Horizon 2020 SME instrument - fourth call of 2017

Updated: Nov 9, 2018

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

To apply for this grant, you need to be an innovative SME. Moreover, you must have less than 250 employees. Finally, you must have 1- either an annual turnover inferior or equal to €50M or 2- an annual balance sheet inferior or equal to €43M

Note that the competition is very tough and the committee will only select only the most innovative and groundbreaking projects.


Phase I - 09 November 2017 Phase II - 18 October 2017


To apply for this grant, you need to be an "innovative SME", ie a company 1- engaged in an economic activity, 2- with less than 250 employees and 3- with 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.

Project size

You can apply to either Phase I or II of the Horizon 2020 SME instrument. The choice depends on the maturity of your project:

  • Phase I: if you have a proof-of-concept, a Phase I funding will help you get a grip on the R&D, technical feasibility and commercial potential of a ground-breaking, innovative idea. It will provide the resources to develop a credible business plan in order to scale up your project. Successful applicants will receive a lump sum of €50 000 for a project that should last around 6 months.

  • Phase II: Phase 2 helps you develop your validated business concept further into a market-ready product, service or process aligned with your company's growth strategy. Activities could, for example, include trials, prototyping, validation, demonstration and testing in real-world conditions, and market replication. If the activity concerns a primarily technological innovation, a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 6 or above is 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 of applying for the Horizon 2020 SME instrument. There are three parts to this application: the first section is the administrative one. It is followed by the description of the project (section B - annexes 1-3). The last part is the description of the company (section B - annexes 4-5).

Update: how to get the grant

You would stand a chance to get the grant by writing it yourself, but it would be very low. On the other hand, if we do it for you, the probability of your getting it would reach 1/4.  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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