The total amount to be distributed to the companies under both Phases of the programme is €114.237 million. With this funding, companies will be able to finance their innovation activities ranging from feasibility studies to market launch.
69 companies get support to scale up their innovation
69 small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) from 22 countries were selected for funding SME Instrument Phase 2. The total amount to be distributed between the SMEs working on 62 projects is €104.587 million. In this phase of the SME Instrument, each project will receive up to €2.5 million (€5 million for health projects) to finance innovation activities like demonstration, testing, piloting and scaling up. The companies will also benefit from 12 days of business coaching and free business acceleration services.
Spanish SMEs were the most successful with 16 companies selected for funding. They were followed by companies from Italy (11), Sweden (6) and Germany (5). The majority of projects are in the field of transport (9), energy (9) and ICT (8).
193 companies receive support for feasibility studies
193 innovative SMEs from 28 countries were selected for funding under SME Instrument Phase 1. The total amount to be distributed between the SMEs working on 193 projects is €9.65 million. In this phase of the SME Instrument, each project will receive a lump-sum of €50 000 to carry out a feasibility study. The companies will also receive three days of business coaching and free business acceleration services.
Spanish SMEs were the most successful with 27 companies selected for funding, followed by Italy (26) and Switzerland (22). Most projects are in the field of ICT (37), energy (35) and transport (28). The European Commission received 2123 project proposals by the cut-off date of 18 October 2017 for Phase 2 and 2596 proposals by 9 November 2017 for Phase 1. Since the launch of the programme on 1 January 2014, 843 SMEs have been selected for funding under Phase 2 and 2616 under Phase 1.
Opportunities under the European Innovation Council pilot
The SME Instrument is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot that supports top-class innovators with funding opportunities and acceleration services. The main focus of the EIC pilot is on radical, market-creating innovations to improve productivity and international competitiveness and generate new jobs and higher standards of living.
The first SME Instrument cut-off dates under the EIC pilot are 10 January 2018 for Phase 2 and 8 February for Phase 1. The major changes brought by the EIC pilot include intensified focus on market-creating innovation and improvements in the evaluation process. The selection will now be entirely bottom-up, meaning that small innovative companies from all sectors can apply. Projects will also pitch their idea to an innovation jury to be selected for funding under Phase 2.