Small and Medium-sized Enterprises that are EU-based can now get EU funding and support for innovation projects that will help them grow and expand their activities into other countries in Europe and beyond.
Provided with about €3 billion in funding over the period 2014-20, the SME Instrument helps high-potential SMEs to develop ground-breaking innovative ideas for products, services or processes that are ready to face global market competition.
The scheme has opened a new highway to innovation through phased, progressive and complimentary support:
- Phase I (proof-of-concept): 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 per project (70% of total cost of the project), and receive more support in case of a positive outcome!
- Business innovation grants for feasibility assessment purposes
- Phase II (development & demonstration): Develop your sound, ground-breaking business idea further with the help of a grant in the order of € 500,000 to 2,5 million (70% of total cost of the project) into a market-ready product, service or process!
- Business innovation grants for innovation development & demonstration purposes
- Phase III (go-to-market): Take advantage of additional EU support to enter the market successfully (no grants).
- Access to a wide range of innovation support services and facilitated access to risk finance to facilitate the commercial exploitation of the innovation.
- Free-of-charge business coaching to support and enhance the firm's innovation capacity and help align the project to strategic business needs.
Highly innovative SMEs with a clear commercial ambition and a potential for high growth and internationalisation are the prime target.