Knowledge Helix

Breaking down the barriers to successful innovation

Climate-KIC is uniquely placed to overcome the challenges of bringing climate-focused innovation to market. 

We work on an innovation model of knowledge exchange and technology transfer called the knowledge helix. In this model, there are flows of knowledge and experimental learning between government, academia, industry, and civil society, feeding back on strategy and decision-making to create socially accountable policies and practices. This model of innovation and knowledge exchange aims to:

  • connect expertise with resources and know-how
  • help sectors overcome information silos and gaps in knowledge and information
  • help reduce the risk associated with innovation by being the first to invest and support
  • nurture the most innovative ideas and apply scientific insight to commercial contexts

The knowledge helix

Explore our Pathfinder, Demonstrator and Scaler programmes below and find out how innovation investment can help your business or sector to maximise its knowledge potential to become a market leader.  

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Enabling collaboration between research and business

Pathfinder is an ideator programme that helps innovators test, refine and confirm assumptions about their innovation ideas, so that they are suitably developed to be applied and implemented. 

The Pathfinder programme is designed to enable the collaboration of research and business stakeholders, and typically lasts between three to six months, with potential funding up to a maximum of €50,000.


Demonstration and Scaling

Pooling collective knowledge and expertise

Sometimes even proven innovations struggle to reach scale in the marketplace as a result of missing competencies, poor understanding of market, or regulatory barriers.

We pool collective knowledge and expertise to address such specific gaps and overcome the barriers to scaling.

The following programmes are primarily for Climate-KIC partners with a validated business model:

  • Demonstrator is where climate innovators can demonstrate that their innovation works and is a viable proposition on which to create a “business”, whether for profit or not.  It is designed to support multiple stakeholders with funding and services to de-risk the demonstration of innovations. 
  • Scaler brings together providers with scaling services and innovators in need of support to scale their proven innovations.  It provides funding and support for the development and implementation of scaling services that can be applied to proven innovations proposed by our community. 


Transitions Hub

Connecting research and technology with business

The Transitions Hub learning material database links research, technology and business to find ways of mitigating or adapting to climate change and accelerating the solutions to market.

The nature of systems, system innovation and transitions is complex and individual. There is no “one size fits all” blueprint approach to solve a particular challenge, such as the transition of a mobility system in a city or the innovation of a value chain in a production process.

For this reason, Climate-KIC has developed a database designed to:

  • Allow you to pick out the material that is most suitable and useful to the context you are working in
  • Encourage you as trainers and coaches to recombine the material for customizing and fitting the training you are delivering to an organisation, company, group or team as much as possible
  • Adapt, extend and develop the approaches we propose according to your context and experience

We are truly interested in your thoughts, experience and stories from applying the Transitions Hub in practice. We believe that we can learn from the richness of the community of trainers and coaches to improve what we have, and to co-create with you out there. Please feel free to provide your feedback, and get in touch with us!

To start using the database, click on the button below.

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