Funding opportunity: Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 1

Updated: Oct 24, 2018

The next deadline for the phase 1 of the SME instrument is getting near - are you up for it?


This call will close on 07 November 2018


To apply for this grant, you need to qualify as an innovative SME. This means your for-profit organisation must have:

  • less than 250 employees.

  • an annual turnover of no more than €50 M and/or an annual balance sheet of no more than €43 M.

Phase I only covers studies aiming at assessing the technical and commercial feasibility of an innovation. These can be IP search, market search, partner search, and the development of a business plan.

Note that the competition is very tough and only the most innovative and ground-breaking projects are selected. Over the first three years of the competition, the overall success rate was 8.4%.


The core of the application is a 10-page proposal. Its assessment includes the company's "financial capacity" and "operational capacity".

The criteria on which experts evaluate the proposal are:

  1. Impact (50% weighting): you will need to qualify the market. You will also have to explain how your project fits with the needs of the market.

  2. Excellence (25% weighting): present the state of development of your project and why it is groundbreaking.

  3. Quality and efficiency of implementation (25% weighting): present your team and explain why they are up to the task.

The European Commission has issued a manual to guide you through the application for the SME instrument.

Getting the grant

Once again, the SME instrument grant is highly competitive. It will only fund the development of very disruptive technologies. Your project will consequently need to have a large potential market and a clear social or environmental positive impact. Yet, of course, technology isn't everything; the wording and the way you present your data are nearly as important as the content of the proposal.

This is where we step in:  working with us double your chances of getting the funding and increase dramatically your ROI.

So don't waste your time and money, get in touch!

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