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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Small firms to receive grants under EU SME Instrument

Innovation, SME Policy,Research centres,Local and Regional authorities,Administrations States,Agencies Chambers,SMEs,

News The European Commission today announces the first results of its new €3 billion SME Instrument.

This instrument was launched under Horizon 2020 to help innovative small firms get ideas from the lab to the market. In total, 155 SMEs from 21 countries (EU Member States or countries associated to Horizon 2020) will each receive €50,000 to finance feasibility studies to develop their innovation strategy. In addition, SMEs can benefit from up to three days of business coaching.

Spanish SMEs were particularly successful in the first round, with 39 proposals selected, followed closely by SMEs from the UK and Italy. In total, there were 2,666 applications for the first grants. Successful applicants will be formally notified in August. Thereafter, their names will be publicly announced by the Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME), which manages the programme.

The SME Instrument is a key element of the funding for small businesses available under Horizon 2020. Worth around €3 billion over seven years, it offers fast and simple grants for business innovation feasibility studies (Phase 1) and demonstration projects (Phase 2). Investment-mature concepts can in addition benefit from business development advice and other support services (Phase 3).

Through the SME Instrument the European Union wants to finance the most innovative small companies, with a high growth potential. The application process is easy but only the very best projects can expect to receive funding. Eligible topics are set out in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme on ‘Innovation in SMEs’.

Applications can be submitted at any time but are evaluated four times each year. Today's results concern applications received by the first cut-off for Phase 1 grants on 18 June 2014. The next cut-off dates for evaluation are 24 September 2014 for Phase 1 and 9 October for Phase 2.

Around 645 projects (under Phase 1 and 2) should be funded in 2014, rising to 670 in 2015.

Source :  Presse de la Commission européenne

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