Research & Innovation - Participant Portal

TOPIC : SME business model innovation

Topic identifier: INSO-10-2015
Publication date: 11 December 2013

Types of action: SME-2 SME instrument phase 2
DeadlineModel:
Opening date:
multiple cut-off
18 December 2014
Cut-off dates: 18 March 2015 17:00:00
17 June 2015 17:00:00
17 September 2015 17:00:00
25 November 2015 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020
Topic Description
Scope:

Specific Challenge: Technologies and services as such do not have a specific value. Their value is determined by the business models used to bring them to a market.

Many current, widely applied business models, have developed for big companies and may be not-fitting or not-serving well the needs of SMEs nor be inspired by new knowledge on innovation in business models. In addition to this, small community-oriented companies, using their profits primarily for social objectives,[1] can build their growth on business model innovation.

The specific challenge addressed by this topic is to enable SMEs - in traditional sectors, such as manufacturing industries, in sectors of particularly rooted in Europe’s history such as cultural heritage as well as in new sectors including different services and creative industries, and the social economy – to innovate and grow across traditional boundaries, through new business models and organisational change. The international dimension is included. For instance, this can involve drawing on successful business models in different sectors in the global market, and developing them for use by European SMEs in the same or different sectors. It can also involve reverse innovation in business models, where models initially created in Europe and becoming successful elsewhere, are supported to return to Europe. For business model innovation in the broad area of food, it is foreseen to organize several events in the autumn of 2015 within an appropriate European level forum. Of particular importance for the new business models will be user-oriented services, cultural heritage related services, social services and tourism. The SME instrument, providing the phased approach and mentoring schemes needed, so that the participating SMEs can build successful strategies to achieve growth, is an appropriate instrument to address this challenge.

Scope:

The SME instrument consists of three separate phases and a coaching and mentoring service for beneficiaries. Participants can apply to phase 1 with a view to applying to phase 2 at a later date, or directly to phase 2.

In phase 1, a feasibility study shall be developed verifying the technological/practical as well as economic viability of an innovation idea/concept with considerable novelty to the industry sector in which it is presented (new products, processes, design, services and technologies or new market applications of existing technologies). The activities could, for example, comprise risk assessment, market study, user involvement, Intellectual Property management, innovation strategy development, partner search, feasibility of concept and the like to establish a solid high-potential innovation project aligned to the enterprise strategy and with a European dimension. Bottlenecks in the ability to increase profitability of the enterprise through innovation shall be detected and analysed during phase 1 and addressed during phase 2 to increase the return in investment in innovation activities. The proposal should contain an initial business plan based on the proposed idea/concept.

The proposal should give the specifications of the elaborated business plan, which is to be the outcome of the project and the criteria for success.

Funding will be provided in the form of a lump sum of EUR 50.000. Projects should last around 6 months.

In phase 2, innovation projects will be supported that address the specific challenge of business transformation and that demonstrate high potential in terms of company competitiveness and growth underpinned by a strategic business plan. Activities should focus on innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, prototyping, piloting, scaling-up, miniaturisation, design, market replication and the like aiming to bring an innovation idea (product, process, service etc) to industrial readiness and maturity for market introduction, but may also include some research.  For technological innovation a Technology Readiness Levels of 6 or above (or similar for non-technological innovations) are envisaged; please see part G of the General Annex.

Proposals shall be based on an elaborated business plan either developed through phase 1 or another means. Particular attention must be paid to IP protection and ownership; applicants will have to present convincing measures to ensure the possibility of commercial exploitation ('freedom to operate').

Proposals shall contain a specification for the outcome of the project, including a first commercialisation plan, and criteria for success.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 0.5 and 2.5 million would allow phase 2 to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Projects should last between 12 and 24 months.

In addition, in phase 3, SMEs can benefit from indirect support measures and services as well as access to the financial facilities supported under Access to Risk Finance of this work programme.

Successful beneficiaries will be offered coaching and mentoring support during phase 1 and phase 2. This service will be accessible via the Enterprise Europe Network and delivered by a dedicated coach through consultation and signposting to the beneficiaries. The coaches will be recruited from a central database managed by the Commission and have all fulfilled stringent criteria with regards to business experience and competencies. Throughout the three phases of the instrument, the Network will complement the coaching support by providing access to its innovation and internationalisation service offering. This could include, for example, depending on the need of the SME, support in identifying growth potential, developing a growth plan and maximising it through internationalisation; strengthening the leadership and management skills of individuals in the senior management team and developing in-house coaching capacity; developing a marketing strategy or raising external finance.

Expected impact:

         Enhancing  growth performance of SMEs by combining and transferring new and existing knowledge into innovative solutions

         Market uptake and distribution of innovations tackling the specific challenge(s) in a sustainable way.

         Increase of private investment in innovation, notably leverage of private co-investor and/or follow-up investments.

  • The expected impact should be clearly described in qualitative and quantitative terms (e.g. on turnover, employment, market seize, IP management, sales, return on investment and profit). 

