European Commission announces first SMEs to benefit from €3bn innovation fund

9 October 2014

The European Commission has published a list of the 155 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) that will be the first to benefit from its new 'SME Instrument' funding stream.

The SMEs from 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 projects may later be considered for further financial support from the Commission worth up to €2.5 million.

The SME instrument is a €3 billion fund launched under Horizon 2020, the EU's new €80 billion research funding programme, to help innovative small firms get innovative projects from the lab to the market. SMEs from EU Member States or countries associated to Horizon 2020 can apply.

The response to the first round of selection was remarkable, with 2662 proposals from the countries participating in Horizon 2020 (IP/14/876). Evaluation by independent experts showed that 317 of the proposals met the evaluation standard. Of those, 155, or 49%, have been selected for funding. p>

ThThe 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. The beneficiaries will also develop their business plan.

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: 

  • 17 December 2014 for Phase 1; and
  • 9 October and 17 December 2014 for Phase 2.

Further information

Details of the SME Instrument funding programme:

Horizon 2020:


To top