EASME news

EASME news

Maritime spatial planning (MSP) works across borders to ensure human activities at sea take place in an efficient, safe and sustainable way. A new study presents an overview of what data and knowledge are needed by Member States for MSP decision making and implementing MSP legislation.

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators

With more than 2.3 million people worldwide dying every year as a result of work-related accidents, industries have a real challenge in reducing risks in hazardous work environments. e-Vision monitors large industrial installations to make sure risks are under control and employees know when and how to react.

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators

Surprised by the end of year bill for your car maintenance? Imagine if instead of a yearly visit to technical control your car's health was monitored all year round with an integrated system that would alert you as soon as something went wrong.

Marine protected areas (MPA) are a key conservation measure to safeguard marine ecosystems and biodiversity. They are established in an attempt to strike a balance between ecological constraints and economic activity. But what is their real impact? Do they represent a benefit or a challenge for "blue economy"? Take part in a survey!​

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators

With their groundbreaking technology, New Gluten World aims to make wheat flour accessible to celiac, intolerant or gluten-sensitive patients - all this with a safe and natural process that doesn't harm the environment. 

Horizon 2020 funded WADI project has successfully tested an innovative water leak detection surveillance service. A plane equipped with hyper-spectral and infrared cameras recorded images of the irrigation network in the South-East of France.

Five Horizon 2020 SME Instrument-funded companies have made it to the Financial Times 1000 fastest growing EU startups. 

The European Commission received 1222 proposals for SME Instrument Phase before the latest cut-off date on 6 April 2017.

After a thorough evaluation process, the SME Instrument – Overseas Trade Fairs team is proud to introduce you to the 15 EU Champions selected for the BIO International Convention 2017, which will take place on 19-22 June, in San Diego.

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators

The Horizon 2020's SME Instrument – funded SOMA project might help you beat depression and stress at work with smartphones. 

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators

Waiting time in checkout lines is a key factor in customer satisfaction and generates highs costs for retailers worldwide. YouBeep allows shoppers to checkout a full shopping cart, pay and leave the store in under a minute, using only a smartphone.

INNOLABS is searching for innovative ideas to revolutionize healthcare.

184 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 28 countries have been selected for funding in the latest round of the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument.

The BioBase4SME project, co-financed by Europe’s Interreg NWE programme, is now providing start-up companies working in the bioeconomy with €7,000 worth of specialist training, fully funded by the project. An intensive, week-long Innovation Biocamp will give these companies the tools they need to commercialise their idea and grow their company. The training culminates in a live pitch to investors.

On 29-30 March, over 170 representatives from the Intermediary Organisations participating in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) programme met in Brussels to take stock of their latest achievements, share their experiences to improve their work and recognise outstanding practices.

The next Business Beyond Borders (BBB) matchmaking event will take place in Cape Town (South Africa) at African Utility Week (AUW), a leading water and power utility trade fair, in May 2017.

Your company is working on a solution that benefits the climate or the environment?

Check the EU's LIFE programme: You might be eligible to receive up to 60% co-financing.

The European Commission is setting up an informal expert group to advice the Commission with the scientific, technical and operational expertise on matters concerning marine observation notably by:

The templates for SME Instrument Phase1 and Phase 2 have been updated to include an assessment of expected impacts on society and the environment. 

Looking to gain and exchange knowledge on clean energy topics?
This year's EU Sustainable Energy Week is even more dynamic, featuring a Networking Village (21-22 June) with highly interactive activities that you can apply for until 31 March!

EASME is organising 3 webinars on procurement of energy efficient solutions on Wednesday 22 March 2017. €20 million of funding is available

After a thorough evaluation process, the SME Instrument team is proud to introduce 15 innovative companies that will participate to IEexpo 2017. The delegation has been selected as part of the SME Instrument Overseas Trade Fairs programme that helps SME Instrument companies internationalise their business by giving them a privileged access to global trade fairs.

71 small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) from 22 countries have been selected for funding in the latest round of the Horizon2020 SME Instrument Phase 2

Far from gaming centres, virtual reality is slowly gaining prominence in the medical field as different applications such as diagnostics tools, testing equipment and therapeutic devices are gradually being developed. SME Instrument-funded VIMIND is part of this emerging trend with their diagnostics tool that use virtual reality to spot mental illnesses. 

The European Commission has received 401 proposals for projects in the areas of climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials by the call deadline on 7 March 2017.

The European Union is sending a delegation to Mission Innovation 2 and the 8th Clean Energy Ministerial meeting in Beijing, China on 6-8 June 2017 and is looking for clean energy projects to exhibit at the summit's Technology Exhibition.

Do you think clean energy is not only important, but an imperative moving forward? The call for stimulating your own debate at the Policy Conference of the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) has been extended. You have until 10 March to submit an application to host a 90-minute panel discussion, roundtable, seminar or world café.

European Union Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held in Brussels from 19 to 25 June and your innovative solution could be featured at this year's Awards Ceremony in front of more than 3000 participants. The call for original and innovative projects has been extended to 10 March. You now have an extra week to convince the expert judges that your project deserves to be a EUSEW 2017 winner!

Would you be willing to add 1 € to your online purchases to support charity projects? EU-funded Worldcoo makes this possible with a simple click, by adding a widget – a small application – on a commercial website and offers you to chip in for charity or environmental projects run by NGOs, just before you check out your online shopping basket.

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators

Irish start-up Artomatix has just closed a seed round and has raises €2.1m to develop 3d immersive worlds using artificial intelligence. 

Mark your agendas and register now:

31 May 2017, Brussels – Information & Networking Event on the 2017 funding opportunities for green technology, nature conservation and climate projects under the EU's LIFE programme.

Pitching your project is the essential step to get investors, angels, partners or clients interested in your brilliant idea. No doubt that you are already masters at this, but it's always useful to have more insight from people who are used to listening at this as their jobs. Here are a few tips and tricks we gathered from top investors at the SME Instrument Innovators Summit to make your pitch worth the elevator ride.

Looking for an opportunity to leverage your project’s scale and visibility? Participate in the EU Sustainable Energy Week Spark Show!

The EU Sustainable Week held in Brussels from 19 to 25 June has just opened the call to showcase your innovative, impactful, inspiring and replicable projects aiming at ensuring Clean Energy for All Europeans at the Networking Village on 21 June 2017. All European citizens, social enterprises and initiatives, companies and NGOs are welcome to apply until Friday 31 March 2017.

Meet the SME Instrument innovators

Increase the volume with touching a button, control your oven with a wave of the hand and heat up your car seat without taking your eyes off the road? This will soon become a reality. Ultrahaptics has developed a unique technology that enables users to receive tactile feedback without needing to wear or touch anything. The technology uses ultrasound to project sensations through the air and directly onto the hand. 

COSME-funded project Business Beyond Borders (BBB) brings over 200 companies together in Madrid (Spain) this week to participate at leading Energy and Environment International Trade Fair, GENERA 2017.

TactoTek has developed electronics encapsulated within light, thin, mass produced 3D plastics. But what can these be used for? For example, in a car overhead panel with integrated capacitive touch buttons, slider and both map and courtesy lights. 

After a thorough evaluation process, the SME Instrument team is proud to introduce you to the 9 innovative companies that will participate to the Malaysia International Halal Showcase 2017.The delegation has been selected as part of the SME Instrument Overseas Trade Fairs programme that helps companies funded under the SME Instrument to internationalise their business, by giving them priviledged access to global trade fairs.

More than 300 farmers, irrigators and SMEs visited the demonstration site of an EU-funded project MASLOWATEN in Villena (Spain) on 10 February. 360 kilowatt peak (kWp) photovoltaics-based pumping for agricultural irrigation system that reduces electricity costs up to 75% was installed there in 2016.  

After a thorough evaluation process, the SME Instrument team is proud to introduce you to the 10 innovative companies that will participate to the 7th Fiber Optics Expo, which will take place on 5-7 April 2017, in Tokyo. The delegation has been selected as part of the SME Instrument Overseas Trade Fairs programme that helps companies funded under the SME Instrument to internationalise their business, by giving them priviledged access to global trade fairs.

Would you like to scale-up on the global market? With the SME Instrument OTF programme we support your internationalisation plans by giving you easier access to overseas trade fairs. We are pleased to announce five new calls to participate to international trade fairs. Global-minded Phase 1 and Phase 2 companies are welcome to apply!

Meet the SME Instrument innovators

Tiny cameras providing 2D and 3D-Images, integrated in a single lens in mobile devices – does it sound like a James Bond gadget? Well, it isn't! Photonic Sensors and Algorithms, a Spanish company, created this disruptive device introducing a paradigm changer in one of the highest growth areas in consumer technologies.

The water cycle is being affected by climate change, which is seriously increasing the risk of heavy rains and extreme droughts, and has huge societal and economic impacts. 

BINGO (Bringing INnovation to onGOing water management - a better future under climate change), a Horizon 2020 funded project, studies how average and extreme conditions of climate change scenarios will influence the water cycle in the next 10 years. 

Space offers valuable services like weather forecasting, navigations, telecommunications and security. However the space around our planet is slowly getting filled with orbital junk. D-orbit has taken on itself to clean up space from old satellites. 

The plastic bags we use for only a few minutes can last for as long as 15 to 1,000 years in the environment, suffocating our oceans and causing remarkable damage to our environment. About 1 trillion plastic bags are used every year, with 89% of them only oncePAPTIC® is a next generation packaging material offers an unseen combination of the qualities of both paper and plastics. Paptic has all the advantages of plastic - it's versatile, reusable, light-weight, soft - but it's made from renewable raw materials and is recyclable!

On 28 February 2017, 400 key industrial players, global trend shapers and high-level policy makers will meet in Brussels for the first ever European Industry Day. And the SME Instrument will be there with 7 ultra-innovative companies!

Cities have a key role to play in reaching a sustainable, efficient and equitable management of natural resources, including water. BlueSCities, a Horizon 2020 project, focused on integrating water and waste within the smart cities approach.

On 23 February 2017, Horizon 2020 FISSAC project is hosting a webinar on industrial symbiosis tools and best practices. 

EASME just released an infographic explaining the basics of the programme. You can order hard copies for free until 10 March 2017

For the first cut-off of the SME Instrument Phase 1 in 2017 the European Commission received a total of 2111 proposals.

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators: Microphyt

French company Microphyt is developing a "super ingredient" based on microalgae that could actively improve weight management and people's cognitive functions, like memory, attention and reasoning.

It may come as a surprise that the air on an urban road with average traffic may actually be cleaner than the air in our living rooms. Studies indicate that some harmful air pollutants can exist in higher concentrations in indoor spaces than outdoors. Airlite brings a breath of fresh air into our houses with a paint that purifies indoor air using only sunlight. 

