Horizon 2020 Dedicated SME Instrument - Security

Provides 0.5 - 2.5M € in subsidies for development and demonstration within:

About Horizon 2020 Dedicated SME Instrument - Security

The Horizon 2020 Dedicated SME Instrument directly supports European small and medium-sized enterprises with a strong desire to develop, grow, and internationalize their most innovative ideas. The instrument is relevant for high-tech and research driven companies as well as service companies, and SMEs applying in a consortium or alone. With a successful application to the program, companies will receive:

  • Phase 1: A lump sum of EUR 50,000 towards proof-of-concept and feasibility studies
  • Phase 2: EUR 0.5-2.5M towards innovation development and demonstration activities
  • Support of up to 70% of total project cost

Possibilities with Horizon 2020 SME

Horizon 2020 SME offers funding opportunities for SMEs within a variety of industries. Support is given to the development of innovative ideas to market ready products, processes or services. The program has an overall budget of EUR 3BN which will be distributed to innovative projects in two separate phases.

Phase 1 funding is aimed at exploring and assessing the technical feasibility and commercial potential of breakthrough innovation.

  • Activities include risk assessment, market study, user involvement, Intellectual Property (IP) management, innovation strategy development, partner search, feasibility of concept etc.

Phase 2 funding is aimed at innovation projects supported by a sound and strategic business plan (potentially made possible by phase 1 funding) aimed at commercialisation.

  • Activities include prototyping, miniaturisation, scaling-up, design, performance verification, testing, demonstration, development of pilot lines, market replication, etc.

Requirements for Horizon 2020 SME

There are three primary requirements for a project to be eligible for support from Horizon 2020 SME:

  • Projects need at least one participating SME to apply (An SME has fewer than 250 employees and an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50M, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43M). SMEs may apply alone.
  • No parallel submission or implementation (phase 1 and phase 2) is possible.
  • Phase 2 proposals must be based on an elaborate business plan, with particular attention given to IP protection and ownership as well as commercial exploitation.

Upcoming deadlines

Below are the upcoming deadlines for Horizon 2020 Dedicated SME Instrument. Expect 1-2 months for the proposal writing process.


To engage small and medium enterprises in innovation activities in the domain of security, especially those not traditionally involved in it.

- Fighting crime, illegal trafficking and terrorism, including understanding and tackling terrorist ideas and beliefs
- Protecting and improving the resilience of critical infrastructures, supply chains and transport modes
- Strengthening security through border management
- Improving cyber security
- Increasing Europe's resilience to crises and disasters
- Ensuring privacy and freedom, including in the Internet, and enhancing the societal legal and ethical understanding of all areas of security, risk and management
- Enhancing standardisation and interoperability of systems, including for emergency purposes
- Supporting the Union's external security policies, including through conflict prevention and peace-building

Can your project get funding from Horizon 2020 Dedicated SME Instrument?

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Can your project get funding?

We can tell you if your project is suited for public funding. Tell us a little bit about your project we can help you identify the funding potential.

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We help companies obtain public funding by converting good projects to well-prepared applications.

Our services cover the entire application process:

Identifying funding opportunities
We identifying your best funding opportunities
Planning and scoping your project
We plan and scope your project to meet demands
Writing the successful application
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