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New grants from Horizon 2020 for small and medium-sized enterprises

New grants from Horizon 2020 for small and medium-sized enterprises

Publish date: 2015-01-29

More than 275 innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs) may receive financing support in form of new grants. The funding is a part of Horizon 2020 programme, which is aimed to stimulate the development of innovation in Europe, thus creating economic growth and new jobs in most promising sectors.

Tags: europe , horizon 2020 , grant , SME , fundin

A total of €117 million in form of new Horizon 2020 grants will be provided to most promising innovative SMEs that are the basis of well-prospering economies. In fact, SMEs are predominantly responsible for European wealth and economic growth as they play a critical role in the R&D sector.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme with a budget of €80 billion. The new €3 billion SME Instrument, which was launched under Horizon 2020 is aimed to provide funding for early-stage and high-risk R&D companies. In general, an interest of SME Instrument encompasses various areas of science, technology and innovation. One of its major priorities is to help in transferring ideas into real market products. From “leadership in industrial technologies” and “societal challenge” pillars of Horizon 2020, at least 20% (about €9 billion) is planned to be provided as grants to SMEs directly.

Importantly, SME Instrument provides a staged support in 3 phases forming the whole innovation cycle. In short, phase 1 focuses on the assessment of the technological and commercial potential of a chosen project. Phase 2 encompasses undertaking research and development as well as the demonstration and market replication. Eventually, phase 3 is concentrated on the commercialization process.

In the most recent round of phase 1 of the SME Instrument, 199 SMEs from 25 different countries have been chosen to receive financing for feasibility studies within particular projects. Spanish, Italian and UK enterprises were the most successful in getting financial support. From the central Europe region, Slovenia and Estonia are leading countries with 7 beneficiaries since 1st Janury 2014, when the programme has been launched.

Concerning phase 2, the European Commision has selected 132 proposals meeting the required standards, from which 45.5% was supported by the funding. Here, UK companies are the most numerous group of beneficiaries among European countries. Estonia and Hungary are most successful from central Europe.

The whole idea of Horizon 2020 is based on simple structures and rules in order to minimize time spent for bureaucratic procedures. Importantly, it puts an investment in research at the first place, as it is essential for sustainable future growth in Europe.


Maciej Smolarz


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