The total amount to be distributed between the SMEs working on 62 projects is € 104.587 million. In this phase of the SME Instrument, each project will receive up to €2.5 million (€ 5 million for health projects) to finance innovation activities like demonstration, testing, piloting, and scaling up. The companies will also benefit from 12 days of business coaching and free business acceleration services. Spanish SMEs were the most successful with 16 companies selected for funding. They were followed by 11 companies from Italy, 6 businesses from Sweden and 5 businesses from Germany. Most projects are in the field of transport (9 projects), energy (9 projects), and ICT (8 projects).
193 companies get support for a feasibility study
193 innovative SMEs from 28 countries were selected for funding under SME Instrument Phase 1. The total amount to be distributed between the SMEs working on 193 projects is € 9.65 million. In this phase of the SME Instrument, each project will receive a lump-sum of € 50.000 to carry out a feasibility study. The companies will also get 3 days of business coaching and free business acceleration services. Spanish SMEs were the most successful with 27 companies selected for funding and followed by 26 companies from Italy and 22 companies from Switzerland. Most projects are in the field of ICT (37 projects) energy (35 projects) and transport (28 projects). The European Commission received 2123 project proposals by the cut-off date of 18 October 2017 for Phase 2 and 2596 projects by 9 November 2017 for Phase 1. Since the launch of the programme on 1st January 2014, 843 SMEs have been selected for funding under Phase 2, and 2616 under Phase 1. An interactive map of all the projects is available in the SME Instrument data hub.
Opportunities under the European Innovation Council pilot
The SME Instrument is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot that supports top-class innovators with funding opportunities and acceleration services. The main focus of the EIC pilot is on radical, market-creating innovations to improve productivity and international competitiveness and generate new jobs and higher standards of living. The first SME Instrument cut-offs under the EIC are on 10 January 2018 for Phase 2 and 8 February for Phase 1. The major changes brought by the EIC pilot are an intensified focus on market-creating innovation and improvements in the evaluation process. The selection will now be entirely bottom-up, meaning that small innovative companies from all sectors can apply. Projects will also pitch their idea to an innovation jury to be selected for funding under Phase 2.
A total of 262 small and medium-sized companies have been selected for funding under the latest round of Horizon 2020’s SME Instrument. With this funding, companies will be able to finance their innovation activities ranging from feasibility studies to market launch.