Horizon 2020 SME instrument: third call of 2016

Updated: Nov 14, 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 and 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 - 07 September 2016

Phase II - 15 June 2016 


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

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 are expected to 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

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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