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EU SME Instrument: first 155 winners of 50k€ grants

Map of SME Innovation in EU

The European Commission published a list of the 155 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that will be first to benefit from its new €3 billion SME Instrument.

The SMEs, located in 21 countries ,will each receive €50,000 to finance feasibility studies for their projects, and they can also benefit from up to three days of business coaching.  The beneficiaries will also develop their business plan. After that, their projects may be considered for further financial support from the Commission worth up to €2.5 million.

The selected SMEs are in a good position to succeed in the second phase of the programme, in which applicants can receive between €0.5 and 2.5 million to finance innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, piloting, scaling up, and miniaturisation.

Around 645 projects in total should be funded in 2014. This number will rise to 670 in 2015. The call for proposals is constantly open and the next deadlines for evaluation are 24th of September and 17th of December 2014 for Phase 1, and 9th of October and 17th December 2014 for Phase 2.

Click here for a list of the 155 winners and the interactive map of Innovative EU SMEs.

More details -> EUROPA – PRESS RELEASES – Press release – EU SME Instrument: first 155 winners of grants announced.

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)

All material provided by EU

Innovation Union, a Horizon 2020 target

As one of the key elements of EU 2020 strategy, the Innovation Union is the enabler in creating an innovation-friendly environment across EU that makes it easier for great ideas to be turned into products and services. This is shifting the focus from traditional R&D incentives to academia, towards R&I incentives that are more inclusive for enterprises.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over seven years (2014-2020). Find out more about Horizon 2020 in this three-minute animation which will give you a general overview of the programme. (more details here ->

Interested in learning more about EU funding opportunities for your research or innovation project? This short animation will guide you through the steps you will need to take to apply to Horizon 2020. (more details here ->

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

Content provided from EU.