SME Instrument

Horizon 2020 SME Instrument provides an excellent opportunity for small and medium sized companies to get financial support for product development and commercial uptake. Applying for Horizon 2020 SME Instrument should be considered if your company:

  • has developed a novel technological solution with a superior value proposition
  • is tackling an important problem at European level
  • has proven a strong market demand for the solution and validated it with initial pilot customers.
  • has tested and validated a prototype proving the benefits of the technology.

If you ticked all the boxes, then this is an opportunity for you. The grant covers activities taking you from the prototype to a full commercial uptake.

SME instrument is set-up in two phases and companies have an option to choose if they want to start with a feasibility study (Phase 1) or apply directly for a product development grant (Phase 2).

quick fact


€3 billion
7,500 projects

Phase 1

Concept & Feasibility Assessment
(4-6 months)
Funding: €50,000

The European Union will provide €50 000 in funding in order to carry out a feasibility study to verify the viability of the proposed disruptive innovation or concept. Typical activities to be included in the Phase 1 project are:

  • Partner searches, incl. finding (pilot) customers
  • IP studies, incl. freedom-to-operate
  • Development of thematic functional strategies
  • Small scale piloting or manufacturability studies

The Phase 1 proposal results in a comprehensive growth-oriented Business Plan.

Phase 2

Product development, Piloting, Commercial uptake
(1-2 years)
Funding: €0.5-2.5 million

Phase 2 funding provides SMEs an opportunity to finalize their unique product and focus on scale up, wider piloting, performance verification and testing. The project also funds commercial uptake and market replication activities. Funding rate of the Phase 2 project is 70% with an own-financing of 30%. Project duration should be 1-2 years and the maximum grant is 2,5 million Euros.

Our services

Our consultants will guide you throughout the whole project preparation process and assist in:

  • Project idea formulation
  • Defining the consortium structure and finding suitable partners
  • Putting together the work plan
  • Assessing the project’s economic impact
  • Defining the project’s management structure
  • Intellectual property (IP) questions, including intellectual property strategy definition and preparation of the consortium agreement
  • Project budgeting
  • Project administrative coordination, management and submission in the specific online submission system

managing partner

Silver Toomla

Mobile: +372 5171 781
E-mail: silver.toomla@invent.ee

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