A total of 65 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form 16 countries have been selected for funding under the latest round of the SME Instrument. The companies will receive a total amount of €113 million to share between their projects to get their innovations faster on the market.
Examples of the projects selected include a sensory feedback system for phantom pains, a new technology for micro motors, a control system for e-bikes that extends battery autonomy, a distance communication system for drones, a valuation tool for start-ups based on artificial intelligence, an add-on solution for industrial robots to improve their accuracy and a new ecological packaging based on straw fibers.
The companies will be supported in the so-called Phase 2 of the SME Instrument, which means that each project, 63 in total, will receive up to €2.5 million to finance innovation activities like demonstration, testing, piloting and scaling up. The companies will also benefit from 12 days of free business coaching and acceleration services.
Most projects selected for funding are in the field of health, engineering, information and communication technology (ICT). Most projects are based in Spain (12), Germany (10) and Norway (6).
The European Commission received 1644 proposals for the 23 May cut-off. The next application deadline for SME Instrument Phase 2 is on 10 October 2018.
The SME Instrument is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot that supports top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with funding opportunities and business acceleration services. Companies can apply for two distinct phases under the SME Instrument, depending on the maturity of their innovation. Under Phase 1 of SME Instrument, each project will receive a lump-sum of €50.000 to carry out a feasibility study. Under Phase 2, each project will receive from €0.5 to €2.5 million to finance innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, piloting and scaling up. In addition, companies under both phases can benefit from free coaching.