European Commission announces first SMEs to benefit from €3bn
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.
Details of the SME Instrument funding programme: