SME Instrument

99% of all companies in Europe are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). They contribute more than two thirds of the European Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and provide 75 million jobs. They are key for the implementation of the EU 2020 Strategy.

2.8 Billion euro are made easily accessible to SMEs under Horizon 2020 for funding research and innovation businesses and accelerating the exploitation of innovations

Innovative Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) will be supported in Horizon 2020 programme through a new dedicated SME instrument where only SMEs (single SMEs or consortiums of SMEs) will be allowed to apply for funding and support.  SMEs can form collaborations according to their needs, including for subcontracting research and development work.

In total, more than 2.8 billion euros will be allocated for the SME instrument from 2014 to 2020, at least 7% of the total budget of the Societal Challenges and Leading and Enabling Technologies (LEIT) blocks of Horizon2020. Out of this total value,  90 million euros will be allocated for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) during the years 2014 and 2015. They will specifically address LEIT block and will be presented under the Open and Disruptive Innovation (ODI) items. ODI is dedicated to the SME instrument in ICT for 2014 and 2015 but additional activities could be addressed under ODI during the life of Horizon 2020.

The new SME instrument will be a simpler and more easily accessible funding scheme for SMEs. It comes in addition to the support provided through the participation of SME in collaborative projects that will be continued in Horizon 2020, as well as to other measures for SME (such as the EU contribution of the Eurostar programme). For more details on how the current FP7 and CIP SME specific activities have been taken up in Horizon 2020 check here.

Source: European Commission. For further details click here