Horizon 2020 SME instrument: fourth call of 2016

Updated: Nov 14, 2018

Next deadlines for Horizon 2020 SME Instrument approaching: let's innovate!

The Horizon 2020 SME instrument is devised to help bring a highly innovative project on the market. NB: this is an extremely competitive grant!


Phase I - 09 November 2016

Phase II - 13 October 2016


To apply for this grant, you need to be an innovative SME which means your organisation have an economic activity and:

  • 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.

Note that the competition is very tough and only the most innovative and groundbreaking projects are selected. Over the first three years of the competition, the overall success rate was 8.4% for Phase I and 5.5% for Phase 2.

Project size

Depending on the maturity of your project, you can apply to either a Phase I or a Phase II funding.

  • Phase 1 is designed to help companies at an early stage. It helps them turn a proof-of-concept into a prototype. The funds (€50 000) can finance R&D, technical feasibility studies and commercial potential studies. The goal of it is to help companies scale up their project by developing a credible business plan. The projects should last about 6 months.

  • Phase 2 helps companies develop a market-ready product/service/process ( trials, prototyping, validation, demonstration and testing in real-world conditions, market replication etc.). A Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 6 or above may be required. Projects will receive between €0.5 M and €2.5 M but you can request a higher or lower amount, duly justified, when applying. Projects should normally take 12 to 24 months to complete but could be longer in exceptional and well-justified cases.

How to apply

The EU Commission has provided an online manual - which is available here - to help you through the process. The application is divided into three parts:

  • the first section is the administrative one

  • followed by the description of the project (section B - annexes 1-3)

  • and the description of the company (section B - annexes 4-5).

How to get the grant

If you write the application yourself you have 10% chance of having the grant, if we write the application it goes up to 25%. If you want to see how interesting it is to work with us on such an application, you can read our economic case study on EU funding application.

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

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