European Commission to invest €8.7 million in 189 innovative businesses

189 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 26 countries have been selected for funding in the latest round of the Horizon2020 SME Instrument.

The funding is provided under Phase 1 of the Instrument, which means that participants in each project will receive €50,000 to finance feasibility studies for new products that can disrupt the market. They can also ask for up to three days of free business coaching.

The European Commission received 1995 proposals under Phase 1 by 24 February 2016, the first cut-off date for this year. The 189 SMEs that will receive funds proposed 174 projects in total (multiple SMEs can be involved in one project). The total funding in this cut-off amounts to €8.7 million.

SMEs in the UK were particularly successful with 36 beneficiaries accepted for funding, followed by those in Spain (34) and Italy (25). Most of the projects funded are in the area of ICT, followed by transport and low-carbon energy systems.

Since the launch of the programme on 1 January 2014, 1473 SMEs have been selected under Phase 1 of the SME Instrument.

The SME instrument is implemented through one continuously open call with cut-offs four times a year. The funding is €50,000 under Phase 1 and up to €2,5 million under Phase 2. The next cut-off for Phase 1 is 3 May 2016.