The European Commission has launched the first of six European Innovation Council (EIC) Horizon Prizes, on Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid. EIC Horizon Prizes are part of the European Innovation Council pilot run under Horizon 2020, the EU’s Research and Innovation Framework Programme.
The Prize on Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid will reward the best, proven, cost-effective, tech-based solutions for Humanitarian Aid. The prize amount of €5 million will be divided equally into five categories: shelter and related assistance; water, hygiene and sanitation; energy; health and medical care; and an “open” category. Technologies include – but are not limited to – nanotechnologies, advanced materials or 3D printing.
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “High-Tech can have an important inclusive role. Top technologies can help more people, especially the most vulnerable ones, to have affordable access to high quality, durable products, which will improve their quality of life.”
Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, said: “The EU is not just the world’s biggest donor of humanitarian aid, we also have to ensure that we provide the best quality response to people in critical situations. Creative tech and innovative tools could make a huge difference in the future when it comes to crisis response, including aid delivery in remote areas.”
The deadline to apply is 15 January 2020. More information including the Rules of Contest is available on the EIC website.
The 2018-20 Work Programme of Horizon 2020, published on 27 October 2017, introduced measures to support market-creating innovation through a pilot phase of the European Innovation Council. With a budget of €2.7 billion, the EIC pilot brings together existing instruments such as the SME Instrument, Inducement Prizes, Future and Emerging Technologies, and Fast Track to Innovation.
EIC Horizon Prizes are particularly ambitious as they are expected to trigger innovations in areas where important societal problems need to be solved. These Prizes call for breakthrough solutions which should demonstrate their feasibility or potential so that innovators can take them quickly to the market.