Meet the SME Instrument innovators

Speed junkies and sensation seekers, here's an invention that could literally change your lives. In&Motion has created a wearable airbag with intelligent technology. 

European Union Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held in Brussels from 19 to 25 June. During the Awards Ceremony, 12 final project nominees will be given the opportunity to present their well implemented and impactful ideas to more than 3000 participants.

What's the common link between migrating birds, a collapsing bridge and a windmill? The answer is a bladeless wind turbine. Vortex Bladeless converts a natural wind phenomenon, which led the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to sway and break in 1940, into renewable energy. The turbine works without blades, saving migrating birds from sudden collision. ​

The European Commission has selected three new projects for funding under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The new 'Blue technology' projects will help bring research results faster to the market. Grant agreements are being prepared for signature by April 2017.

We love to hear back from companies we fund - especially when they have great news! Innovative language learning platform Lingvist recently finished their Horizon 2020 project and, thanks to the funding, attracted additional private investment, most recently from global Internet services company Rakuten – to the tune of €7.2 million. Congratulations Lingvist!

Although many European cities have committed to energy saving actions, non-technological barriers are still delaying the use of Energy Performance Contracts as a tool to open up saving potentials. The EU funded project EESI 2020 addressed these barriers and supported the implementation of long-lasting energy saving measures in major cities and metropolitan regions across Europe. But what were the results? The implementation of the first public Energy Performance Contracts in Croatia was one of the biggest achievements.

We are looking for experts on coastal and maritime tourism to help us select project proposals for funding under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and to monitor their implementation.

The European Commission is awarding nearly €33.5 million to bring more innovative ideas to market quicker. The 17 benefitting projects, involving 80 partners in 19 countries, will receive around €2 million each under the sixth and last round of the €200 million Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) pilot scheme run since January 2015 under the EU's research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.

EU Sustainable Week will be held in Brussels from 19 to 25 June. The calls for conference sessions and awards have just been launched with a deadline of 3 March 2017. We are waiting for you to apply!

Millions women and children in the world need to walk dozens of kilometres every day to fetch water. SOLVATTEN is an innovative portable device that gives access to clean, hot water in homes that are off the grid. At the head of the company is Petra Wadström, who has recently been nominated as a finalist for the EU Prize for Women Innovators.  

The European Commission has selected six 'blue career' and four 'blue labs' projects for funding under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). Grant agreements are being prepared for signature.

North African countries will face serious challenges in the next decades regarding water scarcity. Anticipating the impact this might have on food production and economic growth by finding technological and non-technological solutions is MADFORWATER's goal. 

Greek company Planetek Hellas will participate to the new European Space Agency study on hyperspectral imaging to support the 2nd generation of the Copernicus Programme. The study will assess the future needs in terms of hyperspectral imaging, coordinate those needs with planned satellite missions and evaluate what existing or future infrastructures are needed to fulfill these needs.

Starting 2017 there's still time to set up some New Year's resolutions. See how our projects are trying to help households, start-ups, and industries among others, to save energy this year.

We gathered five tips that could help you reduce your energy bills, shift to more energy-conscious behaviour, or even get your household, business or city be more energy efficient.


Meet the SME Instrument Innovators:

90% of cancer related deaths are due to the disease spreading in the body. Not all cancers are prone to develop into a generalised cancer however. Oncomark is working on protein markers that can predict years beforehand whether a breast cancer patient will develop metastases. 

For the first cut-off of 2017, EASME received 1534 Phase 2 projects proposals from 37 countries; most by Spanish (257), Italian (224) and British (144) companies.


The European Commission invites European green businesses to join a circular economy delegation to South Africa on 2-5 May 2017.

The delegation will be led by Daniel Calleja, the European Commission's Director-General for the Environment.

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators: Zehus

Hybrid bikes are slowly overtaking conventional motorcycles and mopeds in Europe – and they may soon be available in your city for sharing. The BITRIDE BIKE SHARING proposes a bike sharing system based on a fleet of hybrid bikes that don't need fixed charging stations. 

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators: Clean-tech company Hydrokemos

Algal bloom may sound pleasant but in fact it kills aquatic life by consuming all the oxygen from the water, seriously damaging our environment. Most of it is due to excess nutrients applied to the soil, including nitrates. SME Instrument- funded Hydrokemos will demonstrate and commercialise the first clean-tech equipment to purify nitrate-polluted water. Hydrokemos just got an extra investment of 500.000 from Victòria Venture Capital ​to help their project skyrocket.

On Valentine’s Day, the Concerted Action on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (CA-EPBD) is holding a public workshop in Malta to discuss with experts the latest research and innovation in smart buildings in the context of European policies. Speakers from industry, academia and the European Commission will share their expertise with the participants and online audience.

Uniting the world in the fight against cancer is the goal of Word Cancer Day that, which will be celebrated on 4th February. EASME has funded 56 projects, through the SME Instrument, which are developing new ways to approach cancer diagnosis and treatment. We thought this was the right moment to share some of these projects with you.

Renewable energy i.e. solar, wind and biomass, and energy efficiency projects account for 40% of the investments made through the SME Instrument in the field of energy. Top three countries include Spain, Italy and UK with most projects funded.

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators

Each of us gets injured at one time or another; and most of the little wounds are forgotten quickly. But the healing of serious injuries, such as burns might be a very different, painful and long-term story. However a new substance being developed by Czech company Enantis, could change all this. Its researchers adjusted a specific growth protein that can help skin repair itself much faster than normal.

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators

In the last decades, the world became a smaller place as traveling became more affordable and accessible. Today, having smartphones in our pockets and the necessary information at our fingertips, has made exploring the world that much easier still. But many travellers miss one thing - authenticity – which was the case for Marijn Maas, co-founder of Withlocals, an application, which promises to connect people across cultures and bring them a real, local experience. 

As of 1 January 2017, the family of associated countries that are able to fully participate in Horizon 2020 opened also to Switzerland. Consequently, Swiss companies can benefit from the SME Instrument programme, from which they were excluded until now.

Play with the Energy Cat and learn about the energy savings from changing user behaviour and installing energy-efficiency measures. In this serious game, users play with a cat that teaches, gives advice and corrects humans’ energy non-sense. 

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators

Learning a foreign language is often tough and time consuming, as one of the co-founders of the Estonian start-up Lingvist, Mait Müntel, realised himself when living abroad. So he decided to face the challenge with a unique solution based on computational science.


Citizens' Observatories are community-based environmental monitoring and information systems. They build on innovative and novel Earth observation applications embedded in portable or mobile personal devices.  This means that citizens can help and be engaged in observing our environment. 

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators

The number of passengers in airports has increased from 2000 to 2014 from 1.6 billion to over 3.3 billion worldwide, making it a challenge for airport's to smoothly handle the crowds of travellers. AMORPH.aero is an innovative software for airports that aims to cut down congestion. 

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators

60 million people suffer from diabetes in Europe, 90% of which are Type 2. Functional foods have emerged as a way of preventing diabetes but so far there have been no significant advances. Horizon 2020's SME Instrument-funded company Nuritas has found a ground-breaking peptide molecule that regulates blood sugar – a real breakthrough in the battle against Type 2 diabetes. This recent discovery caught the eye of U2's Bono and The Edge, who brought added fame to the fast-growing Irish company by becoming investors.​

184 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 28 countries have been selected for funding in the latest round of the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument.

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators

Svenska Aerogel Holding AB has a cutting edge technology to revolutionise the insulation market with a new nano-material for long-term use and a sustainable future – Quartzene®. The company has been approved for listing on Nasdaq First North from 20 December 2016. 

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators

Imagine being able to hear, feel and think – but not see or move. Recent research shows that coma patients have more abilities to understand than what was previously thought. Austrian project ComaWare helps patients in coma to communicate through brain-computer interface technologies – a headset and sensors that registers brain activity. 

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators

Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) uses mirrors and glass to concentrate solar power in small areas and transforms it into electricity. This sets a new standard in terms of low carbon footprint for solar energy, but until now, the used technology known as parabolic troughs has been resource and energy intensive to build and maintain. HELIOtube is building a cheaper and less resource intensive technology using recyclable plastic films as a raw material. And they are among the first companies that have used SME Instrument funds to build their power plant!

Register now and come to discuss about financing mechanisms to mobilise investments in sustainable energy. Learn from successful schemes implemented at local and regional level. Experts will present available financial products as well as practical challenges to scale them up. A special focus will be given to structuring the market and, in particular to: standardisation, aggregation and de-risking of energy efficiency assets.

What’s your action plan? If you are planning to run the marathon or just go for a walk, chances are that your approach is completely different.

We want to give you some ideas on how to increase your outreach and learn from successful EU-funded projects.

The European Commission has selected 23 projects that will receive around €184 million under Horizon 2020's Societal Challenge "Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials".

All project coordinators of the "Blue careers" and "Blue labs" calls for proposals have now been informed of the evaluation results. 

Around two thirds of aviation accidents are caused by pilot errors who have to translate information from the control panel into a 3D environment. Aeroglass' head-mounted display shows the information in the lenses and help pilots visualise the information in 3D in real-time in front of them. 

71 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 17 countries have been selected for funding in the pilot run of the Horizon 2020 SME Innovation Associate programme.

58 small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) from 16 countries have been selected for funding in the latest round of the Horizon2020 SME Instrument Phase 2. In this phase of the instrument, each project will receive up to €2.5 million (€5 million for health projects) to finance innovation activities. The total amount to be distributed between the SMEs working on 51 projects is €80 million.

Are you part of an environment project funded by Horizon 2020? And are you looking for a potential partner? Or do you want to know more about projects in your field or country? Here's the new way to navigate through all this information in a dynamic and easy way: the environment data hub!

The Commissions' new Start-up and Scale-up Initiative aims to give the most innovative European entrepreneurs the opportunity to take their start-ups from the ideas stage into world leading companies.

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators

Ibis Power is a Dutch company providing renewable energy solutions. In April 2015, IBIS Power obtained €1,7M under the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument programme for a renewably energy project  that will help to overcome shortcomings in existing renewable energy technologies. The roof-mounted structure known as PowerNEST combines wind and solar power systems. It is more efficient than any free-standing small wind mill, and more efficient per square meter than solar panels.

On 10 and 11 October, the first "SME Instrument Innovators Summit", attended by more than 600 participants, took place in Brussels. The main objective of the gathering was to provide further support to SME Instrument beneficiaries. This goes far beyond a grant provision. The SME Instrument focuses on continuous improvement, ensuring networking, learning opportunities and facilitating access to business partners and investors. An analysis of the ex-post survey confirms that participants' expectations have been met and the overall success rate reached 93%.