Type of action: SME Instrument (70%)

[1] A social enterprise is defined as an operator in the social economy whose main objective is to have a social impact rather than make a profit for their owners or shareholders. It operates by providing goods and services for the market in an entrepreneurial and innovative fashion and uses its profits primarily to achieve social objectives. See: SOCIAL BUSINESS INITIATIVE http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/social_business/docs/COM2011_682_en.pdf

 

Topic conditions and documents

Please note that the budget figure in the main heading refers to the overall budget available for phase 2 actions in 2015. The indicative budgets, including the breakdown of the budget according to the different phases of the SME Instrument, is provided in the H2020 Work Programme parts for the Societal Challenges and for the Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies (LEITS). Please refer to "call documents".

 

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme. For the SME Instrument only applications from SMEs established in EU Members States or countries associated to Horizon 2020. 
     
  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme, with the following exceptions: A proposal for phase 2 shall include a first commercialisation plan.

    Specific eligibility conditions of SME Instrument:
    • At least one SME. For-profit SMEs’ means micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, as defined in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC, that are not 'non-profit legal entities' as defined in the Rules for Participation and Dissemination (‘legal entity which by its legal form is non-profit-making or which has a legal or statutory obligation not to distribute profits to its shareholders or individual members’)
    • Only applications from for-profit SMEs established in EU Member States or countries associated to Horizon 2020.
    • No concurrent submission or implementation with another phase 1 or phase 2 project.
     
  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme, with the following exceptions: Proposals will be evaluated individually when they arrive. They will be ranked after the respective cut-off dates.
    The criterion Impact will be evaluated first, then Excellence and Implementation. If the proposal fails to achieve the threshold for a criterion, the evaluation of the proposal will be stopped.
    For phase 2 the threshold for the criterion Impact will be 4. The overall threshold, applying to the sum of the three individual scores, will be 12.
    The final consensus score of a proposal will be the median of the individual scores of the individual evaluators; and the consensus report will comprise a collation of the individual reports, or extracts from them. Where appropriate, a Panel Review will be organised remotely.
    Applicants can provide during the electronic proposal submission up to three names of persons that should not act as an evaluator in the evaluation of their proposal for potential competitive reasons.


    3.2 Guide to the submission and evaluation process


    3.3 Specific arrangements for the evaluation of Call ID: H2020-SMEINST-2-2015:

    • The median of the individual scores will be taken as the consensus score.
    • The consensus report will comprise a collation of the individual reports, or extracts from them.

     
  4. Proposal page limits and layout: Sections 1, 2 and 3 should not be longer than 30 pages. All tables in these sections must be included within this limit. The minimum font size allowed is 11 points. The page size is A4, and all margins (top, bottom, left, right) should be at least 15 mm (not including any footers or headers).
     
  5. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:
    Information on the outcome of phase 2 of the SME Instrument within four months after the corresponding cut-off date. Signature of grant agreements two months from the date of informing successful applicants in phase 2.
     
  6. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:


    SME instrument (phase 2):

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template SME-PHASE2
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 Mono-beneficiary Model Grant Agreement for the SME instrument Phase 2 (SME-Ph2)
    H2020 Multi-beneficiary Model Grant Agreement for the SME instrument Phase 2 (SME-Ph2)

     
  7. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information

    Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply. The TRL of proposals submitted under the SME instrument shall be minimum 6.

     
  8. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions, and proposals must refer to measures envisaged. Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

 

Additional documents

Download all documents
(EN only, incl. the additional docs.)

  • Legal basis - Framework Programme H2020 en
  • Legal basis - Specific Programme H2020 en
  • WP H2020 - 1. Introduction en
  • WP H2020 - 5. Introduction to Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies (LEITs) en
  • WP H2020 - 5i. Information and communication technologies (ICT) en
  • WP H2020 - 5ii. Nanotechnologies, advanced materials, advanced manufacturing and processing, biotechnology en
  • WP H2020 - 5iii. Space en
  • WP H2020 - 7. Innovation in SMEs en
  • WP H2020 - 8. Health, demographic change and wellbeing en
  • WP H2020 - 9. Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy en
  • WP H2020 - 10. Secure, clean and efficient energy en
  • WP H2020 - 11. Smart, green and integrated transport en
  • WP H2020 - 12. Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials en
  • WP H2020 - 13. Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies en
  • WP H2020 - 14. Secure societies - protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens en
  • WP H2020 - 19. General Annexes en
  • List of beneficiaries - SME Instrument Phase II (February 2016 update) en
  • Flash Call Info (25-11-2015 cut-off - Phase II) en
  • Flash Call Info (17-09-2015 cut-off - Phase II) en
  • Flash Call Info (17-06-2015 cut-off - Phase II) en
  • Flash Call Info (18-03-2015 cut-off - Phase II) en
  • List of beneficiaries - SME Instrument Phase I (January 2016 update) en
  • Flash Call Info (25-11-2015 cut-off - Phase I) en
  • Flash Call Info (17-09-2015 cut-off - Phase I) en
  • Flash Call Info (17-06-2015 cut-off - Phase I) en
  • Flash Call Info (18-03-2015 cut-off - Phase I) en
  • Frequently Asked Questions - Open Disruptive Innovation Scheme en
  • Frequently Asked Questions - SME Instrument en

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