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(18 March 2019) - Ahead of the 21-22 March European Council discussion on innovation, industry and competitiveness, the Commission takes further steps to set up a European Innovation Council.

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Currently in its pilot phase, the European Innovation Council will become a full-fledged reality from 2021 under the next EU research and innovation programme Horizon Europe. Today the Commission announces important steps that will ramp up the remaining two years of the pilot phase of the EIC:

• Over €2 billion of funding in 2019-2020, covering the innovation chain.

• Appointment of 15 to 20 innovation leaders. Innovators from across the ecosystem are invited to come forward by 10 May.

• First set of “programme managers” with leading expertise in new technologies. The call for recruitment will be published shortly.

• Also today, the Commission announces 68 additional startups and SMEs selected for an overall funding of €120 million under the existing EIC pilot.

Given the growing economic importance of breakthrough and disruptive innovation, and based on the early success of the EIC pilot, the Commission has proposed to dedicate €10 billion to the EIC under Horizon Europe, the EU research and innovation funding programme for 2021-2027.

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