H2020 SME Instrument – statistics and advice following first cut-off date of phase 1


Following the evaluation of proposals submitted before the first cut-off date for Phase 1 (18 June 2014), 155 projects from 21 countries have been pre-selected for funding. They will receive €50,000 to finance a feasibility study and up to 3 days of mentoring. The SMEs pre-selected for funding will be informed by mail in August 2014. The next cut-off date for Phase 1 is on 24 September.

Out of the 2 666 proposals submitted, 2602 were eligible and 317 got a score above the threshold. 49% of these are pre-selected for funding.

Spain had the most projects selected (39) followed by the United Kingdom (26), Italy (20), Germany (11), Ireland (10) and France (9). Ireland had the greatest success rate (20%) followed by Austria (14,81% – 4 projects pre-selected), the United Kingdom (11,21%), Israel (10,26% – 4 projects selected) and (Spain (9,29%).

The following table shows the numbers of the proposal to approval funnel:


Here are 6 points that EU has raised from this very first evaluation exercise, which should be taken into account by future applicants. Most of the non-selected proposals were:

  • Too much focused on the project and not enough on the business opportunity;
  • Not convincing when describing the company (you have to explain why your company will succeed and not your competitor);
  • Not providing enough information on competing solutions;
  • Having a too low level of innovation, planning to develop a product that already exists on the market;
  • Proposing just and idea without any concept for its commercialisation;
  • Just trying their luck (the SME Instrument is not a lottery!).


To find out how I can help you to take advantage of this opportunity, don’t hesitate to contact me.

More details on statistics -> European Commission – EASME – Horizon 2020 SME Instrument – statistics for the first cut-off date of phase 1 released.

More details on advice -> European Commission – SME Instrument: 6 lessons learnt from the first evaluation (that are also tips for the applicants)

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