Over 3 million construction workers will need to increase their skills in the building sector in relation to energy efficiency and renewable energy by 2020.  This and other outcomes showing the importance of developing a qualified workforce are gathered in the latest EU BUILD UP Skills report.

Portuguese health company Exogenus Therapeutics (Exo-T) has won the Everis Foundation Award 2016. The award distinguishes every year projects from Industry, Biotechnology & Health, and Digital Economy. The fifteenth edition received more than 600 applications from 10 countries. As a winner, Exo-T will be awarded 60.000 euros, and will have access to consultancy from i-deals, the technology broker of Everis, valued at 10.000 euros. 

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators

Nova Innovation is a Scottish-based company founded in 2010 that designs, builds, installs and operates tidal energy projects. Operating from two sites in Edinburgh and Shetland, Nova Innovation installed the world’s first community-owned tidal energy device in 2014. In August 2016 the company announced the deployment of the world’s first fully-operational, grid-connected offshore tidal array in Shetland. This has granted growing recognition to the company as one of the world’s leading tidal energy technology companies. 

High-skilled workers are becoming more and more sought after on global labour markets, especially in the fast moving ICT sector. The current 13% shortage of high-skilled workers will translate into a shortage of 85 million people in 2020. Cross Border Talents has set itself the goal of selecting, training and placing about half a million highly skilled ICT professionals until 2020. And to do this they have an innovative methodology.

The first edition of "Raw Materials Week", organised by the European Commission, kicks off in Brussels on 28 November 2016. A wide range of stakeholders will be present to debate and discuss raw materials policy and initiatives. Here are some projects, funded by Horizon 2020, which are addressing the new challenges regarding raw materials in the EU and giving input to policy making.

Over 20.000 applications received, € 500 million invested in more than 1400 projects and more than € 692 million of private equity attracted. Since 2014, the European Union's new € 80 billion Framework Program for Research and Innovation - Horizon 2020 – contains a dedicated tool for financing innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) . ​

Did you know that almost half of the companies applying to the SME Instrument are micro-sized enterprises, that most companies apply for ICT and that Ireland is the most efficient country in getting its proposals funded?

The European Commission and the project NCPs Care are organising « Innovative by Nature: Responding to Societal Challenges through Nature-Based Solutions and Cultural Heritage », an Information Day and Brokerage event.

The world's leading medical trade fair takes place in Düsseldorf from 14 - 17 November 2016. Medica 2016 gathers professionals from the medical industry to discuss latest trends and novelties.


The European Commission has awarded grants to 28 new environment, climate action and circular economy projects as part of its Horizon 2020 programme.

Interactive figures and statistics, an easily loadable map with all the companies funded by the SME Instrument, a list of projects in your business area or region – you name it! Our new interactive data hub goes live today and will be able to cater for all your needs. 

Several EU-funded Earth observation projects will join discussions on global Earth observation initiatives at the GEO-XIII plenary on 7-10 November in St. Petersburg.

The European Commission is providing almost EUR 31 million for three new Arctic Blue Growth research projects.

After each cut-off hundreds of small companies that applied for the SME Instrument get an Evaluation Summary Report (ESR) announcing the results of their submission. But how are the SME Instrument proposals scored?

The study presents existing data on the extent and nature of non-local labour across the EU fisheries sector.

189 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 24 countries have been selected for funding in the latest round of the Horizon2020 SME Instrument.

Help us evaluate project proposals. The European Commission is looking for experienced professionals in this area to evaluate and recommend proposals for funding under the H2020 Energy Efficiency Call for Proposals in the area of Heating and Cooling.

SME Instrument Innovators Summit invited Katja Bergmann, a partner at a private investment company Moor, to share her insights into the world of business and investment. We have narrowed it down to a list of must-haves for startups to achieve high quality investment:

Are you interested in our activities in the maritime and fisheries field? Have a look at our new database!

Would you like to showcase your company in famous international trade fairs and find business opportunities abroad? The SME Instrument helps you do this! 

After the SME Instrument Innovators Summit we are sharing a series of blog posts with best tips and tricks for ambitious and globally-minded entrepreneurs.

For the fourth and last cut-off of the SME Instrument Phase 2 this year, EASME received 1,376 project proposals from 34 countries.

After the SME Instrument Innovators Summit we are sharing a series of blog posts with best tips and tricks for ambitious and globally-minded entrepreneurs.

With SME Instrument Innovators Summit over, we are sharing the things we've learned during knowledge-packed two days here in Brussels.

We start with lesson 1 – tips for entrepreneurs.

The European Commission and UNESCO are jointly organising the 2nd International Conference on Marine/Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in March 2017 in Paris. Given the rising international interest in Maritime Spatial Planning, it is time to take stock of the latest developments and to discuss on how to achieve and accelerate successful MSP worldwide. 

After two intensive days of workshops, pitching and networking at the Innovators Summit in Brussels, it's a wrap! We've learned so much, with all the experts present at the very first edition of the SME Instruments Innovators Summit. European Innovation Leaders had a chance to meet partners, possible investors, peers and their SME Instrument project officers.

SME Instrument Innovators Summit kicked off today at 12h00. Twenty exhibitors and nearly 600 participants gathered at The Egg, in Brussels. 

The SME Instrument is not only about funding innovation in small businesses – it also offers intensive coaching and mentoring to increase the chances of companies to survive on the market and grow. 

After the calls for interest for attending Fiber Optics Expo and Malaysia International Halal Showcase, the applications are now also open for the IE Expo taking place in Shanghai, China, in May 2017 and BIO taking place in San Diego, USA, in June 2017.

More than 30 % of households in South East European countries are not able to adequately heat their homes at affordable prices. Vulnerable families see their health and resources severely affected, especially during winter. This is why the EU supported project REACH is ongoing in Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to provide onsite support to  energy poor households.

On 10-11 October 2016 the SME Instrument invites the CEOs of more than 400 SMEs with high innovation potential to Brussels for the first ever SME Instrument Innovators' Summit.

The Aquaculture Europe 2016 conference and exhibition, taking place in Edinburgh from 20-23 September, is the most important European aquaculture event of the year, organised by the European Aquaculture Society with the support of the European Commission.

This week Bratislava hosts the Digital Week with two events showcasing two companies supported by the SME Instrument: EDICO and R-DAS.

We recently announced the launch of the Overseas Trade Fair Participation (OTF) programme, as part of the SME Instrument’s third phase – Commercialisation services.

Besides the 17th edition of Fiber Optics Expo, SME Instrument Champions can now apply for the 14th edition of Malaysia International Halal Showcase which will take place on 5-7 April 2017, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Help us promote the 2017 calls for proposals of Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge "Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials".

Learn about EU projects on ecosystem services: On 20 September, the European Commission will present EU programmes and projects at the European Ecosystem Services Conference at the University of Antwerp.

For the third cut-off of the SME Instrument Phase 1 this year, EASME received 1,938 project proposals from 40 countries.

As part of the Overseas Trade Fairs programme, we offer the companies funded by the SME Instrument a free booth at the 17th Fiber Optics Expo (FOE), that will take place on 5-7 April 2017 in Tokyo Big Sight, Japan !

University halls of residence across Europe are competing against each other to see who can save the most energy. The EU-funded project SAVES, supports university students in minimising their carbon footprints and promoting energy efficiency.

We are pleased to announce that the Overseas Trade Fair Participation (OTF) programme is now launched, as part of the SME Instrument’s third phase – Commercialisation services. The OTF programme aims to support the international commercialisation of EU innovations developed under Phases 1 and 2 of the SME Instrument. 

The list of evaluators who select the most promising projects for the SME Instrument has been published today. The list contains more than 1200 experts that have worked for us in 2015. Evaluators are categorised by nationality and topic.

Publishing the list is meant to increase transparency and avoid conflicts of interest. This is of course part of a set of measures taken to ensure funds are distributed in an equal way. So how does the system work? 

We are looking for experts to evaluate project proposals on climate action, environment, energy efficiency and innovation in small and medium-sized businesses.

We would be very grateful if you could take a brief moment to answer our survey so we can learn about how you perceive the SME Instrument brand. This will help us make our work more relevant to you. The survey shouldn't take more than 3-5 minutes of your time. Your answers will be confidential.

The survey is open until 2nd October 2016.



Life-long learning and knowledge sharing are at the heart of two EU-funded projects developing education and training programmes to upgrade the skills of building professionals. These include free and accredited e-learning schemes and a library of training material with over 100 000 entries among others.

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators

Graphene has been heralded to revolutionise high-tech industry thanks to its ground-breaking physical and mechanical properties. Since it was discovered in 2004, the wonder material has attracted interest from industry across the board, but its potential has so far reached few concrete applications on the market. SME Instrument champion Skeleton Technologies has cracked the challenge and found an application for graphene in its high-power ultracapacitors.

The EU Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) Platform is an online service for Member States to share relevant knowledge and experience on Maritime Spatial Planning.

Over 2100 exhibitors presenting their innovation in the maritime sector will gather in Hamburg from 6th until 9th September 2016 at the SMM, the leading maritime trade fair held regularly every two years. SME Instrument will be present with eight most innovative companies in the field.

The European Commission is awarding nearly €32 million to bring innovative ideas to market quicker. The 15 benefitting projects, involving 70 partners in 19 countries, will receive around €2 million each under the fifth round of the Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) scheme run under the EU's research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.

The Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2016-2017 has been updated on 25 July, bringing novelties to the SME Instrument programme. The good news is that the SME Instrument budget has been increased to € 437.5 million to be invested in innovation small and medium-sized businesses.

Stores and retail facilities in the EU could benefit from up to 50% in energy savings thanks to the measures identified by the EU-funded project Night Hawks. These include measures such as turning beverage coolers off at night and replacing lamps with LEDs to reduce night time energy waste. A guidebook with best cases comprises the potential savings identified during “night walks” i.e. on-site energy surveys held at times when businesses are closed to the public.

One of the major objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy is to ensure that the exploitation rates of the fish populations maintain or restore marine resources at level which can produce high and long-term sustainable fishing yield (known as maximum sustainable yield or MSY).

65 small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) from 18 countries have been selected in the latest round of Horizon2020 SME Instrument Phase 2. Each project, 56 in total, will receive up to € 2.5 million (€ 5 million for health projects) to finance innovation activities. The total amount to be distributed between the 65 SMEs is € 89.57 million.

Is my production department energy efficient? How can I measure the energy performances of my company? These are typical questions a manager might ask when looking for energy and costs saving opportunities. EU-funded project Save Energy in Textile SMEs (SET) is helping the textile sector evaluate the share of energy consumption among the different production processes it uses.

Until the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, EU law continues to apply to and within the UK, both when it comes to rights and obligations. This includes the eligibility of UK legal entities to participate and receive funding in Horizon 2020 actions. Experts will not evaluate proposals with UK participants any differently than before.

The European Commission invites small and medium-sized companies to join a circular economy delegation to Beijing on 23-25 November 2016.

189 projects funded by the European Commission between 2008 and 2011 through the Eco-innovation Initiative, brought significant environmental benefits as well as the creation of jobs in Europe. 

The European Commission will invest a total of €86 million coming from new Horizon 2020 grants in 236 innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 31 countries. These are the latest results of calls under the €3 billion SME Instrument, launched under Horizon 2020 to help innovative small firms get ideas from the lab to the market and help generate growth and jobs in Europe. This latest round brings the total number of companies funded by the SME Instrument so far to 2116, with more than € 694,8 million in EU grants.


The deadline to submit applications for the Horizon 2020 SME Innovation Associate pilot programme has now passed. We have received 192 proposals from SMEs who seek support in hiring researchers to help them explore breakthrough innovations.

For the second Phase 2 cut-off in 2016 on 15 June, EASME received 1,189 project proposals from 35 countries.

The European Commission has selected 28 proposals for funding under Horizon 2020's Societal Challenge "Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials".

Empowered consumers can choose energy efficient products and sustainable lifestyles with my Ecogator mobile application.

The first two of the three Blue Growth calls for proposals funded from the EMFF this year have generated very high interest from applicants, resulting in some 80 applications to the Blue Careers call and around 50 to the Blue Labs call.

Our project EE MUSIC has changed the way music festivals and clubs approach energy efficiency and renewable energy through energy workshops, energy calculators, ambassadors, energy audits and collaborations with, for instance, the Eurovision Song Contest.

Île-de-France, the region around Paris, has set itself an ambitious target of reducing energy consumption in buildings by 38% in 2020.  To support this, it has created a semi-public Energy Service Company using Energy Performance Contracting to encourage cost-effective building renovations in large condominiums, social housing and public buildings. This has been done with the support of an EU grant.

About 160 organisations are working together to create a portal where stakeholders can search for, visualise and retrieve with one single command key oceans data concerning a specific place within a certain time.

How can innovators navigate regulatory challenges to bring circular economy solutions to the market? The European Commission invites innovators to join a new pilot scheme – the Innovation Deals for a Circular Economy.

This study is about the setting up of a method to enhance the sustainability of European Union fisheries agreements and to apply the surplus concept foreseen by the Common Fisheries Policy.


The European Commission is awarding nearly €36 million to 16 innovative projects under the fourth round of the Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) scheme, run under the EU's research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.

We continue the series analysing the third criterion addressed in the submission template – quality & efficiency of the implementation and the ways you should address it in your application.

Thanks to the new app, you will have the opportunity to know the participants of EUSEW16 beforehand. Download Presdo today and schedule your bilateral meetings!


Horizon 2020 SME Innovation Associate programme aims to build a bridge of knowledge connecting small business and researchers. With the call deadline drawing near, we are publishing a series of 3 blog posts to help you with your application. This series will focus on the 3 main criteria that are used to rate the submitted projects: excellence, impact and quality & efficiency of the implementation.

Horizon 2020 SME Innovation Associate programme aims to build a bridge of knowledge connecting small business and researchers. With the call deadline drawing near, we are publishing a series of 3 blog posts to help you with your application. This series will focus on the 3 main criteria that are used to rate the submitted projects: excellence, impact and quality & efficiency of the implementation.

This year the EU Sustainable Energy Week will host CEOs from four most innovative European SMEs, who will showcase their projects and share their views on energy efficiency to assembled press and delegates in a dedicated session: "Powered by SMEs – Innovation in energy efficiency".

It's Oceans' Day at EU Green Week 2016: How can we use the many resources the oceans offer while preserving their valuable ecosystems? These 5 projects – funded through the EU's Horizon 2020 programme – are exploring our options.

The sixth conference of the MSP stakeholder series, focussing on MSP Worldwide will be organised on 23-24 June 2016 in University of the Azores, Ponte Delgada, Azores.

EASME will be bring you 4 interesting sessions during the EU Sustainable Energy Week, 13-17 June, including topics on consumers; energy efficiency and business; the international perspectives of energy efficiency in buildings, and innovative financing.  Would you win a prize if you attend them all?

Consumers can know the origin of the electricity they are buying via the regime of electricity source disclosure. Improving the reliability and accuracy of this information was at the heart of EU-funded project Reliable Disclosure Systems for Europe (RE-DISS).

Day 2 of the 2016 EU Green Week is all about investing in our countryside. These five Horizon 2020 projects are just some of the examples of how we can become more resource efficient, preserve biodiversity and protect the ecosystems around us.

You can't wait for your Innovation Associate to support you in exploring your outstanding business idea? Take the SME Associate Fast Lane and save up to 6 months!

The EU Green Week 2016 kicks off in Ljubljana today, this year's European Green Capital. Here are five projects – funded through Horizon 2020 – which help European cities invest in a greener future.

From 22 to 24 June more than a thousand Industrial technology devotees will gather in the RAI Amsterdam to know the latest innovation trends and learn about what European industry will look like in the future. 

Where to find and how to access the money needed to invest in sustainable blue projects? This webinar will cover the major ways to fund projects in blue economy and show how project promoters can combine different funding sources.

Blue Technology is one of the three blue growth calls launched by EASME.

The Blue Economy Business Awards recognise and reward individuals or organisations who have made a specific contribution to bringing and developing innovation in the Blue Economy.

2005 proposals found their way to EASME on the second cut-off date of the year 2016 asking for funding under the SME Instrument Phase 1. 2138 SMEs in total participated in these proposals. 

The European Commission is organising an Information Day on 17 June to advise applicants on the 2016 funding opportunities under the EU's LIFE programme for the environment and climate action.

Meet the SME Instrument Innovators

Holoxica is a high-tech company specialised in holographic 3D visualisation. In May 2016, Holoxica revealed a breakthrough for neuroscience - a full 3D image of human brain fiber pathways. Only couple of months later the company introduced the first ever holographic 3D digital Human Anatomy Atlas prototype. Both products will have a profound impact on medical science giving neurosurgeons and clinicians a fresh insight into identifying, diagnosing and treating a wide range of neurological conditions and providing a detailed perspective of intricate anatomical structures to medical schools and research centres. 

Save the 20 May between 11:00 and 11:30 CET and #askEASME about EU funding for Energy Efficiency financing. During this Twitter chat EASME project advisers working on Finance for Sustainable Energy will answer to your questions about Project Development Assistance (PDA), an innovative funding tool. Find how PDA works; learn more about success stories and how to apply for funding.


The European Union is providing €177 million in funding for 31 new environment projects through its Horizon 2020 programme.

Among the EU funding opportunities, Horizon 2020 Project Development Assistance (PDA) supports investments in energy efficiency by funding all project development activities such as feasibility studies, financial engineering, business plans, technical specifications or procurement procedures. This instrument is vital to build a massive pipeline of bankable projects. See our infographic.

European regions that support development of Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) shared best practices within PassREg, an EU-funded project that achieved investment of €85 million in Passive House buildings with renewables; saving 7900 toe/year in primary energy and reducing GHG emissions by 20600 toe/year.

The gamble of the EU

The EU wants to help entrepreneurs turn knowledge into innovation and substantial growth for the company. We offer to support the matchmaking of a brilliant European company (SME or Start-up) with a great business idea and a top class researcher from all over the world (PhD holder).

There are many reasons why your business could benefit from the SME Innovation Associate, here are a few of them.

Discover the nine nominees of EU Sustainable Energy Awards 2016 and vote for your favourite by 5 June! This year there will be one more winner than usual. We will reward a Citizens' Award to one of the nine laureates that best captures public imagination.

On the 31st of May, between 10 and 11:30, we are organising a Twitter chat on EU funding for the environment. #askEASME and we will reply to all the questions you may have on funding through the LIFE Programme and Horizon 2020.

The 2016 edition of “Implementing the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD)” addresses: certification, inspections, training, energy performance requirements and nearly zero-energy buildings. The book also features national reports from the 28 EU Members States and Norway.

Choose your session and register today!

For the second Phase 2 cut-off in 2016 on April 19, EASME received 969 proposals from 36 countries.

The European Commission is investing more than €28 million in four new projects to develop solutions for a better protection against extreme weather and natural disasters caused by climate change.

From 25-28 April the business leaders in food and drinks industry will gather in Barcelona to debate on the latest trends and innovations in the sector. 

The European Commission is setting up an informal expert group to advice the Commission on matters pertaining to the education, training, skills and career development within the blue economy.

189 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 26 countries have been selected for funding in the latest round of Horizon2020 SME Instrument, for Phase 1.


The world's leading trade fair for industrial technology Hannover Messe 2016 will take place in Hannover, Germany from 25-29 April 2016. SME Instrument will also be present with 17 SME Instrument beneficiaries showcasing their projects and looking for new opportunities. 

ESB NovusModus, ESB’s clean tech fund, is to invest €3.3 million in Endeco Technologies. SME Instrument Phase 1 beneficiary Endeco generates revenue and reduces costs for large-scale energy comnsumers using an IOT-based load-shifting system. Endeco is a real pioneer in realtime energy demand optimisation - a fast-growing and promising company that SME Instrument is proud to count among its beneficiaries.


March 2016 has meant a whirlwind of travel for Dyadic. The CEO, Avner Mor, started the month in San Francisco, spent the middle of the month in Hannover, Germany and is closing out the month in The Hague, Netherlands. This was the company's first year exhibiting at CeBIT, hence Avner Mor gives us his impressions. 

Today at its global annual 5000-participant event Magento imagine 2016 in Las Vegas, Magento Commerce, announced that it's new Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition product will be operated by French SME Instrument champion Platform.sh. 


Why not plan ahead and get informed on Energy Efficiency funding opportunities for 2017? With more than €100M available in the Horizon 2020 Energy Efficiency Call 2017, with deadlines in January and June 2017, there are opportunities to fund market uptake projects through Coordination and Support Actions.

50 SMEs from 14 countries have been selected in the latest round of Horizon2020 SME Instrument Phase 2. Each project, 47 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 European Commission is providing EUR 19 million for two new research projects which will study the functioning of North Atlantic ecosystems. The research will result in strategies for a more sustainable exploitation of the resources whilst preserving the marine ecosystems.

