The SME Instrument is targeting Small- and Medium-Size Companies that seek funding for “Go to Market” activities. Such activities may include: finishing the development effort of the product, packaging, marketing, business development efforts and more. The SME Instrument is highly interested in the commercial success of the company as well as its products. The SME Instrument aim is to help high-potential SMEs to develop groundbreaking innovative ideas for products, services or processes that are ready to face global market competition.
A typical SME Instrument grant to a company can be up to the extent of 2.5 million Euro (at a flat 70% funding rate). The SME Instrument is a pure grant to the company. There are no royalties, nor securities involved. By the end of Horizon 2020, the SME instrument should have supported approximately 7,500 SMEs to get their innovations delivered onto the market.
The SME Instrument offers small and medium-sized businesses the following funding schemes:
- Business innovation grants for feasibility assessment purposes (Phase I): EUR 50,000 per project (70% of total cost of the project)
- Business innovation grants for innovation development & demonstration purposes (Phase II): EUR 500,000-2.5 million (70% of total cost of the project as a general rule)
- Business innovation grants for Commercialisation purposes (Phase III): Access to a wide range of innovation support services and facilitated access to risk finance, to facilitate the commercial exploitation of the innovation
- Free-of-charge business coaching (optional) to support and enhance the firm’s innovation capacity and help align the project to strategic business needs