European aid line with better conditions: SME Instrument

The SME Instrument of the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme is the European funding programme with the best conditions for applicants and is also open all year round with 4 delivery dates per year.

It aims to promote and encourage innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises in all sectors of activity, and in particular focuses on companies that plan to launch innovative products on the market.

Funding is structured in separate phases, which are applied for separately:

  • Phase 1 for the development of a feasibility study (€ 50,000)
  • Phase 2 for the development, validation and industrialisation of the project (between 0.5 and 2.5 M€).

These tasks are supported by free advisory/coaching services (optional) and marketing support (Phase 3).

This funding instrument has different advantages compared to other calls, the first and most important being that the projects presented under this programme can be individual or consortia, formed by SMEs.  In addition certain tasks with lesser relevance in the development of the project can be subcontracted.

There are two key differences between the SME Instrument and the rest of European calls that make it the European funding line with the best conditions:

  • Type of non-repayable aid: the financing covers 70% of the total eligible costs of the project. Taking into account that an additional 25% of indirect costs is included, the total effective funding rate is around 85%.
  • Around 40% of the budget is anticipated at the start of the project and the rest in the established control periods, contributing to a positive cash-flow during the development of the project. The 5% is initially retained as a guarantee fund.

The next delivery dates are:

SME Istrument phase 1 Until 7 November 2018

SME Istrument phase 2 Until 9 January 2019

The Euro-Funding team, with more than 10 years of experience in the SME Instrument, presented 16 Phase 1 and 8 Phase 2 projects in September.