As part of the Horizon 2020 programme, the European Commission is selecting potentially disruptive businesses to invest in and support as part of the SME Instrument. SMEs with a strong growth potential and the ambition to become world-market leaders could receive up to €2.5 million in funding, and world-class business support and mentoring.
The instrument is structured in three phases, with the aim of transforming disruptive ideas into concrete, innovative solutions with a European and global impact.
The instrument will take place in three phases, with the aim of transforming disruptive ideas into concrete, innovative solutions with a European and global impact. SMEs are recommended to apply for Phase 1, but may also apply for subsequent phases depending on the progress of their proposals.
Phase 1. Concept & Feasibility Assessment | Idea to concept (6 months)
The European Union will provide €50 000 in funding, and carry out a feasibility study to verify the viability of the proposed disruptive innovation or concept. The SME will draft an initial business proposal (around 10 pages).
Phase 2. Demonstration, Market Replication, R&D | Concept to Market-Maturity (1-2 years)
Assisted by the EU, the SME will further develop its proposal through innovation activities, such as demonstration, testing, piloting, scaling up, and miniaturisation. It will also draft a more developed business plan (around 30 pages). Proposals will be based on a business plan developed on phase 1 or otherwise. The EU aims to contribute between €0.5 million and €2.5 million.
Phase 3. Commercialisation | Prepare for Market Launch
SMEs will receive extensive support, training, mentorship and facilitating access to risk finance as the project is further polished into a marketable product. Additional support and networking opportunities will be provided by Enterprise Europe Network (EEN). The EU will not provide additional direct funding in this phase.