (former FET-Open and FET-Proactive), EIC Transition, and all innovators eligible for EIC Tech to Market (see section “Who can apply”) to apply for the EIC T2M Pioneer Programme for innovative researchers. The new batch will kick off virtually in October 2024.

The virtual initiative takes place from 9th October 2024 to 5th February 2025. The Programme consists of collective sessions and individual coaching to explore deep tech topics, from IP protection, user involvement, regulatory framework, industrialization, and team management to finance.

The former participants considered the EIC T2M Pioneer Programme highly valuable, with one participant eloquently describing the experience, stating, “It’s a flanking measure to bring basic researchers, which per definition, by nature, do not necessarily have a high affinity for business development, for bringing them into the attitude and also the competency of developing a business, which is an amazing opportunity.” You can hear more from some EIC participants in the following video.

Are you interested in this opportunity?
Make sure to apply until 18 September 2024! 



The EIC T2M Pioneer Programme for innovative researchers aims to help researchers and early-stage startups navigate the entrepreneurial world and acquire the right skills to successfully exit the lab and scale their developments with a technology or product ready for the market. 

It is a 4-month Programme to explore in depth all key topics faced by deep-tech ventures, from IP protection, industrialization, regulatory, and team management to finance in a timeframe relevant to the implementation of key advice.
It comprises a triple approach to nurture your major business model hypotheses and action plan:

  1. Expert guidance
  2. Mentor testimonies  
  3. Discussion and individual advice and coaching


Activities and timeline:

The Programme will take place, online, over four months, from 9th October 2024 until 5th February 2025.

  • Each Wednesday (from 16h00 to 18h30 CET) >> collective online sessions (15 sessions), split into two interactive parts:  

    • 1-hour collective interactive teaching by field experts; 
    • 1h/1h30 collective interactive discussion with deep-tech CEOs/CTOs/CSOs who “have done it before” by successfully exiting the lab and scaling up their products/technologies in the market. 
  • Each week >> an online one-to-one meeting of 1 hour with a senior coach, experienced in deep-tech entrepreneurship, who will dig with you into the key topics highlighted in the collective sessions & and the ones you are facing in your specific project.


Key Topics of the 15 online sessions:

  • Developing the product-market fit specific to deep tech
  • Modelling the techno-economics of products at each stage of development
  • Understanding critical Legal, IPR and licensing for deep tech
  • Choosing appropriate business models and options for capital structure
  • Defining the internal and external capabilities to move from founder to growth company
  • The journey from lab to market for deep tech


Examples of mentors and experts' topics:

  • Sales vs Business Development – the curse of the never-ending POC 
  • Investors roundtable – best practices and mistakes to avoid 
  • How I raised VC funds? (eg Xavier Duportet, CEO Eligo Bioscience - TBC) 
  • How to set up partnerships with corporations (Robert Marino, CEO of Qubit Pharmaceutical, EIC Accelerator)



The application for this initiative is open only to EIC Pathfinder (ex. FET-Open and FET-Proactive), EIC Transition, EIC Seals of Excellence, ERC-POC, FET-Flagship beneficiaries.

Please note that projects from all domains and sectors are welcome to apply.

The EIC T2M Pioneer Programme for innovative researchers is open to motivated teams of at least two researchers/individuals (and a maximum of four) per project. 

Complementary profiles will be appreciated to form eligible and successful teams and provide high-quality engagement. The two complementary team roles are:

  • Entrepreneurial lead/representative: responsible for the business orientation and entrepreneurial side of the idea/innovation (usually postdocs, PhD students or any researcher that could imagine herself or himself as a potential entrepreneur or a business profile).
  • Technology lead/representative: responsible for the technical development of the idea/innovation.

The availability is limited, and a selection committee will choose the best applications based on the following criteria:

  • Maturity and potential impact of the submitted innovation idea
  • Composition of the team
  • Team’s motivation to work on the entrepreneurial project and time to see it hatch or raise


EIC Business Acceleration Services

This opportunity is brought to you by the EIC Business Acceleration Services through its Tech to Market programme.

All participants need to fill out a short satisfaction survey shortly after the event, and an impact survey after six months.

To explore further opportunities, keep an eye on our events page.

The services to be delivered will cover EIC beneficiaries from all the countries participating in the EIC programme, namely, all the 27 EU Member States and Horizon Europe Associated Countries.

To learn more about EIC Tech to Market (T2M) programmes, check out the FAQ page.


Cancellation policy

Cancellations will only be considered in duly documented cases of “force majeure”. Unjustified cancellation can lead to exclusion in future Business Acceleration Services events.

Should you have any questions regarding the event or your eligibility, please contact us through our contact page (please choose “EIC T2M Entrepreneurship Programme” as the subject).

DISCLAIMER: This information is provided in the interest of knowledge sharing and should not be interpreted as the official view of the European Commission, or any other organisation.

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