About Horizon 2020 SME Instrument - New business models
The Horizon 2020 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 - New business models offers funding opportunities for SMEs within all industries, including traditional sectors such as manufacturing, but also service and creative industries ass well as social companies. Support is given to the development of business models, processes and 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.
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