A total of 246 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 24 countries have been selected for funding in the latest round of the SME Instrument. Between them, the companies will receive a total amount of €12.2 million from the EU's research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, to get their innovations faster on the market.
The projects selected include a water-injection system to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from commercial vehicles, a decision-making tool for fully exploiting big bio-data, a digital platform for hands-on cybersecurity training, a novel cancer therapy targeting cancer networks and a technology that dissolves wood waste to extract raw materials.
The companies will be supported in the so-called Phase 1 of the SME Instrument, which means that each project (244 in total) will receive €50.000 to draft a business plan. Several companies can team up to propose one project. The companies will also receive free coaching and business acceleration services.
The majority of the companies selected for funding are in the field of information and communication technology (ICT), health and engineering. Most are based in Spain (33), Italy (28) and Switzerland (23).
The European Commission received 2111 proposals for the 5 September cut-off. The next application deadline for SME Instrument Phase 1 is on 7 November 2019.
The SME Instrument is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot that provides top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with funding opportunities and 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 and business acceleration services.
29 October 2018