The European Commission has made a call for innovative ideas to fund and support as a part of the SME Instrument – a key feature of the Horizon 2020 Programme.
They ‘are looking for high-growth, highly innovative SMEs with global ambitions that want to disrupt the established value networks and existing markets. You should be driven, actively investing in innovation, and looking to grow.’
The program is structured in three phases and begins with the transformation of the idea to a concept. The second stage of the process consists of getting the concept to market maturity through innovative activities like demonstrations, testing, piloting, scaling up and at this point, SME’s can be granted up to €2.5 million. In the commercialisation phase, the European Commission will grant only the counseling initiatives with no additional direct funding offered. The idea being that the companies will have had enough financial support by that time to fund future growth themselves or via other VC opportunities.
Topics to be funded by the programme include ‘Accelerating the uptake of nanotechnologies, advanced materials or advanced manufacturing and processing technologies by SMEs’, ‘Supporting innovative SMEs in the healthcare biotechnology sector ‘ or ‘Stimulating the innovation potential of SMEs for sustainable and competitive agriculture, forestry, agri-food and bio-based sectors’ among many others.
More information on application due dates, conditions of participation and finance options offered can be found on the European Commission web page: