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30th September 2014
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SME instrument calls

The dedicated SME instrument encourages for-profit SMEs to put forward their most innovative ideas with an EU dimension. The instrument aims to fill gaps in funding for high-risk innovation and close-to-market activities to give a strong boost to breakthrough innovation. It targets highly innovative SMEs with a strong ambition to develop, grow and internationalise. It covers the whole innovation cycle, the focus being on delivery of new products, services or processes on the market.

Only SMEs are eligible for funding, and can decide how best to organise a project or with whom to collaborate, including through subcontracting of tasks if they lack in-house capabilities. In order to boost market relevance and foster commercialisation of project results, also single SMEs can apply for support.

The SME instrument has been designed specifically for single or groups of highly innovative SMEs with international ambitions, determined to turn strong, innovative business ideas into winners on the market. The instrument provides full-cycle business innovation support from the stage of business idea conception and planning (phase I) over business plan execution and demonstration (phase II) to commercialisation (phase III). Participants will be able to call on business innovation coaching for the duration of their project.

  • Phase I (proof-of-concept): Explore the scientific or technical feasibility and commercial potential of your new idea in order to develop an innovation project, with the help of a € 50,000 grant, and receive more support in case of a positive outcome!
  • Phase II (development & demonstration): Develop your sound, ground-breaking business idea further with the help of a grant in the order of € 500,000 to 2,5 million into a market-ready product, service or process!
  • Phase III (go-to-market): Take advantage of additional EU support to enter the market successfully (no grants).

For more information about the SME instrument, please see the H2020 Online Manual and related FAQ