SME Instrument

SME Instrument

Steeper Energy builds industrial scale plant worth € 50.6 million

Ship, airplane and lorry at a port

Through this new partnership, Steeper Energy will license its proprietary Hydrofaction™ technology to Silva, who will build the facility over the next 18 months. The demonstration plant will use woody residues as feedstock that are converted to renewable crude oil and, in turn, will be upgraded to renewable diesel, jet or marine fuel.

Danish-Canadian Steeper’s Hydrofaction™ technology was selected by Silva after an exhaustive due diligence review of some 40 other technologies. The deal is worth € 50.6 million.

A new partnership between SME Instrument innovator Steeper Energy and biofuel joint venture Silva Green Fuel will open the road to producing commercial-scale transport biofuels. With the growth of global trade, heavy and long-haul transport sector emissions are on the rise. The availability of low carbon options for road diesel, marine and jet biofuels will help companies and countries meet carbon reduction targets.

Meet the SME Instrument companies attending CES 2018

For 50 years, CES has been the launch pad for new innovation and technology that has changed the world. It is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies and where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace. CES 2018 will showcase more than 3,900 exhibiting companies

The SME instrument companies attending are:

Because reaching international markets are a big part of SME Instrument funded companies' business plans, the SME Instrument business acceleration services aim to help them do just that! 15 innovative companies have been selected to come to attend CES 2018 with the SME Instrument Overseas Trade Fairs Programme from 9-12 January 2018 in Las Vegas, USA. 


SME Instrument takes you to Mobile World Congress 2018

Mobile World Congress takes place in Barcelona 26 January to 1 February 2018

Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the world's largest mobile tech event gathering more than 100,000 professional visitors and over 2,300 exhibitors from around the world. MWC will bring together executives representing mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors and content owners from across the world.

In the context of the Bunsiness Acceleration Services, we invite SME Instrument-funded companies to participate in the MWC. We are organising:

Get connected with business and finance partners in the world's largest mobile industry gathering! The SME Instrument Business Acceleration Services take you to Mobile World Congress, 26th February – 1st of March 2018, in Barcelona. 

The Overseas Trade Fairs Programme helped us get international leads, says Nordic 24/7

Veli Eloranta , CEO of Nordic24/7 showcases his cooling units in MIHAS 2017

1) What motivated you to join the OTF programme?

Nordic 24/7 creates small, ecological, energy-efficient and innovative cooling units for big volume brands. The company went to the Malaysian International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) with the SME Instrument Overseas Trade Fairs Programme. This got them important leads and contacts and even allowed them to win a prize at MIHAS as most innovative non-food product. Veli Eloranta, the CEO of Nordic 24/7 gave us an interview about their experience with the Overseas Trade Fairs.

SME Instrument companies invited to pitch their innovation to Airbus

Airbus aircrafts at aviation fair

The event will feature companies with innovative approaches linked to Aviation with a special focus on the areas of Aircraft Production (e.g. automation, digitalization, supply chain management, advanced and eco-efficient manufacturing processes), Aircraft Development (e.g. air conditioning and power management systems, cabin and cabin system, connectivity, advanced testing) and Services (maintenance and spare part management).

As part of the SME Instrument Business Acceleration Services, global market leader in aeronautics, Airbus, is hosting SME Instrument grantees to a company day in Hamburg, Germany January 30, 2018. A limited number of hand-picked SME Instrument companies will have the opportunity to pitch and present their business cases and their ideas, network with Airbus product managers, research and technology scouts, procurement representatives and meet with affiliated companies.

Early signs of success: 60% of SME Instrument innovations are up-and-coming commercial successes

The study was carried out on 70 finished SME Instrument Phase 2 projects. Despite the short time-span following the funding, 27% of companies reached a highly positive commercial success, usually illustrated by outstanding market performance or additional funds raised from investors (venture capital, acquisitions, IPOs etc.) following the Phase 2 support. Another 31.4% have reached the market, an achievement that was the target of the Phase 2 grant, but don't show outstanding commercial results yet, albeit promising signs.

Almost two out of three companies funded by the SME Instrument have put their innovation out on the market and meet first successes, thanks to the grant. Most of these early successes are young companies, small rather than micro or medium-sized. The study behind these encouraging figures assessed 70 companies that have finished their SME Instrument project.

Octoly raises €9 million to open mini online shops for social media influencers

Young woman records a blog on make-up items

The €9 million investment includes € 1.75 million received from the SME Instrument and will help Octoly to launch Octoprime, a platform that will enable influencers to create their own online stores to sell the products they review.

The influencer space is getting a makeover with fastgrowing SME Instrument innovator Octoly, an influencer marketing startup that connects brands with influencers on social media to receive free beauty products in exchange for publishing reviews on them on YouTube and Instagram. 

AMORPH cuts waiting lines at airports

Amorph Systems is a well-established company that proposes IT-services that offer optimization, simulation and forecasting for airports in order to reduce congestion.

Amorph systems' software extracts data from diverse sources, including flight schedules, number of passengers on board an aircraft and any projected delays. The software then predicts passenger flows in a continuous, accurate and timely way and is updated every minute. This allows airports to avoid congestion and manage resources and staff in more effective way.

The number of passengers in airports has increased from 2000 to 2014 from 1.6 billion to over 3.3 billion worldwide, making it a challenge for airport's to smoothly handle the crowds of travellers. AMORPH.aero is an innovative software for airports that aims to cut down congestion. The company, funded by the SME Instrument, has started a new partnership with Helsinki Airport. 

Fast growing innovator eVision saves workers' lives in hazardous industries

Workers in large industrial installations in particular are vulnerable to fatal accidents like fires and exposure to hazardous substances. Until now the focus has been on preventing accidents through procedures and safety regulations but thanks to eVision this approach might take a radical turn.

Minimal risk, maximal safety

With more than 2.3 million people worldwide dying every year as a result of work-related accidents, industries have a real challenge in reducing risks in hazardous work environments. EVision monitors large industrial installations to make sure risks are under control and employees know when and how to react. EVision is on Deloitte's list of 500 fastest growing companies and has signed big contracts with global industrial leaders, like Exxon and Statoil. Here's how the SME Instrument helped them get their ideas on the market.

SME Instrument: 2596 proposals seek funding under Phase 1

This image shows the number of applications per country for SME Instrument Phase 1 November 2017 cut-off

Small and medium-sized businesses selected funding under the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase receive a lump-sum of €50.000 from the EU to co-finance up to 70% of their innovation project.

Most proposals were submitted in the topics ICT (668) ICT for health (260) followed by sustainable food and agriculture (239) and nanotechnologies (238). The largest number of proposals was submitted by Italian applicants (440) followed by Spanish (403), French (150) and British (147) applicants. 97% of applicants were single SMEs.

The European Commission received 2596 proposals from 43 countries for SME Instrument Phase 1 before the latest cut-off date on 9 November 2017. The initial cut-off date of 7 November was extended by two days due to miscommunication on the Participant Portal.


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