SME Instrument: € 51.6 million more to invest in innovation in 2017

The Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2016-2017 has been updated on 25 July, bringing novelties to the SME Instrument programme. The good news is that the SME Instrument budget has been increased to € 437.5 million to be invested in innovation small and medium-sized businesses.

The budget increase for 2017 concerns four topics:

  • Healthcare and biotechnology (SMEInst-05 topic) € 35 million
  • Sustainable agriculture, forestry (SMEInst-07 topic) € 5.68 million
  • Blue growth (SMEInst-08 topic) € 2.42 million
  • Climate action, environment, raw materials, resource efficiency (SMEInst-11 topic) € 8.5 million

In addition open research data will be the default setting for Phase 2 projects. This new feature is designed to boost competitiveness by accelerating innovation and collaboration, improving transparency and avoiding duplication of efforts. However, as in some cases research data cannot be open, Phase 2 projects have the possibility to opt out. Participation will not be taken into account during the evaluation procedure. Furthermore this measure will not concern Phase 1 projects.

Call topics will also see some changes:

  • Healthcare and biotechnology (SMEInst-05 topic): for cell technologies Phase 1 will be closed off in 2017, the topic will continue for all Phase 1 projects from 2016 and for Phase 2 projects from 2016 and 2017. In addition the projects in this topic can now last up to 36 months instead of the regular 12-14 months duration for other topics.
  • Blue growth (SMEInst-08 topic): more focus is put on marine litter prevention in the text of the call
  • Security (SMEInst-13 topic): from January 2017, actions to improve cyber security are encouraged to take into account the objectives of the Cybersecurity contractual Public-Private Partnership and the corresponding Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda.

INNOSUP will also see a few modifications, the main one being the eligibility criteria for coordination and support actions for a better access to industrial technologies developed overseas.