ABOUT THE SME INSTRUMENT
Horizon 2020 funds high-potential innovation developed by SMEs through the SME instrument. The SME instrument offers Europe’s brightest and boldest entrepreneurs the chance to step forward and request funding for breakthrough ideas with the potential to create entirely new markets or revolutionise existing ones. It supports close-to-market activities, with the aim to give a strong boost to breakthrough innovation with a market-creating potential.
WHO SHOULD APPLY?
Highly innovative SMEs with a clear commercial ambition and a potential for high growth and internationalisation are the prime target.
TRL (TECHNOLOGY READINESS LEVEL)
For the SME Instrument, proposals with TRL 6 or above have more chances to receive funding
SME INSTRUMENT: PHASES
The SME Instrument offers small and medium-sized businesses the following:
The project should be aligned to the business strategy, helping internal growth or targeting a transnational business opportunity. The evaluation of phase 1 proposals happens remotely by a panel of independent experts.
Amount of funding: lump sum of €50,000 (per project, not per participating business).
Duration: typically around 6 months
Outcome: The outcome of a phase 1 project is a feasibility study (technical and commercial), including a business plan.
The evaluation of phase 2 proposals happens both remotely and face-to-face (via an interview) by two panels of independent experts.
Amount of funding: in the indicative range of €500,000 – € 2.5 million or more (covering up to 70% of eligible costs).
Duration: typically around 1 to 2 years
Outcomes:A great innovation ready to conquer the market and a business innovation plan incorporating a detailed commercialisation strategy and a financing plan in view of market launch.
With the view of facilitating the commercial exploitation of the innovation activities resulting from phase 1 or phase 2, the SME instrument proposes business acceleration services. These include support for further developing investment readiness, linking with private investors and customers through brokerage activities and events (including trade fairs), assistance in applying for further EU risk finance, and a range of other innovation support activities and services offered via the EEN.
We make a preliminary project analysis. We analyse your innovation to make a strategy based on our recommendation. We check the TRL of your idea/service/product and we make a business proposal draft.
We evaluate the industrial, social and economic problem to be solved and related business opportunity, exploitation strategy of the business opportunity, expected outcomes (Phase I and Phase II), the state of the art, turnover, market share, jobs creation, initial plan for full commercialization of project results, impact on European or global markets, external expertise to carry out phase 1, evaluation of the business model against the expected impact of the SME Instrument, BM Canvas, SWOT analysis, status and strategy for knowledge protection, regulatory and standard requirements. If it’s needed we create and test a prototype for your idea and we help with the patent application.
We prepare the entire Phase 1 proposal, together, with your feedback, we improve your Business Plan and we make a workplan for the Phase 1, we also do resubmissions for free until you recieve the grant from the EC.
We take care of the Feasibility Study Report and the GA for the phase 2.
We prepare the entire Phase 2 proposal, together, with your feedback, we make a workplan for the Phase 2, we give training regarding the Phase 2 pitch and we help you to prepare your slide deck. We take care of all the steps needed and we also do resubmissions for free until you recieve the grant from the EC.
After winning the Phase II, we help you with the implementation of our EU delivery assistance framework modules (SyGMa management and tools – development and review of project deliverables – project amendment). We will help with the project execution. by being an active sparring partner with the necessary experience to review all deliverables and to successfully lead you through a needed amendment process with the European Commission.
We also offer other funding opportunities for you (Eurostars, SBIR, etc).