Two Irish projects bag millions from EIC Pathfinder grant

21 Sep 2023

Image: © New Africa/

The 53 chosen projects will receive a total of nearly €170m to develop novel technology for various applications, in areas such as health, AI, energy and more.

Two Irish projects have been listed among 53 successful awardees of the European Innovation Council’s (EIC) Pathfinder programme, which aims to support the development of cutting-edge technology.

The selected projects will receive a total of nearly €170m, with the average grant size being €3.19m. The winning research projects are looking at novel technology applications in various sectors, including health, AI, computing, the environment and energy.

The EIC Pathfinder programme was launched in 2020 to transform high-impact research ideas into novel technologies. The selection process is highly competitive, as the winning proposals were chosen from 783 applications.

The EIC said participants mostly come from higher education and research organisations, with SMEs accounting for roughly 18pc of participants.

One of the Irish projects to be selected is called Polina, being coordinated by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).  This four-year project is investigating novel light-sensitive poly materials. The project aims to find a “paradigm shift in delivering biocompatible devices”.

The other Irish project is being coordinated by Smart Reactors, a Galway-based medtech working on biocompatible coating to support various medical device applications. The company’s three-year project – CellMembrane – is looking at the development of a “delignified nanocellulose-based gas transfer scaffold membrane” for artificial lung applications.

As well as funding support, the selected projects will also have access to “tailor-made coaching” under the EIC Business Acceleration Services. The highest number of successful applications came from France, followed by Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK.

Other successful projects in this round include E-Cool, which aims to create a “holistic” form of cooling technology for electric motors, to reduce the excess of heat generated during power-demanding operations.

Another project – 4TunaTES – aims to deliver flexible thermo-chemical energy storage technology that can be easily adapted to different applications. The project claims this technology could reduce development costs by 90pc.

In 2020, three research projects with participation from Irish institutions received a total of €11m as part of the EIC Pathfinder pilot.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic