Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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Innovation in SMEs

Horizon 2020 actively supports SMEs by providing both direct financial support, and indirect support to increase their innovation capacity. 'Innovation in SMEs' aims at creating a bridge between the core of the framework programme - support to research, development and innovation projects - and the creation of a favourable ecosystem for SME innovation and growth.

The goal of the actions bundled under the specific objective "Innovation in SMEs" is to build innovation management capacity for Small and Medium Enterprises. Innovation management capacity is the internal ability of companies to manage innovation processes from the generation of the idea to its profitability on the market.

SME support will be targeted with a dedicated SME instrument, which is a novel approach to support SMEs' innovation activities. It shall attract more SMEs to Horizon 2020, provide support to a wider range of innovation activities and help to increase the economic impact of project results by its company-focused and market-driven approach.

The SME instrument addresses the financing needs of internationally oriented SMEs, in implementing high-risk and high-potential innovation ideas. It aims at supporting projects with a European dimension that lead to radical changes in how business (product, processes, services, marketing etc.) is done. It will launch the company into new markets, promote growth, and create high returns of investment. The SME instrument addresses all types of innovative SMEs so as to be able to promote growth champions in all sectors.

'Innovation in SMEs' also includes actions which provide indirect support to SMEs in the form of tailored services and projects (innovation management capacity building, IPR management, etc…), networking and mobilization actions for innovation service providers and policymakers (i.e. exchange of experience between national innovation agencies); moreover, Horizon 2020 provides direct support to the Enterprise Europe Network, a key player in improving SMEs' access to funding opportunities. 'Innovation in SMEs' funds additional activities intended to support entrepreneurship, internationalisation, and improving access to markets (through the COSME programme).

Furthermore, this challenge supports the second EUREKA/Eurostars Joint Programme Initiative (2014-2020), that provides funding for market-oriented transnational collaborative R&D projects. Eurostars pools together national resources, with the aim of strengthening integration and synchronization of national research programmes contributing to the achievement of a European Research Area.

Calls

Events

22/09/2014
Brussels,

The objective is to provide a platform for all stakeholders in connected health and EIP AHA actors to meet, share best practices and develop effective collaborations leading to new projects and business opportunities. The event will provide a platform for the exchange of information between procurers and potential suppliers, and will support the internationalisation of SMEs and the identification of market opportunities. Read more

23/09/2014
Brussels,

Demographic ageing in Europe and beyond creates challenges for our health and care systems and our national budgets. But it also creates enormous opportunities. The Silver Economy is the new gold, Silicon Valley gurus tell us. Large new public and consumer markets of ICT products and services for ageing well are developing. Our ageing populations are drivers of economic growth. In this light, the European Commission is organising the event 'Growing the Silver Economy in Europe' to discuss how to best grow a large scale Silver Economy in Europe. Read more

Multimedia

13/02/2014

Open Government, engagement of young people, open participation, emerging technologies in the public sector, innovative mobile eGovernment, privacy, cloud of public services...

What is our vision of the societal challenge around Public Services? Which are the funding opportunities for these topics in the recently launched Horizon 2020 framework programme?

Mechthild Rohen, Head of the Public Services Unit in DG CONNECT speaks about this. Enjoy this short video.

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News

07/07/2014

Vigi’Fall received Gold Medal at the Paris international Concours Lépine, which rewards the most promising inventions of the 2014 edition. Read more

12/02/2014

The H2020 Information Day 'Innovation and Public sector' was held on 10 February 2014 in Brussels. Read more

28/01/2014

Climawin technology developed by Danish, Irish, German SMEs in EU-funded project

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Project stories

28/08/2014

Due to increased market pressure to produce high quality and low cost fish, the aquaculture industry has been forced to develop technologies that reduce the level of risk to investors yet maintain reliable production output. Read more

09/08/2014

The Costa Concordia and South Korean Sewol ferry tragedies have highlighted the importance of safety in passenger shipping. Thanks to EU-funded research, evacuating large passenger ships should be smoother and safer in future. EU-funded researchers are also helping to design more stable cruise ships and ferries. Read more

05/08/2014

The European Union (EU)-funded project GreenNets has developed a sustainable software solution for mobile networks, cutting energy costs and reducing CO₂ emissions. Read more

Publications

20/01/2014

Interested in Open Government, eParticipation, mobile eGovernment, cloud of public services, use of emerging technologies in public sector, etc...?

Find your way and your funding opportunities in the new programme Horizon 2020. Read the flyer!

(last update 24/3/2014) Read more

15/01/2014

The SME instrument (Horizon 2020) offers seamless business innovation support from idea to market, covering the three stages of the full innovation cycle (proof-of-concept, innovation development and commercialisation). In addition, a coaching and mentoring scheme is provided exclusively to beneficiaries of the instrument in order to accelerate the impact of the funding provided. Find out more via this brochure! Read more

Press Release

18/07/2014

The European Commission and the European Investment Bank Group (EIB) launched a new generation of EU financial instruments and advisory services to help innovative firms access finance more easily. Read more

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