Fund title: Horizon 2020: innovation in SMEs

Focus of fund/fund aims:

To support early-stage, high-risk research and innovation by small and medium-sized enterprises and improve innovation capacity

Application deadline:


Fund description:

Horizon 2020 actively supports small businesses by providing direct financial support to innovative SMEs and indirect support to increase their innovation capacity.

The ‘SME instrument’
SMEs are encouraged to participate across the whole Horizon 2020 (research & innovation) programme. They can engage in collaborative projects as part of a consortium but there is also a dedicated SME instrument designed specifically for innovative smaller companies.

The SME instrument targets highly innovative SMEs showing a strong ambition to develop, grow and internationalise, regardless of whether they are high-tech and research-driven or non-research conducting, social or service companies. It provides easy access with simple rules and procedures.

Support is provided in three different stages covering the whole innovation cycle. Successful completion of one stage will allow an SME to move on to the next:

Phase 1: Concept and feasibility assessment – lump sum up to €50,000

Phase 2: R&D, demonstration – reimbursement up to 70% €0.5-2.5m

Phase 3: Commercialisation – no direct funding but facilitated access to debt and equity financial instruments as well as other support

Support is available through the Enterprise Europe Network to help businesses access the Horizon 2020 programme, including the SME instrument.

Further information: