25 July 2014, Brussels – The European Commission has announced the first results from applications to the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. From 2,666 applications, 155 SMEs from 21 countries will receive funding to finance feasibility studies to develop an innovation strategy, with the assistance of up to three days of business coaching.
Spanish SMEs were particularly successful in the first round, with 39 selected proposals, followed by SMEs from the UK (26) and Italy (20). Successful applicants will be formally notified in August. Thereafter, their names will be publicly announced by the Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME), which manages the programme.
The SME Instrument is a key element of the funding for small businesses available under Horizon 2020. Worth around €3 billion over seven years, it offers fast and simple grants for business innovation feasibility studies (Phase 1) and demonstration projects (Phase 2). Investment-mature concepts can in addition benefit from business development advice and other support services (Phase 3).
Applications can be submitted at any time but are evaluated four times each year. These first results concern applications received by the first cut-off for Phase 1 grants on 18 June 2014. The next cut-off dates for evaluation are 24 September 2014 for Phase 1 and 9 October for Phase 2.
Around 645 projects (under Phase 1 and 2) should be funded in 2014, rising to 670 in 2015.
Click here to access the EASME SME Instrument page.