Energy renovation projects in the building sector are all technically different. This makes it difficult for banks and investors to trust that the energy savings generated will be a reliable source of revenue. The Investor Confidence Project (ICP) Europe, a Horizon 2020 funded project, is therefore developing a set of commonly agreed protocols which will improve access to finance for building renovation projects.

We launched three calls under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to foster blue growth across Europe.

Heating and cooling consume half of the EU's energy and much of it is wasted. Horizon 2020 and Intelligent Energy Europe projects are supporting the new heating and cooling strategy of the European Commission by providing support to market uptake of energy efficient and renewable heating and cooling.

What are the challenges in the fields of climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials that should be tackled in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme for 2018-2020? Share your ideas by 8 April.

On 15 March the Commercialization of Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Technology Conference in Birmingham brought together key players in the field of Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Technology including companies delivering to market and projects which are facilitating the move to commercialisation. 

Ecobuild/Resource is the leading international exhibition and conference for sustainable construction and energy markets. From 8-10 March 2016 the event will bring together over 44,000 industry professionals from across the supply chain - including two SME Instrument champions that pitched their projects.

From 14-18 March, Hannover will be flooded with digital business enthusiasts, attending CeBIT a global event dedicated to ICT. 

The European Commission has received 333 proposals for projects in the areas of climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials by the call deadline on 8 March 2016.

The European Commission is awarding around €30.5 million to 15 innovative projects involving 68 partners in 16 countries to help speed up their access to the market. Under the third round of the Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) scheme, run under the EU's research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.

Ecobuild is the leading international exhibition and conference for sustainable construction and energy market. From 8-10 March 2016 the event will bring together over 44,000 industry professionals from across the supply chain. 

Are you part of a project that promotes clean, secure and effective energy? Do you believe it could contribute in shaping an Energy Union? Do you consider consumers at the core of Europe's energy system? If so, apply today and become a sustainable energy leader.

The efficient city uses available resources at their optimum to create a city that has little congestion, yet offers high mobility for residents and workers. The 3rd European Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans offers an engaging, informative and interactive platform to learn from international best practices and experiences.

DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROWTH) and Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), it is our pleasure to invite you to the High-Level Conference “Attracting investment in tourism” taking place at the Charlemagne Building, Brussels (Belgium), on 5 April 2016.

This event will focus on financing, upgrading skills and improving the business environment to strengthen the competitiveness of the EU tourism industry.

More information

The European Commission has decided to fund capacity building activities in 14 Member States to increase their participation in the EU's LIFE programme supporting environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects.

This year, three calls for proposals will be launched under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to foster blue growth across Europe. The European Commission is organising a Launch Event to present those calls.

Learn how eight EU-funded projects are fighting energy poverty, a growing phenomenon in Europe that affects approximately 54 million Europeans. Some of the projects address energy poverty through low cost measures that focus on behavioural change, while others target social housing either through energy saving measures for new buildings or through refurbishment with energy performance contracting models.

Practical Approaches to the Building Renovation Challenge is a paper summarising the findings of buildings’ experts i.e. researchers, engineers, architects and practitioners, from some 40 EU-funded projects.

45 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 19 countries have been selected in the latest round of Horizon2020 SME Instrument Phase 2. 

Partners of Horizon 2020 climate projects will share their experiences at the 4th International Climate Change Adaptation Conference – Adaptation Futures 2016 – on 10-13 May in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

6 days left to apply for a session, a networking or a speaking slot at the EU Sustainable Energy Week conference! Don't wait, apply today!

The biggest annual mobile event, the Mobile World Congress, kicks off next week in Barcelona. 

As the new year and a new Horizon 2020 work programme kick off, the SME Instrument will have decoupled cut-off dates for Phase 1 and Phase 2. The first deadline of the year was for Phase 2 and EASME received a total of 553 proposals by 3 February 2016.   

On 19 February 2016, Zinco Services will host a Conference on investing in sustainable innovation in Brescia, Italy. 

The European Commission is organising a delegation to Santiago de Chile in April to promote circular economy and green business opportunities.

A total of 50 new projects are being launched under the Horizon2020 Energy Efficiency Call 2015. These projects cover the whole innovation chain for energy efficiency, including all aspects of research and innovation on sustainable energy solutions for consumers; heating and cooling; buildings; public authorities; industry and products; as well as innovative financing.

The European Union is taking first steps to help European SMEs and start-ups fund recruitment of the best talent for research and innovation from around the world.  The EU will fund the recruitment of post-doctoral research associates from other countries to explore an innovation business idea in the European SMEs and start-ups.

We just publish the list of projects funded under COSME, the EU programme for competitiveness of SMEs.

185 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 26 countries have been selected for funding in the latest round of Horizon2020 SME Instrument, for Phase 1. 

The sixth and final Business Innovation Observatory Conference is coming up!

The European Commission is looking for experienced professionals in this area to evaluate and recommend proposals for funding under the H2020 Energy Efficiency Call for Proposals.

The European Commission has awarded grants to 18 new projects in the areas of raw materials, climate action, water and earth observation under its Horizon 2020 programme.

The EU Sustainable Energy Awards competition has just been launched. We are waiting for your outstanding energy initiatives by 22 February.

EASME is organising a Twitter chat dedicated to Horizon 2020 SME Instrument on Wednesday 20 January 2016 from 14:30 to 16:30 Brussels time.

The  deadline for the  tender for services under the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument has been extended until 15 February 2016. The contract is offered to set up an SME Instrument Business Community and an SME Instrument Academy as presented in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2016-2017. This will be done through an innovative public procurement process called a Competitive Dialogue

In a few weeks, EASME will launch a tender for services under the SME Instrument. It will be done through an innovative public tendering process called a "Competitive Dialogue".

With this tender, the European Commission is looking to multiply the impact of the funding received by businesses under the SME Instrument. With this objective in mind, the contract will be offered to set up the "SME Instrument Business Community" and "SME Instrument Academy" as presented in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2016-2017, #7 Innovation in SMEs. The "SME Instrument Business Community" will be set up to help SMEs in accessing finance and new markets, partnering networking and improving their branding. The "SME Instrument Academy" will focus on learning opportunities for SMEs.

Revolutionary energy management for IT equipment and smart devices

How can new Horizon 2020 projects benefit from the experience of existing projects funded under different EU programmes? On 8 December 2015 EASME organised a kick-off & networking meeting for 21 waste-related research & innovation projects to help them share their knowledge and explore synergies.

The fourth SME Instrument cut-off for 2015 closed this year's application run, ending the year with proof of a growing success as the number of proposals tops 3146.

For the 25 November cut-off, EASME received 2056 proposals for Phase 1. Most proposals concern ICT, followed by innovative business models and health. The country with the largest number of project proposals is Italy followed by Spain and the United Kingdom. For SME Instrument Phase 2, EASME received 1090 proposals. Most proposals were submitted for health, followed by ICT and low carbon and efficient energy systems. Most proposals initiated from Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The European Commission is awarding € 32.7 million to 15 innovative projects, involving 67 partners in 15 countries to help speed up their access to the market.  Each project will receive up to € 3 million, under the second round of the Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) scheme, run under the EU's research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.

The impact of climate change on the water cycle in Europe.

A year ago, Immunovia AB, a Swedish health company from Lund, received an SME Instrument Phase 2 grant for a project on early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Today, it has doubled its staff from 9 to 18 and developed enough to be accepted for trading on the Nasdaq First North in Stockholm. 

25 November was the last cut-off date for 2015 for Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. EASME received at total of 3146 proposals, 2056 for phase 1 and 1090 for phase 2.


French SME EP Tender develops a solution for increasing the range of electric vehicles.

38 SMEs from 13 countries have been selected in the latest round of Horizon2020 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 companies will also benefit from 12 days of business coaching. Most projects are proposed by a single SME but some companies team-up to elaborate a project.

In 2016 we will adapt the evaluation and cut-off rhythm. This shall allow us to inform applicants faster, in particular during summer and at the end of the year. At the same time we will decouple the evaluation of the phases which shall lead to a shorter time span for signing grants in Phase 2. During the transition period between November 2015 and February 2016 we will not be able to guarantee information to applicants for immediate resubmission.

We regret to inform that the budget available to fund projects under topic INSO-9 “Mobile e-government applications” is exhausted.

It won't be possible to award any further grants under the up-coming cut-off on 25 November. It is recommended to abstain from submitting any proposal in November for INSO-9 for both Phases.

Any proposal arriving will be evaluated and the potential result will be communicated to the applying company but no grant award will take place. Submitted and evaluated proposals won't be transferred to later cut-off dates. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause.

In 2016 and 2017 all ICT related activities will be subsumed under the Open Disruptive Innovation Scheme, which will increase its annual budget from 45 M€ to 60 M€.

141 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 24 countries have been selected for funding in the latest round of Horizon2020 SME Instrument, for Phase 1.

How can earth observation contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development goals? What is its role in mitigating climate change under the UN's Framework on Climate Change? The Group on Earth Observation (GEO) will discuss the value of shared earth observation data for sustainable development and how to further implement the Global Earth Observation System of Systems during its Twelfth Plenary Session (GEO-XII) this week.

How to apply for funding? What are the Energy Efficiency priorities of the Horizon 2020 2016 call for proposals deadline 15 September 2016? If you are asking these questions or if you want to network and raise questions to the EASME team during the dedicated information sessions. Register Now for the Info Day.

Last week Eindhoven set the bar high by becoming the scene of two events dedicated to the European business community: the Dutch Design Week and the EHV summit.

Eleven schools from eleven countries across Europe won The Entrepreneurial School Awards 2015. The awards give national and European recognition to the best schools championing entrepreneurship education. 

How can Europe meet its needs for highly-skilled digital entrepreneurs, managers and professionals? 

What kind of energy-efficiency projects can be funded under Horizon 2020? Our infographic gives an overview of the 2016-2017 funding priorities for the Energy Efficiency calls in Horizon 2020. It is also available in print in both hand-out (A4) and poster (A0) formats. Ordering is free of charge.

Do you want to know which country has the highest share of nearly-Zero Energy Buildings (nZEBs) in Europe?  Or how much new constructions costs are on average in Poland compared to Slovakia? The ZEBRA2020 data tool analyses and displays information using graphics and charts to make the answers to your questions understandable at first sight. In a short video, the people behind the project explain how it works.

