Who receives the Seal of Excellence - SME Instrument

All high quality proposals submitted to the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument (any cut-off, any topic, either Phase 1 or Phase 2), which pass the quality threshold but cannot be funded under the available call budget, are automatically awarded the Seal of Excellence

Who receives the Seal of Excellence in SME Instrument?

All high quality proposals submitted to the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument (any cut-off, any topic, either Phase 1 or Phase 2), which pass the quality threshold but cannot be funded under the available call budget, are automatically awarded the Seal of Excellence.

Above quality threshold means 13 points or more (out of 15) in Phase 1, or 12 points or more (out of 15) in Phase 2. All individual thresholds for the 3 criterions (i.e. Impact, Excellence, Quality and efficiency of implementation) also need to be passed.

The Seal of Excellence Certificate is delivered to SMEs for their eligible proposals when they receive their evaluation results from the Commission.

The certificate can be used to increase the visibility and reputation of the project proposal and possibly attract the interest of public or private investors.

The SME will find the downloadable certificate in my area in the participant portal. An accompanying letter also indicates where to find relevant information and support.

Award process diagram

 

"We submitted to Phase 1 of the SME Instrument our project proposal aiming at recovering exhausted extinguishing powder through an eco-innovative process able to extract noble components to use in agriculture and other sectors. Although we passed a very competitive selection – we didn't get funded. We were a bit disappointed but thanks to €25,000 funding support from Lombardy region we went quickly ahead with our idea and were able to win SME Instrument Phase 2 funding."
William Grandi, Director of Prophos Chemicals, Italy

Tips on how to use your Seal of Excellence

  • This is a great opportunity. The Seal of Excellence certifies the high-quality of your proposal and can build your reputation
  • Search proactively for funding opportunities: only you (the SME) can receive and use the Seal of Excellence
  • In addition to the Seal of Excellence Certificate, consider making all documents at your disposal (Seal of Excellence, full proposal, evaluation summary report etc.) available to the funders you approach
  • Tell your funding body that the Seal of Excellence Certificate as well as the evaluation summary report and the proposal are fraud-proof as they are digitally protected. If someone tries to modify it, the file will be corrupted and unreadable
  • Diversify your search for funding in terms of sources (public or private) and type (grants / financial instruments). You can also try to combine grants with financial instruments (loans, equity, etc.)
  • Be patient. Public authorities in charge of structural funds are working on their calls
  • There is also no guarantee that funding intensity will be the same as in Horizon 2020
  • If you have already been funded for this proposal, do not use the Seal of Excellence to be funded again for the same activities as double-funding is not allowed
  • To find out about funding opportunities you can contact the Europe Enterprise Network, the National Contact Point network and the Relevant Managing Authority. They can help you find the right funding channel for your proposal.
    List of contacts that can provide more information on available schemes in your country or region  PDF icon 195 KB
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