FASI: Funding Aid Strategies Investments

SME Instrument - enterprises selected under Phase 2

38 innovative small and medium enterprises have been selected for funding under the SME Instrument Phase 2.

Idea - foto Pixabay

SME instrument

The SME instrument has been designed specifically for single or groups of highly innovative SMEs with international ambitions, determined to turn strong, innovative business ideas into winners on the market. The instrument provides full-cycle business innovation support from the stage of business idea conception and planning (phase I) over business plan execution and demonstration (phase II) to commercialisation (phase III). Participants will be able to call on business innovation coaching for the duration of their project.

Specifically, the three phases consist in:

  • phase I (proof-of-concept): to explore the scientific or technical feasibility and commercial potential of your new idea in order to develop an innovation project, with the help of a € 50,000 grant, and to receive more support in case of a positive outcome,
  • phase II (development and demonstration): to develop the ground-breaking business idea further with the help of a grant in the order of € 500,000 to 2,5 million into a market-ready product, service or process,
  • phase III (go-to-market): to take advantage of additional EU support to enter the market successfully (no grants).

Selection under the Phase II

38 SMEs from 13 countries have been selected under the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2. Each project, 33 in total, will receive up to € 2.5 million (€ 5 million for health projects) to finance innovation activities like demonstration, testing, piloting, scaling up and miniaturisation, in addition to developing a mature business plan for their product. The 38 companies will also benefit from 12 days of business coaching. Most projects are proposed by a single SME.

The European Commission received 960 project proposals under Phase 2 by the third cut-off date for 2015 on 17 September. The success rate for this cut-off is 3.4%, amounting to total project costs of € 55.3 million.

Italian SMEs were the most successful with 10 beneficiaries who will receive € 12.7 million in total, followed by 9 Spanish SMEs who will receive € 13.5 million.

Since the launch of the programme on 1st January 2014, 311 SMEs have been selected under Phase 2 of the SME Instrument.