Every day millions of containers are being cleaned for reuse. This uses a lot of water and chemicals, which has a burden on the environment and health. In warm countries especially temperatures rise inside containers, amplifying the effects of disinfectants and chemicals. Workers also suffer from high risks in this labour-intensive sector. Pondering on this issue, Kerstin and Göran Ericsson came up with a revolutionary idea. Why not use dry ice and a robot to clean the containers? In 2010, IBC Robotics saw the light of day with a dry and automated cleaning process based on specifically designed industrial robot, vacuum cleaning and ice blasting technology.

Our new infographic shows which projects will be funded in 2016/17 under Horizon 2020's Societal Challenge "Environment, Climate Action, Resource Efficiency & Raw Materials".

Head of EASME Department A, Marco Malacarne, met June Charles Wessner, research Professor at Georgetown University and internationally recognized expert in innovation policy and entrepreneurship. The objective of the meeting was to exchange experiences on SME Instrument and SBIR, the American programme for business innovation research. 


Prodrive, a leading motorsport and technology business, and the Low Carbon Hub, a social enterprise in Oxfordshire, will develop what could be the UK’s largest community-owned rooftop Solar PV installation. The installation is an initiative of OxFutures, a partnership co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme of the European Union.  When implemented, it will generate 636 kW of renewable electricity, the equivalent of providing electricity for more than 150 houses.

Nearly Zero Energy Buildings Open Doors Days (NZB 2021) is a project funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe programme. The project ended in March 2015, and is now continuing in some of the 10 countries where the project was originally implemented. The latest Belgian campaign will take place between the 7 and the 15 November. Owners will guide visitors around their homes and explain how the construction or refurbishments were done.

Institutional investors have a new benchmarking tool to assess to which extent their portfolio is in line with the investments required to limit global warming to 2°C, based on its exposure to different energy technologies.

110 companies funded by the SME Instrument under Phase 2 met on 30 September in Brussels for the Phase II welcome days. The aim was to bring together SMEs that have been selected for financing under the EU Horizon2020 programme for Research and Innovation to develop innovative products that can disrupt the market, make the EU more competitive and create growth and jobs. The idea was to gather the SMEs to meet each other, to answer interrogations and solve common challenges and collect thoughts from SMEs on their needs and expectations for the third phase of the programme. The need for a quality label, the utility of sharing experience and a pledge for support to meet investors emerged as the paramount ideas from the day. 

Launched on 29 September 2015, the Edinburgh Community Solar Co-operative aims at raising £1.4M from people in Edinburgh to put 1.8MW of solar panels on 25 schools, community centres and sports halls; all owned by the City of Edinburgh Council.

In 2016-2017 there will be 44.2% more financing for SMEs under the SME-Instrument, in the new Horizon2020 work-programme for Research and Innovation, adopted today 13 October by the European Commission. The total budget of the SME Instrument for the two years is nearly € 740 million that should benefit over 2000 highly innovative SMEs.

Horizon 2020 funding priorities in 2016 and 2017 to finance projects in the fields of Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency & Raw Materials.

Researchers, academia, governments, industry, international organisations, NGOs all collect information about the sea … but what happens with all the information collected?

€194 million are available under Horizon 2020 in 2016 and 2017 to finance project in the field of energy efficiency.

Ceramic tiles are currently manufactured using polyester resins, volatile solvents and hazardous pigments. The project aims to industrialise technology to produce cleaner alternatives that are less polluting to produce and easier to recycle.

To grow food, no need for fresh water, land nor energy according to Camilla Pandolfi. Camilla's company, Pnat, has invented the Jellyfish Barge, a floating greenhouse that combines greenhouse technology and solar desalination with floating technology to produce food in coastal areas, where resources are scarce. Pnat has developed the technology thanks to funding from the EU SME Instrument. One barge can feed two families for one year.

Using spray technology to wet the fabrics in washing machines creates a chain reaction: less water, which means less energy needed to heat the water, and with new detergents that interact at lower temperatures, a final result that adds up to considerable savings in energy.

Liisa PETRYKOWSKA from the company Ignitia has experience in expanding her business across continents in Sub-Saharan Africa. As the Horizon 2020 SME-Instrument Ambassador in the EU - SUB SAHARAN AFRICA event in EXPO Milano on 18-19 September, Liisa explained how her business found new horizons in Ghana.

What happens when you combine the fastest modes of transport for long and short distances? You get a bike-train-bike connection that brings you from door-to-door in an inexpensive and reliable way. Convenient, isn't it?

On 17 September – the third cut-off date in 2015 for Horizon 2020 SME Instrument –  EASME received in total 2,833 new proposals – 1,873 for Phase 1 and 960 for Phase 2.

On Monday 21 September, the European Commission is organising an Information Day to present the 2016 calls for proposals of Horizon 2020's Societal Challenge 5 "Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials".

This week Salamanca celebrated the Startup Olé, an event that brings together the entrepreneurs, investors and other actors related to tech-entrepreneurial eco-system in Europe. The event hosted more than 1000 participants. 

We recently received a lot of questions about the budget of the SME Instrument. It’s a quite complex issue that we would like to try to clarify as far as possible in this article.

59 SMEs from 16 countries have been selected in the latest round of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2. For each project, the participants will receive up to €2.5 million to finance innovation activities and the development of their business plans. The companies will also be entitled to benefit from up to 12 days of business coaching.

The secure envelope market is set to undergo a recycling revolution, partly due to the public’s growing awareness of environmental issues. Inspired by EU efforts to promote products made from eco-friendly materials, this initiative seeks to replace non-ecological envelopes made from highly-polluting polyethylene plastic with paper, laminated with eco-plastic. SELLOPE improves environmental performance by cutting CO2 emission, diverting waste from landfills and promoting recycling and compostability.

The food industry makes extensive use of food trays, from fruit and vegetable packaging to ready meals. Current food trays are made of virgin polypropylene which, when no longer useful, finds its way into landfill or incineration. rPET-FOAM has piloted an alternative to the current trays on offer which is lighter, uses less crude oil and can be reused an indefinite number of times. The project now intends to go into greater production.

The European Commission is awarding €36 million to bring innovative ideas to market quicker. 16 innovative projects, involving partners from 19 countries, will receive up to €3 million each under the first round of the Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) scheme, run under the EU's research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.

Over the last years we have been funding a whole range of projects across Europe on recycling, upcycling, reusing and recovering materials - each of them a building block for a circular economy. Here is a selection of some of them.

Groundwater all over the world may contain arsenic that affects people’s health. An Italian company is developing two plants that will produce and regenerate a filtering medium for arsenic that can be cleaned and used again, which is not so far the case.

From testing our televisions’ energy performance to developing a smartphone app guiding consumers in the purchase of energy efficient products; the report “People have the Power” showcases 41 projects making a difference to consumers.


The European Commission has selected 23 proposals for funding under Horizon 2020's Societal Challenge "Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials".

STORM project aims at boosting energy efficiency at district level by increasing the use of waste heat and renewable energy sources. The controller will be demonstrated in 2 sites: Mijnwater at Heerlen in the Netherlands and Växjö Sweden.

Using geothermal resources can provide economic development opportunities for countries in the form of energy savings, taxes, royalties, technology export, and jobs. The GeoDH project co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme drafted recommendations on how to overcome administrative, legal and financial barriers including a shared know-how transfer based on best practices.

An estimated 2.6 million new shoes are sold in Europe annually and, each year, 1.5 million tons of old shoes plus 90 000 tons of by-products from shoe manufacturers end up being deposited in landfill sites or incineration, both of which are potentially harmful to the environment. This innovative project used a special shoe grinding process to recycle old shoes, incorporating them into a wide variety of new products. 

EASME is recruiting contract agents (CA) staff mainly in the following profiles:

142 SMEs from 23 countries have been selected in the latest round of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 1. For each project, the participants will receive €50,000 to finance feasibility studies. They can also request up to three days of business coaching.

SmartVineyards is a SME based in Hungary which works to make grape plants healthier by using leading edge technologies to bring viticulturists the next generation of grapevine protection solution. Thanks to be selected by the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument programme it will receive more than €1 m to develop the Plant CT project.

DG MARE has published a call for tenders for a Study on the establishment of a framework for processing maritime economic data in Europe.

More information.

Erik Vermeulen, Professor of Business and Financial Law at Tilburg University and Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) and evaluator for Horizon 2020 SME Instrument programme talks about his views and gives some tips for potential applicants for the SME Instrument.

Available EU funding schemes in the field of energy efficiency will be discussed together with local and regional authorities during the “'Financing Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Heating and Cooling” public workshop on 14 October 2015.  This reflects the increasing importance for local and regional governments in pooling different sources of funding for sustainable energy investments in buildings, heating and cooling systems.

The European Commission is organising an Information Day to present the 2016 work programme of Horizon 2020's Societal Challenge "Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials" as well as related call topics in the “Blue Growth - Demonstrating an Ocean of Opportunities”, “Industry 2020 in the Circular Economy” and "Smart and Sustainable Cities" focus areas.

A new Horizon 2020 project examining the impact of climate change on the water cycle in Europe just kicked off in Lisbon with EU Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas delivering a video message.

Architects, master-builders and other building professionals took part in the AIDA project together with municipalities in order to accelerate the market entry of energy efficient buildings using renewable energy sources, known as nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB). More than 1600 building professionals have used the project's online tool on Integrated Energy Design.

At the end of a SME Instrument project, the beneficiary must send a report to EASME. They are also asked to answer a few questions. Here’s what came out of the first 100 questionnaires filled by SMEs funded under Phase 1 of the programme.

Community Renewable and Energy Efficiency projects co-funded by Horizon’s 2020 Efficient Energy as well as by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programmes are examples of successful projects bringing citizens to cooperate in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency. They contribute to the UN’s initiative by increasing awareness on cooperatives in the field of energy.

One of the top ten manufacturing sectors in the EU, the textile industry produces around 12 million tonnes of waste a year. Much of this ends up in landfill with a significant percentage (18%) heading for incineration. The INPAT project seeks to use the waste as raw material in the production of sound insulating panels to be used in construction.

Contribute to a collaborative documentary for the Climate Conference in Paris.

Europe needs more entrepreneurs and investing in entrepreneurship education is one of the best investments we can make. While research shows the positive socio-economic effects of entrepreneurship education, increased policy support is needed to strengthen and grow its penetration. Read more...

DG MARE has launched a call for proposals on Maritime Spatial Planning in the Northern European Atlantic. 

24 NGOs receive operating grants under the LIFE Programme to strengthen their participation in the dialogue process in environmental policy-making and in its implementation.

The EU funds will be used to purchase and operate 150 new floats equipped with sensors capable to measure temperature and salinity. Measurements will help scientists to better understand the ocean's role in current climate change challenges.

A pan-European helpdesk to support regions and cities in the regulation and integration in cities of shallow geothermal energy systems has been recently launched as part of the activities of the project REGEOCITIES supported under the Intelligent Energy Europe programme of the European Commission.

