Are you a highly innovative, ambitious and passionate small- or medium-sized business with global ambitions? Are you looking for excellent business resources and mentorship - and substantial funding wouldn’t hurt either?
As part of the Horizon 2020 programme, the European Commission is hand-picking potentially disruptive businesses to invest and support as part of the SME Instrument. Your business could receive up to €2.5 million in funding, world-class business coaching and business acceleration services.
Who should apply?
We are looking for high growth, highly innovative SMEs [Check the EU definition of SME] with global ambitions that want to disrupt the established value networks and existing markets. You should be driven, actively investing in innovation, and looking to grow.
It's a good sign if your company is based in an innovation hub, has received grants or venture capital funding, received innovation-related tax benefits, or won an innovation prize in the last 2 years.
The instrument will take place in three phases, with the aim of transforming disruptive ideas into concrete, innovative solutions with a European and global impact.
SMEs are recommended to apply for Phase 1, but may also apply for subsequent phases depending on the progress of their proposals:
Idea to concept (6 months)
The European Union will provide €50 000 in funding, and carry out a feasibility study to verify the viability of the proposed disruptive innovation or concept.
The SME will draft an initial business proposal (around 10 pages).
Concept to Market-Maturity (1-2 years)
Assisted by the EU, the SME will further develop its proposal through innovation activities, such as demonstration, testing, piloting, scaling up, and miniaturisation. It will also draft a more developed business plan (around 30 pages).
Proposals will be based on a business plan developed on phase 1 or otherwise. The EU aims to contribute between €0.5 million and €2.5 million.
Prepare for Market Launch
SMEs will receive extensive business acceleration support, including training, coaching and facilitating access to risk finance as the project is further polished into a marketable product.
Additional support and networking opportunities will be provided by Enterprise Europe Network (EEN).
The EU will not provide additional direct funding in this phase.
Changes to 2017 calls:
|Open Disruptive Innovation Scheme||SMEInst-01||€60 m.||€66 m.|
|Accelerating the uptake of nanotechnologies advanced materials or advanced manufacturing and processing technologies by SMEs||SMEInst-02||€31.83 m.||€35.32 m.|
|Dedicated support to biotechnology SMEs closing the gap from lab to market||SMEInst-03||€7.5 m.||€7.5 m.|
|Engaging SMEs in space research and development||SMEInst-04||€11.37 m.||€12.6 m.|
|Supporting innovative SMEs in the healthcare biotechnology sector||SMEInst-05||€35 m.||€80 m.|
|Accelerating market introduction of ICT solutions for Health, Well-Being and Ageing Well||SMEInst-06||€18 m.||€12.5 m.|
|Stimulating the innovation potential of SMEs for sustainable and competitive agriculture, forestry, agri-food and bio-based sectors||SMEInst-07||€25.46 m.||€37.87 m.|
|Supporting SMEs efforts for the development - deployment and market replication of innovative solutions for blue growth||
|€9.5 m.||€12.42 m.|
|Stimulating the innovation potential of SMEs for a low carbon and efficient energy system||SMEInst-09||€46 m.||€50 m.|
|Small business innovation research for Transport and Smart Cities Mobility||SMEInst-10||€57.57 m.||€61.23 m.|
|Boosting the potential of small businesses in the areas of climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials||SMEInst-11||€25 m.||€36 m.|
|New business models for inclusive, innovative and reflective societies||SMEInst-12||€10.8 m.||€11.4 m.|
|Engaging SMEs in security research and development||SMEInst-13||€15.37 m.||€14.67 m.|
|TOTAL||€353.4 m.||€437.5 m.|
Deadlines for all themes