Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020

The value of Earth Observation in a changing world

On October 23-27 2017, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) community will come together in Washington, D.C. for the GEO Week 2017. GEO Week 2017, consisting of GEO-XIV Plenary, side events and exhibition, will highlight and promote the role, applications and opportunities to use Earth observations in delivering 'Insight for a changing world'. With a focus on delivery and impact, GEO Week 2017 will explore the use and applications of Earth Observation in both the public and private sectors for the benefit of humankind.

Several EU-funded Earth observation projects will join discussions on global Earth Observation initiatives at the GEO-XIV week in October 2017 in Washington DC. 

SME Instrument innovators pitch investors at Merck Venture Lounge today

In addition to the SME Instrument grant, we offer the companies we fund business acceleration services that aim to support them on their growth path. The services include coaching, training, partnerships with corporates  and matchmaking with investors.

The SME Instrument business acceleration services kick-off with the first matchmaking event with investors. The very first event is a Venture Loungfe organised with Merck and is dedicated to life sciences and med tech. 12 SME Instrument companies are pitching - stay tuned for the results!

SME Instrument takes the floor at Aquaculture Europe 2017

Globally, aquaculture is the fastest growing food production sector in the world. The industry has grown at a steady 8-10% over the past 30 years, and this is set to continue as catches from wild capture fisheries level off and demand substantially increases. The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) estimates that aquaculture will grow to over 62% of the worldwide supply of fish protein by 2030.

Aquaculture Europe 2017 is the most important yearly European aquaculture event, organised by the European Aquaculture Society with the support of the European Commission. This year the conference and exhibition, take place in Dubrovnik (Croatia) from 18-20 October and SME Instrument is present with 7 of its funded companies.

A better understanding of raw materials

By assessing sources of existing data from several projects and conducting analysis of specific tools, MICA will aim at the establishment of a stakeholder tailored product: the “European Union Raw Materials Intelligence Capacity Platform” (EU-RMICP). In this way, the project will provide many stakeholders with quality information and knowledge on raw materials, while giving them the best possible guidelines and recommendations for decision-making.

Although the importance of primary and secondary raw materials is certain, the information on raw materials is not properly gathered and the need to establish a knowledge infrastructure becomes more and more pressuring. This is what the Mineral Intelligence Capacity Analysis (MICA) project is trying to achieve. ​

Up to €60,000 financing available for disruptors of the connected car industry

The projects will act as beachheads in the creation of new value chains in the following challenges: 

- Safety and security;
- Driver assistance;
- Well-being;
- Mobility management;
- Vehicle management;
- Infotainment.

The IMPACT Connected Car project will create through two open calls for project proposals a portfolio of 64 disruptors of the connected car industry.

SME Instrument and FTI become part of the European Innovation Council

Since its opening for business in 2014, the SME Instrument has become a key accelerator programme at European level. Indeed, the programme has demonstrated its ability to identify radically innovative businesses in Europe and to invest in their growth.

As a result, there are now more than 2800 highly innovative small and medium-sizes enterprises all around Europe that benefit from equity-free financial support, individualised business coaching and targeted business acceleration services.

As of November 2018, the SME Instrument and Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) will become the central part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot, targeting radically new, breakthrough products, services, processes or business models that open up new markets. This transition will bring the SME Instrument to the next level and expand the reach of its benefits to the European innovation ecosystem.

SME Instrument innovator Aeroglass nominated for Innovation Radar Prize!

Augmented reality for aerial navigation Aeroglass a Horizon 2020 SME instrument project

When piloting an aircraft pilots must convert complex readings displayed in 2D on the cockpit's control panel into 3D and 360° reality. These complex operations burden pilots' mental load and concentration capacity, making them prone to errors and accidents. If pilots would see the information displayed in 3D in front of them it would help them make faster and better decisions.

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. SME Instrument supported Aeroglass has been nominated for the Innovation Radar Prize! Get ready to support them by voting here!

Opportunity for SMEs: innovation vouchers up to €60,000!

The innovative ideas should address one of the 7 challenges, identified by the project, related to personal nutrition for the silver population. In addition, the selected SMEs will benefit from additional innovation support services provided by the INCluSilver partners.


SMEs willing to apply to the call must be legally established in one of the INCluSilver member states:

On 22 September 2017 the INCluSilver project published a call for provision of financial support to third parties whereby 2.8 M € will be distributed. Through this call, INCluSilver will provide up to 60.000 € per SME through innovation vouchers (scalability and internationalisation voucher, demonstration voucher, technology transfer voucher, economic feasibility analysis voucher), IPR vouchers and travel vouchers, to support innovative ideas.

Come to MEDICA on 13 and 14 November with the SME Instrument!

As part of our offer for companies funded under the SME Instrument, you can participate to the following events during MEDICA:

SME Instrument is substantially broadening the offer of free business acceleration services that will help you get connected with business partners and investors, network with the right people for your business and bring on new learning opportunities. One of the first matchmaking events we are inviting you to join is MEDICA - the world's largest event for the medical sector, taking place in Düsseldorf Germany on 12-14 November 2017.

2130 innovative projects seek funding under the SME Instrument Phase 1

SME Instrument Phase 1 submissions September 2017 cut-off

Under the first Phase of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument, small and medium-sized businesses can receive a lump-sum funding of €50,000 to carry out a concept and feasibility study.

Most proposals were submitted in the topics ICT (547), energy (231) and nanotechnologies (202). SMEs from 43 countries submitted proposals. The biggest number of proposals were submitted by Italian applicants (340), followed closely by Spanish (338) and British applicants (129). 98% of applicants were single SMEs.

The next cut-off for Phase 1 is on 7 November 2017.

The European Commission received 2130 proposals from innovative small and medium-sized enterprises for SME Instrument Phase 1 before the latest cut-off date on 6 September 2017.


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