Monitoring the energy display for televisions is at the centre of the ComplianTV project which will be hosting an event on 3 September 2015 in Brussels. Join and learn more about the testing results and how you can save energy at home.

The aim of this consultation is to gather input on how the EU could contribute to achieving better international governance of oceans and seas to the benefit of sustainable blue growth.


The I-Fusion Project (Innovative FUel Sensor for engIne OptimisatioN) bursts as the "first fuel smart vehicle worldwide" that can analyse fuel quality in real-time so reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 5% and to reduce pollutant emissions by up to 20%, according to their inventors from SP3H - the innovative French SME which makes it happen. This SME receives 50.000 EUR from the European Union under Horizon 2020 SME Instrument programme to develop its green transport project.

Enterprise Europe Network Scotland just released 4 video interviews of evaluators of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. A 'must watch' for anyone planning to submit a proposal!

Energy innovation is at the heart of the "Nearly Zero Energy Hotels 2015" conference in Nice on 24 June. The event gathers key actors working to increase sustainability and competitiveness in the hotel sector.

You can now register for the Info Day on the Horizon 2020 Work programme 2016-2017 ‘Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy’ that will take place on 14-15 September 2015 in Brussels

Why do we need an Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System? Watch our video and discover AtlantOS.

17 June was the second cut-off date in 2015 for Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. EASME received in total 2,990 new proposals – 2,029 for Phase 1 and 961 for Phase 2.

We had the great pleasure to welcome Charles Wessner in EASME on the13th of June.

He is recognised nationally and internationally for his expertise on innovation policy, including public-private partnerships, entrepreneurship, early-stage financing for new firms, and the special needs and benefits of high-technology industry.

He workes closely with Congress, the White House and major agencies and departments of the U.S. government. As a result of his work with the U.S. government, he advises technology agencies, government ministries and prime ministers of countries in Europe and Asia.

7 projects funded under Phase 1 of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument have been selected under Phase 2 of the programme.

The polyurethane foam used to make car seats usually ends up in landfills because it is costly to recycle. A Spanish-French consortium has come up with a sustainable 3D fabric made from industrial waste that can be easily recycled when a seat reaches the end of its life.


GREENFOODs, a project co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme of the European Union, is organising a conference at the World Forum for Chemical Engineering and the Process Industry (ACHEMA) in Frankfurt on June 15. The conference “Increasing energy efficiency and promoting renewable energies in the European Food and Beverage industry” will gather experts on energy efficiency, renewables and the European food and beverage industry.

42 SMEs from 14 countries have been selected in the latest round of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2. For each project, the participants will receive up to €2.5 million to finance innovation activities and the development of their business plans. The companies will also be entitled to benefit from up to 12 days of business coaching.

The EU-funded project RenoValue, has just published a report providing insights into current levels of consideration of energy efficiency and other sustainability aspects by valuation professionals when assessing the value of buildings. It also outlines key barriers that currently hinder the consideration of energy performance data by the valuation community as well as local market sentiment with regard to sustainable buildings potentially commanding higher sales or rental premiums.

Start building your consortium with excellent partners from industry and academia by attending the free brokerage event in the field of Energy Technologies.

In an interview with Science Business, Bernd Reichert, head of the SME Instrument unit at EASME offers tips for success.

Two new research and innovation projects will develop tools to facilitate decision-making on measures for preventing the possible consequences of a warmer climate.

The European project STARS (Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools) aims at increasing the number of pupils cycling to and from school; focusing on nine implementation sites i.e., Milan, Krakow, Bielefeld, Noord Brabant, Edinburgh, London Borough of Hackney, Brussels, Budapest and Madrid.

A conference on Innovation and Intellectual Property Rights in the cooperation between the EU and Latin American countries will be held in Brussels on Monday 8 June 2015. 

Share experiences and good practices in the policy area of bankruptcy and second chance, register by 11/6/2015.

Do you think it's difficult to run your own business, stay competitive and take care of the environment? Not necessarily. Thanks to EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), you can combine competitiveness with environmental performance.

The water used to irrigate plants in greenhouses is usually discharged as waste. This new cost effective and sustainable technology recycles the water through electrolytic disinfection. The technology also makes for healthier plants.

The Yearly Appliance Energy Cost Indication (YAECI) has been helping consumers in their purchasing decisions by displaying the yearly average running costs of domestic appliances and TVs on web-shops and by retailers in 9 EU countries.

161 SMEs from 23 countries have been selected in the latest round of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 1. For each project, the participants will receive €50,000 to finance feasibility studies. They can also request up to three days of business coaching.

FABPulous is a SME based in The Netherlands which was spun out of Maastricht University at the end of 2008, which will receive €1.6 m. from the European Union under Horizon 2020 SME Instrument programme to develop the Rapidex project. 

The 2015 edition of Natura 2000 Award is reaching the final stage of its selection process: This time citizens have the opportunity to vote for one of the 23 finalist projects they think deserves European recognition. Deadline for the public vote: 6 May. The project which received the most votes will be awarded with the European Citizens’ Award.

A Spanish-led consortium has developed an innovative material predominantly composed of the coal fly ash produced by thermal plants to make insulation for the construction industry. This geopolymer is lightweight, sustainable and cost efficient.

The European Commission has received 915 proposals seeking funding for projects in the area of climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials by the calls' deadline on 21 April 2015.

Mark your agendas and make your travel arrangements: the Info Days on the Horizon 2020 Work programme 2016-2017 ‘Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy’ will take place on 14 and 15 September 2015.

A new Horizon 2020 project aiming at collecting and standardizing data on critical raw materials to be extracted from e-waste was launched this week in Brussels.

In 2014, 114 eco-innovation projects have been selected for funding under the SME Instrument, a part of Horizon 2020 the EU framework programme for research and innovation dedicated to innovative small businesses.

Trailblazer: Transport and Innovation Logistics by Local Authorities with a Zest for Efficiency and Realisation.

Evaluation of the 115 proposals submitted in September 2014 in answer to Horizon 2020's Societal Challenge "Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials" has now been completed (H2020-SC5-WASTE-WATER-2014-Two-Stages calls) and grant agreements for 28 new projects are being prepared.

Helping apartment blocks conduct energy-efficient renovations at LEAF

Oil spills can have a devastating impact on the environment and the need to act quickly and effectively after such a catastrophe is paramount. The GEnIuS project promotes a material that can rapidly separate oil from seawater, two liquids that do not mix easily together. The advantage it brings is that the loss of a vital energy resource - oil - and damage to aquatic eco-systems is limited. The product, already on the list of materials approved in Italy for oil spill clean-ups, is also effective for hydrocarbon removal from contaminated soils.

When renewable energy indicators are part of the weather forecast, the connection between solar thermal, photovoltaic, wind energies and budgets suddenly becomes much more concrete.

A calculation tool on how much greenhouse gas emissions are produced by solid and gaseous biomass used for electricity, heating and cooling will be a big step towards harmonising legislation across the EU and aiming for sustainability.

The European Commission is looking for bodies to carry out the implementation of the programme locally.

293 SMEs from 30 countries have been selected in the latest round of under Phase 1 of the SME Instrument. For each project, the participants will receive €50,000 to finance feasibility studies. They can also request up to three days of business coaching.

The European Commission has selected 94 SMEs from 19 countries to each receive a grant of up to €2.5 million (€5 million for health projects) to finance innovation activities and the development of their business plans. The companies will also be entitled to benefit from up to 12 days of business coaching.

18 March was the first cut-off date in 2015 for Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. EASME received in total 2,183 new proposals - 1,569 for Phase 1 and 614 for Phase 2.

The Greek islands have many explanations for why they don’t like renewable energies, particularly wind power. The Energy Academy has been working hard to dispel deep-rooted prejudices.

Horizon 2020’s SME Instrument is a concrete solution for growth and job in Europe. By 2020, the first 155 project are expected to generate at least 12,000 new jobs, 115 new products, 81 new processes, 68 new services and €17 billion of cumulative turnover.

Under Horizon’s SME Instrument, beneficiaries do not only receive money, they can also benefit from up to 15 days of business coaching. In each region there’s a person at Enterprise Europe Network – the Key Account Manager (KAM) – ready to help the beneficiaries identifying the challenges they face, their coaching needs and also selecting the most relevant coaches.

The new mixtures of plastic need to be separated into different families if the plastic is to be recycled into biodegrabable and non-biodegradable material. The construction of a film sorting machine will lead to savings in CO2 emissions, energy and water consumption.

The European Commission is organising an on-line video competition to attract young talents to the construction sector. Submit a short video showcasing your innovative project, vision, or idea for the construction sector and take your chance to win a smartphone and gain visibility at European level.

Today the letters informing Phase 1 applicants of the outcome of the December cut-off have been sent via the Participant Portal.

Unfortunately, the system has experienced some slowdowns and all applicants may not receive the information on time to be able to resubmit their proposal under 18 March cut-off.

That's why EASME decided that if an applicant under December cut-off resubmits their project under March cut-off, it won't be considered as concurrent submission and thus will be evaluated.

Through a growing network of citizen cooperatives, REScoop 20-20-20 promotes the sharing of tips and expertise about renewable energy. The EU-backed project also clarifies the many legal, technical and financial hurdles they face.

18 projects in the area of eco-innovation and raw materials, with an EU contribution of more than €70 million have started.

On Wednesday 10th June 2015, EU Commissioner Elźbieta Bieńkowska will host the EU-CELAC Business Summit under the theme "Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean: Promoting inclusive and sustainable growth by enhancing the role of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises".

When the first results for phase one of the EU SME instrument were released in September 2014, VINNOVA, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation systems, which is also the National Contact Point (NCP) for the SME instrument in Sweden, was thrilled but also faced something of a dilemma. Out of 47 applications by Swedish SMEs, 10 companies' proposals had been evaluated above the threshold for funding but only 4 had received a grant. This meant that 6 'runner-up' companies had narrowly missed out on funding. Faced with this problem, Dr Karin Aase, Project officer at VINNOVA, came up with an innovative solution.

The EurObserv’ER barometer has been monitoring renewable energies across the EU, and with funding from Intelligent Energy Europe has extended its scope to the study of the indicators that investors look for.

Five new water eco-innovation projects – the first ones funded under the EU's Horizon 2020 programme – kicked off with a meeting in Brussels.

Use-Efficiency is a project that believes in mixing disciplines and nationalities to obtain better results. Engineering and architecture students have a great time working on improving energy efficiency in buildings.

