SME Instrument, H2020

€1.6 billion in available funding through the SME instrument, part of the Horizon 2020 programme, for high-potential innovation by Start-ups and SMEs.

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Your highway to innovation.



Up to €2.5 million - Innovation Project

Indicative range of €500,000 – €2.5 million or more (covering up to 70% of eligible costs) is available for innovation projects underpinned by a sound and strategic business plan (potentially elaborated and partially funded through Phase 1 of the SME Instrument).


Duration and Activities for funding:

Project duration typically 1 to 2 years. Activities funded in Phase 2 can be of several types: prototyping, miniaturization, scaling-up, design, performance verification, testing, demonstration, development of pilot lines, validation for market replication, including other activities aimed at bringing innovation to investment readiness and maturity for market take-up.


€50,000 - Feasibility Study (Optional)

Lump sum of €50,000 per project is available for exploring and assessing the technical feasibility and commercial potential of a breakthrough innovation that a company wants to exploit and commercialize.


Duration and Activities for funding:

Project duration up to 6 months. Funded activities could include: risk assessment, design or market studies, intellectual property exploration; the ultimate goal is to put a new product, service or process in the market, possibly through an innovative application of existing technologies, methodologies, or business processes.


Commercialization Support

With the view of facilitating the commercial exploitation of the innovation activities resulting from Phase 1 or Phase 2, specific activities will be proposed. These can include support for further developing investment readiness, linking with private investors and customers through brokerage activities, assistance in applying for further EU risk finance, and a range of other innovation support activities and services offered via the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN).



Optional Innovation and Business Development Coaching is offered in parallel throughout phases 1 and 2 to help SMEs:

- Enhance the company’s innovation capacity

- Align the project to the identified business development strategy

- Develop the co mmercial/economic impact and long term sustainability.