Up to 2.5 million euros exclusively for small and medium-sized enterprises to help them take innovative developments to the market

This SME instrument supports small and medium-sized enterprises by providing them with a single grant to bring innovative developments to market. Up to 2.5 million euros are available per project.

This SME instrument is aimed at highly innovative, fast-growing companies who want to launch their products or services, supporting them with their innovation projects and globalisation. It is available to all SMEs, regardless of whether high-tech and research intensive or from the social and services sector, who are committed to themes stated in Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies as well as Societal Challenges.

The SME instrument is divided into three phases:

Phase 1: Concept & Feasibility Assessment
The technical feasibility and market potential of an excellent innovative idea are evaluated. It has to be a considerably new innovation (product, process, service, technology or a new market application of an existing technology).

Time-to-contract: 3 months
Project duration: max. 6 months
Output: From the idea to the concept

Phase 2: Innovation Activities
Activities close to the market such as development, demonstration, tests, prototype construction, pilot testing, design, market replication, scaling-up and downscaling receive funding.

Time-to-contract: 3 months
Project duration: 12 to 24 months
Output: From the concept to market maturity

Phase 3: Commercialisation
Support is given to launch the innovative solution successfully. No financial funding by the EU but easier access to private investors and first consumers, training, networking services, use of regional, national and EU financing instruments.

Output: Market entry


  • Funding rate for innovation activities: 70% for direct costs, 25% flat-rate for indirect costs (subject to exceptions)
  • Phase 1: Flat rate of max. 50,000 euros (for a project size of 71,500 euros)
  • Phase 2: 0.5 to 2.5 million euros (subject to exceptions)
  • Phase 3: No financial EU funding but other support
  • In phases 1 and 2, SMEs also receive business coaching and the Enterprise Europe Network helps them with their innovation projects. They can, therefore, increase their capacity to innovate, strengthen management skills and facilitate their access to additional financing, services and cooperation partners.

Companies submit their proposals via the Participant Portal of the European Commission

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