An interconnected offshore grid for Europe has long been discussed by industry, transmission operators, and national and European decision makers. The NorthSeaGrid project examines the technical, regulatory and financial obstacles and looks for solutions.

The setting up of an EU-wide network for collecting and dismantling equipment no longer needed by the fishing and fish farming industries is a big step towards reducing plastic waste in the sea and in landfills.

45 new energy-efficiency projects, covering 34 countries, have just been launched with funding from the Horizon 2020 programme.

Buildings account for 40 percent of the EU’s final energy demand. If they are to have nearly zero-energy performance levels, we must ensure that architects and engineers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, bricklayers and other on-site workers have the right skills to attain this.

Our objective was to inform the applicants to the SME Instrument phase 1 December 2014 cut-off on the results of their application on Tuesday 17 February.

Unfortunately we have to delay a bit the publication. It was the last cut-off of 2014 and we have the opportunity to optimise the budget distribution between phase 1 and phase 2.

The good news is that we may be able to fund more projects than originally foreseen.

A Spanish company has developed a lighting system made of recycled plastic that offers full light control and has a low environmental impact. It has chosen Sweden as the country to commercialise the product while aligning it to EU environmental standards.

Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) is the establishment or validation of environmental technology performance by qualified third parties based on test data generated through testing using established protocols or specific requirements.

The PRESTO project worked to make cycling a viable urban transport option for residents of five participating cities: Bremen (Germany), Grenoble (France), Tczew (Poland), Venice (Italy) and Zagreb (Croatia).

The European Commission received 77 proposals for research projects on energy-efficient buildings design and heat recovery technologies by the Energy-efficiency Call deadline on 4 February 2015.

The entire biomass supply chain needs to enhance the quality and sustainability of solid biomass products used for energy. The SolidStandards project is helping the industry to implement EU-wide standards.

Every year, about 3.4 million tonnes of old tyres are disposed of in Europe, most being dumped or sent to landfill, in direct contravention of EU rules banning landfilling of both whole and shredded tyres. Noise is assessed as one of the main environmental problems, and traffic is one of the principle sources of noise. This project has come up with a solution, using scrap tyres to make noise protection panels for busy urban roads and railway lines. Such use of recycled used tyres combats noise pollution and also helps with waste management.

The Aegean islands: beautiful, hospitable, and under stress. High on the list of holiday destinations, in part for the low rainfall, the islands face environmental challenges. Massive development and high demand on energy supplies for several months of the year lead to environmental stresses. Now the islands are coming together to form the DAFNI network, seeking to achieve a balanced economic growth by promoting sustainability.

Every year, Europe alone produces nine million tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). In spite of legislation already in place, less than 40 percent of this is treated according to legal and environmental requirements.


Renewable and emission-free heat produced from solar energy is still not being exploited to the full. In many cases distributors feel using combined heat and power (CHP) sources alongside solar thermal energy will be too inefficient. SDHplus aims to help our rural and urban areas get the most out of cheaper, greener, more secure supplies of energy by offering technical, theoretical and economic insight along with concrete examples of best practices.

SmartStripping® is an innovative and environmentally sustainable remediation technology that removes the contaminants from the subsoil by a single carrier that operates in a closed cycle: the air.


You have questions on the SME Instrument? On Wednesday 11th February, EASME is organising a chat on Twitter. Do not miss this opportunity to ask your questions directly to the team in charge of managing the programme.

IDES-EDU is about making sure student engineers and architects learn together about how to design nearly-zero-energy buildings so as to increase efficiency and save time and money.

With society facing an ever-rising need to increase resource efficiency, this project has delivered an energy-efficient production line for paper bottles, providing a green alternative to laminated and plastic bottles.

Another 199 SMEs from 25 countries, involved in 178 new projects, have been selected following the latest cut-off date for Phase 1 of the SME Instrument. For each project, the participants will receive €50,000 to finance feasibility studies. They can also request up to three days of business coaching.

The European Commission has selected 78 SMEs from 18 countries to each receive a grant of up to €2.5 million (€5 million for health projects) to finance innovation activities and the development of their business plans. The companies will also be entitled to benefit from up to 12 days of business coaching.

  • Organizer: DG Growth/EASME
  • When: 26 January 2015, 14.30-16.30 (Registration as of 14.00)
  • Venue: Auditorium Breydel, Avenue d'Auderghem 45, 1040 Bruxelles
  • Contact & Registration: Mrs. Argyro Karachaliou, DG Growth, e-mail: argyro.karachaliou@ec.europa.eu

17 December was the last cut-off date in 2014 for Horizon 2020’s SME Instrument. We received a total of 2,992 new proposals from 35 countries: 2,363 for phase 1 and 629 for phase 2.

A new technique for grinding and polishing ceramic tiles means that it is no longer necessary to produce a non-recyclable mud made up of water and particles of diamond, metal and ceramics. Instead, using plastic grinding discs, a new type of waste does the job just as well and can be used repeatedly.

Confectionary producer Ferrero (Italy) has teamed up with members of the paperboard and packaging industry to find a productive use for the hazelnut shells and cocoa bean peel left over from their production of confectionary.

Landfill waste - glass and plastic - is the main component of a new and versatile material for use in the sustainable construction industry. The savings in CO2 emissions could lead to the creation of a new market.

One hundred residential care homes in 10 countries across the EU were brought together by the Save Age project which set out to raise awareness of where energy can be saved and how to do so. Their consumption patterns were analysed and best practices shared in order to make employees and residents more aware of their habits. Results were then sent out to 24 000 residential homes in the form of a newsletter and yearly savings of over EUR 841 thousand have been made by the 100 participating homes in 10 countries.

Tile-cutting traditionally produces dust, water and mud, which are bad for the environment and for workers’ health. A new technology involving ultrasound eliminates all the risks and represents considerable savings in energy, water and noise.

Geothermal energy - the earth’s thermal energy - is economical both to the wallet and to the environment, but only a handful of EU countries use it routinely. The Geotrainet project tackled one of the problems to market development: a lack of skilled personnel.

Without a uniform standard, the European wood pellet market is not going to expand. A new EU-wide certification that guarantees quality and sustainability is opening doors for EU-wide pellet sales.

Schoolchildren learn that they have the power to save power, while schools cut their carbon footprint. Euronet 50/50 Max builds on the previous project Euronet 50/50, which gives schools an economic incentive to put energy-saving projects in place.

Plastic-made components, or wads, in the traditional gun cartridge used by the hunting community are highly toxic. They can cause ecological damage to the environment and even kill animals that eat them after the pellets have been fired. The non toxic alternative produced by Plasticos Hidrosolubles is both ecologically friendly and poses no threat to animals or wildlife. As this type of cartridge wad can be fired on a straighter trajectory for longer distances it also additionally offers an enhanced performance for the user.

The time has come to rationalise systems for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) in non-residential buildings to stop energy wastage. The iSERVcmb project found that continuous monitoring and inspection are the answer.

Upgraded biogas can be fed into the natural gas grids, and thus provide sustainable energy that is good for the environment. The EU-funded GreenGasGrids project encouraged knowledge sharing between "forerunner" and "starter" countries, by creating new business partnerships and developing roadmaps to leverage the EU market.

So you have heard about the Horizon 2020 and SME Instrument. You have read the description of the programme, requirements for the SMEs and a whole lot of other important documentation. And yet, you are still not sure if you should apply. We would like to help you with that.

Sidewall panels are fundamental in the construction of planes and other vehicles. Currently those made for the aeronautical industry are made of layers, some of which are made of noxious materials that are hard to recycle. Disposing used panels is a significant issue: at the current rate it is estimated that between 140 and 340 tonnes of waste will be generated by disposal of conventional panels between 2005 and 2025. Panels made of sustainable materials offer an appropriate alternative with positive effect on the vehicles CO2 footprint.

Evaluation of the 393 proposals submitted for the closing date on 5 June has been completed. Experts selected 45 project proposals for which grant agreements are now being prepared.

Find out what kind of energy efficiency projects can be funded under Horizon 2020.

Interested in applying for Horizon 2020 Energy Efficiency calls? Join us at our Information Day on 12 December 2014 in Brussels.

Interested in Horizon 2020 Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials Challenge?

For energy from alternative sources, such as photovoltaic panels (PV), to get into the electricity grid, the Distribution System Operators (DSOs) in charge of the grid and the PV sector need to establish how to work together. The EU-funded PV GRID project came up with a roadmap which offers guidance on how to better integrate energy from this source into the electricity grid.

In an effort to increase people’s awareness of energy issues, municipalities across the EU have challenged their citizens to change their daily habits.

Plastic litter that ends up in the sea presents a hazard to both man and nature – floating debris tends to accumulate near the coast, often washing up on shore and causing further problems to land wildlife. Plastic debris is currently not biodegradable and the amount finding its way into our seas is rising. Marine Clean is cleaning up local seas and promoting edible and marine biodegradable packing to reduce the impact of future debris.

CHAMP is convinced that better urban biking policies require the creation of a biking culture. Good infrastructure isn’t the only reason why some cities are more open to cycling than others.

The EU-funded project NZB2021 is organizing Open Door Days in 10 European countries in November to give visitors hands-on experience in planning and living in nearly-zero-energy buildings.

Deadline for applications for SME Instrument phase 2 (first cut-off date) was 9 October 2014. Executive Agency for SMEs received 580 proposals.

Making bricks is a very resource- and energy-intensive process. Meanwhile, when existing brick buildings are demolished, most of the resulting debris, which can contain many thousands of whole bricks, is sent to landfill or crushed.

24 September 2014 was the second cut-off date for Horizon 2020’s SME Instrument phase 1 . EASME received 1,944 new proposals, which makes in total more than 4,600 when adding up the applications submitted in June.

The European Commission has today published a list of the 155 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that will be first to benefit from its new €3 billion SME Instrument. 155 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 evaluation of proposals submitted before the first cut-off date for Phase 1 (18 June) is over. 155 projects from 21 countries have been pre-selected for funding. They will receive €50,000 to finance a feasibility study and up to 3 days of mentoring.

As the SME Instrument is a brand new funding opportunity, we did not know what to expect from the first round of applications. As we said on many occasions, the Instrument is very selective and only the best of the best can succeed. We received some excellent proposals – 155 champions of innovation will soon get €50,000 to finance a feasibility study. But many proposals that were not good enough to compete in the innovation champions’ league.

The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (EASME) wants to establish a list of independent experts to participate in:

Discover the SME Instrument of Horizon 2020 through this infographic produced by EASME.

The first applications are in, and the first results for the European Commission's Horizon 2020 SME Instrument have surpassed expectations! The first cut-off date has just passed on 18 June 2014, and 2 666 proposals have been submitted.