Inducement prizes are an open competition designed to stimulate participation in European innovation by tackling specific issues. The prizes are awarded after contestants submit their solution to a jury. There is only one winning project per prize which then receives a financial reward.
- Inducement prizes address specific challenges which haven’t been previously answered. These challenges are highly relevant to our societies and technology should help solve them.
- There are no preferred solutions, only award criteria that need to be met in order to be eligible for the prize. Hence, contestants are free to submit any solution to the challenges.
A new form of recognition for European innovators
Inducement Prizes were first introduced by the Commission as a pilot under the 7th framework-programme. The 2012 “Innovative Vaccine Technology” pilot prize was won by a German biopharmaceutical company, against a competition of twelve, to receive a reward of €2 million in March 2014. The winner developed a solution to keep vaccines stable in ambient temperatures.
Three ways to assess your chances to win a H2020 Inducement Prize
The official information on the submission and award criteria are not yet complete. However, the below factors help you understand what conditions contestants should fulfil.
- Solve the challenge. Inducement prizes are not research grants nor are they financial aids to help your company innovate. The goal of these competitions is to reward the accomplishment of an action, irrespective of how much or little cost and effort went into it.
- Make the solution practical. Contestants should deliver an actual solution that has already been demonstrated in operational environments.
- Highlight the economic viability. The solution should be ready for the market.
What can the winner expect?
- A financial reward. A cash prize is awarded to the person, or team, who has managed to meet the criteria of the challenge through the development of a technological solution.
- Investors. One objective of EU Inducement Prizes is help winners attract investors.
- Communication. Winners will certainly benefit from media coverage and publicity.
Five Inducement Prizes for Horizon 2020
The five Inducement Prizes under Horizon 2020 will open late 2014 and early 2015. The financial reward offered by these contests will amount to a total of €6 million. The chosen themes are those where no solutions exist in Europe. They will cover four themes.
- Reduction of the Use of Antibiotics prize – 2015-summer 2016: €1 million prize to fight antimicrobial resistance, as well as misapplication and unnecessary use of antibiotics (particularly regarding upper respiratory tract infections).
- Food-Scanner prize – 2015: €1 million prize engaging in eHealth, with the objective to improve health and well-being by developing an e-solution to better monitor and assess food intake.
- Reduction of Air Pollution prize – 2015-2018: this €3 million prize deals with environmental and health challenges brought by air pollution. It focuses on material solutions that can remove or prevent particulate matter air pollution, especially in urban areas.
- Collaborative Sharing of Spectrum prize – 2015: €0.5 million prize to improve the use of scarce spectrum resources and dealing with the capacity crunch of wireless networks. The prize will be awarded to a solution with decentralised spectrum management capabilities.
- Optical Transmission prize – 2014-2016: €0.5 million prize to support network bandwidth capacity, by overcoming barriers brought on by long distance fibre transmission systems.
Eligibility and Award Criteria
- Any legal entity based in an EU Member-State or Associated country can participate. This includes companies, organisations and individual persons. You can be associated with anyone from anywhere in the world.
- Exception: for the ICT prizes, the project has to be submitted by an SME or a non-profit organisation.
- Each prize has its own specific award criteria. They are in their respective Work Programmes (i.e. Societal Challenge 8 “Health, demographic change and well-being”, and both LEIT “NMPB” and LEIT “ICT” Work Programmes).
- It is possible that no prize is awarded if the jury decides that no solution is innovative enough or rightly addresses the presented challenge.