Applying to EIC Transition – 5 tips to CRUSH your proposal

The EIC Transition is a competitive funding programme, with success rates in the 10% range. It is also a highly attractive programme, providing 100% funding rates for applicants and funding both technological and commercial development activities. EIC Transition aims at developments beyond the proof of principle, maturing both the technology (TRL 4-5/6) and business readiness, in order to prepare towards commercialisation of the innovation. Use the 5 tips below to CRUSH your proposal.

C (Commercial Focus) – Positioning your project optimally for success

EIC Transition projects should address both technology and market/business development in a balanced way. The proposal should present a (preliminary) commercial strategy and include details of a planned business case. The commercial activities conducted within the project, should aim to generate additional insights and enable informed commercial decision making rather than early market insights. An important aspect of the commercialization plan is to show that the intellectual property generated by your EIC Transition project is formally protected in an adequate way.

R (Rationale) – Understanding the purpose of the EIC Transition programme

Keeping the purpose of the programme in mind while writing will help you match application activities to expected outcomes of the call. The EIC provides a funding route for disruptive ideas to achieve proof of concept (EIC Pathfinder), investment readiness (EIC Transition), and market entry (EIC Accelerator). EIC Transition is positioned between the Pathfinder and Accelerator programmes and aims to fund technologies that go from experimental proof of principle (TRL3/4, delivered during an eligible predecessor project such as EIC Pathfinder) towards technological validation and demonstration of commercial feasibility (TR5/6). At the end of an EIC Transition project, the technology should be ready to receive investment. In the case of commercialization by an SME, this is normally an external (e.g., angel, VC) investment that may pave the way for an application to the EIC Accelerator programme.

U (Unfold the Narrative) – Preparing a convincing Pitch

The interview is a crucial part of the application and the place for presenting your best elevator pitch. You should present a convincing narrative of the problem and how your solution and team are best skilled to tackle it. At this stage, the EIC needs to be convinced on the innovativeness of your technology and wants to see how this EIC Transition  project fits into your “grand plan” for this product or service. Be prepared for detailed questions on business strategy and plans beyond project completion.

S (Squad) – Building the right team/consortium

It is crucial that you have a convincing and feasible story on how you will bring your technology to the market. Your team needs both the technological and commercial expertise required to present a convincing story. You can add such expertise to the team from within your organization if you would like to apply as a single-applicant, or form a consortium with an organization with the missing expertise. The EIC really wants to see that you have the ideal team to commercialize this technology so pay extra attention to present the best team forward.

H (Heart) – Don’t be discouraged and take your time – resubmissions work

Given the structure of the Transition programme with just 1 Call per year, the timelines can be daunting. However, we generally see that resubmissions work well and often lead to improved scores in each Section in the Evaluation Criteria. Be sure to use the feedback from past evaluations and incorporate relevant suggestions to turn your proposal into a winning one. It pays to be patient and resubmit over multiple years.


This article was written by Maarten Hillen, PhD, Managing Consultant Life Sciences, and Harisha Rajanala, PhD, Senior Consultant.



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Further reading about EIC Transition



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