The open disruptive innovation scheme attracted the most proposals (885), followed by low carbon energy systems (372), nanotechnologies (305) and eco-innovation/raw materials (241). The general expected success rate for applications in this cut-off date is of 6.2%.
The majority of SMEs applied individually, and most consortia were of two SMEs. The EASME plans to have evaluated the proposals by the end of July. After our first exciting results, we are looking forward to working together with SMEs to promote disruptive innovation in Europe.
What is the SME Instrument?
As part of the Horizon 2020 programme, the
Who should apply?
The EASME are looking for high growth, highly innovative SMEs with global ambitions that want to disrupt the established value networks and existing markets. Applicants should be driven, actively investing in innovation and looking to grow. They should have been established for a while and not at a start-up stage. EASME explain that it is a good sign if the company is based in an innovation hub, has received grants or venture capital funding, received innovation-related tax benefits or won an innovation prize in the last two years.
The instrument will take place in three phases, with the aim of transforming disruptive ideas into concrete, innovative solutions with a European and global impact.
SMEs are recommended to apply for Phase 1, but may also apply for subsequent phases depending on the progress of their proposals:
Phase 1: Concept & Feasibility Assessment
Idea to concept (6 months)
The SME will draft an initial business proposal (around 10 pages).
Phase 2: Demonstration, Market Replication, R&D
Concept to Market-Maturity (1-2 years)
Assisted by the EU, the SME will further develop its proposal through innovation activities, such as demonstration, testing, piloting, scaling up, and miniaturisation. It will also draft a more developed business plan (around 30 pages). Proposals will be based on a business plan developed on Phase 1 or otherwise. The EU aims to contribute between €0.5m and €2.5m.
Phase 3: Commercialisation
Prepare for market launch
SMEs will receive extensive support, training, mentorship and facilitating access to risk finance as the project is further polished into a marketable product.
Additional support and networking opportunities will be provided by Enterprise Europe Network (EEN).
The EU will not provide additional direct funding in this phase.
In 2014 and 2015 the SME Instrument will sponsor SMEs operating within 13 themes:
High risk ICT innovation
Nanotech, or other advanced tech for manufacturing and materials
Space research and development
Clinical research for the validation of diagnostics devices and biomarkers
Sustainable food production and processing
Low carbon energy systems
Greener and more integrated transport
Eco-innovation and sustainable raw material supply
Urban critical infrastructure
Biotechnology-based industrial processes
Mobile e-government applications (2015 only)
SME business model innovation (2015 only)
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