The ATTRACT Project is the first major step in a much quicker technology development pathway
that will yield a faster time-to-market for breakthrough innovations.

€17M to fund
170 breakthrough ideas

To bridge the gap between basic research and real market needs, ATTRACT called for researchers, entrepreneurs and companies to bring forward breakthrough projects on pioneering imaging and sensor technologies.

The call opened on 1st August 2018 and the deadline for applicants to submit their ideas was 31st October, 2018 23:59 hrs CET.

The ATTRACT Project is funding 170 breakthrough technology concepts in the domain of detection and imaging technologies across Europe. In May 2019, the projects were awarded €17 million in funding – €100,000 each in seed funding to carry out their idea.

An independent R&D&I Committee carefully assessed and evaluated proposals and selected those to be funded based on their breakthrough potential and societal impact.

The ultimate goal of this seed-funding mechanism will be to help create new jobs and speed up the development of breakthrough technologies in Europe throughout the detection and imaging value chain: from sensors to computing.

The breakthrough technology projects funded will have 12 months to implement and develop their research idea before presenting their work at a Final Assessment Conference to take place in Brussels in Autumn 2020.


Detection & imaging technologies affect all major technology areas

Frost & Sullivan Top 50 Technologies Web

  • Advanced manufacturing

    Advanced lasers for manufacturing, digital manufacturing, intelligent robots, micro and nano manufacturing

  • Medical devices & imaging

    Combination devices, digital pathology, hybrid imaging technologies, medical robotics, optical imaging technologies, smart pills

  • Lifesciences & biotechnology

    Adult stem cells, biosensing, genome sequencing, nanofluidics & BioNEMS, 3D cell culture systems

  • Clean & green technology

    Advanced energy storage, green buildings, green vehicles, renewable chemicals, smart grid, thin film photovoltaic, 2nd generation biofuels

  • Sensors & automation

    CBRN detection technologies, energy harvesting, smart sensors, wireless sensor networks

  • Materials & coating

    Algae-based ingredients, advanced filtration, breathable antibacteria coatings, compostable packaging, enzyme technology, lightweight composites, nanocatalysts, smart textiles, superhydrophobic coatings

  • Conventional energy

    Advanced hydrocracking, clean coal, enhanced oil recovery

  • Information & communication

    Cloud computing, fabric computing, long-term evolution, semantic web, virtualisation

  • Microelectronics

    Emerging data storage technologies, flexible electronics, haptics & touch technologies, next generation displays, wireless power transmission, 3D integration


Some examples of challenges in detection and imaging technologies

(Integrated) 3D detectors for photon and electron identification (<< 1 ps, 1micron spatial resolution)

Fast (< 1ps, 100Mcounts/s) preamplifiers and TDC electronics, with potential for medical imaging

Additive manufacturing for integrated detector support structures, with potential for compact electronic systems for Avionics

Decentralised network architectures for enabling the Internet of Things (IoT)

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) systems for intelligent cars

Algorithms for real time optimisation of energy distribution in smart cities

Detection and imaging technologies provide scientific, societal and industrial value