The SME Instrument offers fast and simple grants for business innovation studies (phase 1) and demonstration projects (phase2). Investment-mature concepts can in addition benefit from business development advice and other support services (phase 3).
The application process is easy but only the very best projects can expect to receive funding.
Eligible topics are set out in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme on ‘Innovation in SMEs’. Applications can be submitted at any time but are evaluated four times each year.
Today's results concern applications received by the first cut-off for phase 1 grants on 18 June 2014. The next cut-off dates for evaluation are 24 September 2014 for phase 1 and 9 October for phase 2.
Successful applicants will be formally notified in August by the Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME) which manages the programme.
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, said: "The response to the new SME Instrument is encouraging. There is clearly demand out there for this kind of support. We hope many of the business plans being financed will mature to become real products and services, generating growth and jobs for our economies. We want the champions of innovation to grow!"
In total, there were 2,666 applications for the first grants, from which 155 SMEs from 21 countries (EU Member States or countries associated to Horizon 2020) were selected.
Around 645 projects (under Phase 1 and 2) should be funded in 2014, rising to 670 in 2015.