The Horizon 2020 SME Instrument offers business innovation grants to small- and medium-sized businesses underpinned by a sound and strategic business plan.
At 1st Mile, many of our customers apply for Horizon 2020 SME Instrument.
Horizon 2020 SME Instrument
The SME Instrument offers small and medium-sized businesses the following:
- Business innovation grants for feasibility assessment purposes (optional phase I): €50,000 (lump sum) per project (70% of total cost of the project);
- Business innovation grants for innovation development & demonstration purposes (possible phase II): an amount in the indicative range of €500,000 and €2,5 million (70% of total cost of the project as a general rule);
- Free-of-charge business coaching (optional) in order to support and enhance the firm’s innovation capacity and help align the project to strategic business needs;
- Access to a wide range of other business acceleration services and facilitated access to risk finance, to facilitate the commercial exploitation of the innovation.
Phase 1: Feasibility Assessment (To be phased out in 2019)
Funding is available for: exploring and assessing the technical feasibility and commercial potential of a breakthrough innovation that a company wants to exploit and commercialize.
- Amount of funding: lump sum of €50,000 (per project, not per participating business).
- Duration: typically around 6 months
- Outcome: The outcome of a phase 1 project is a feasibility study (technical and commercial), including a business plan
Should the conclusion of the study be that the innovative concept has the potential to be developed to the level of investment readiness/market maturity, but requires additional funding in view of commercialisation, the SME can apply for Phase 2 support.
Phase 2: Innovation Project
Funding is available for: innovation projects underpinned by a sound and strategic business plan (potentially elaborated and partially funded through phase 1 of the SME Instrument).
Activities funded in phase 2 can be of several types: prototyping, miniaturisation, scaling-up, design, performance verification, testing, demonstration, development of pilot lines, validation for market replication, including other activities aimed at bringing innovation to investment readiness and maturity for market take-up.
- Amount of funding: in the indicative range of €500,000 – €2.5 million or more (covering up to 70% of eligible costs).
- Duration: typically around 1 to 2 years
- A greatly innovative product, process or service that is ready to conquer the market;
- A business innovation plan incorporating a detailed commercialisation strategy and a financing plan in view of market launch (e.g. on how to attract private investors, if applicable).