The European Commission received 1280 proposals from 37 countries for SME Instrument Phase 2 before 14 Mars 2018 – the second cut-off date for Phase 2 this year. The proposals are assessed under a brand new evaluation system. Results are expected around end of May 2018.

Small and medium-sized businesses that seek funding under the SME Instrument can receive from € 0.5 to € 2.5 million from the EU to co-finance up to 70 % of their innovation project.

The largest number of proposals was submitted by Spanish applicants (213) followed by Italian (154), French (94), German and British (both 89) applicants. Over 90 % of applicants were single SMEs and most proposals came from ICT, health and technology companies.

Since 2018 the SME Instrument is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot. A novelty under the EIC pilot is that the SME Instrument applications are fully bottom-up. As there are no longer set topics, all proposals are competing with each other.

The proposals will now be evaluated by remote innovation experts. The best proposals will then be invited for a second step of assessments – an interview in front of a Jury of innovation and business experts. The interviews will take place during the week of 16-20 April, when selected businesses will pitch their projects to the Jury. For full details on the evaluation process please read the Guidelines for Applicants.

Results for this cut-off will be published around end of May 2018. The next cut-off for Phase 2 is on 23/05/2018.

Source: European Commission – Executive Agency for SMEs