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19 Sep 2014

European Commission announces first winners of SME Instrument grants

On 18 Sept. 2014, the European Commission published a list of the first 155 SMEs that will receive funding from the new €3 billion SME Instrument under HORIZON 2020. The winners were selected from a total of 2662 proposals submitted in the first round of selection. Each of these 155 SMEs from 21 countries will receive €50,000 to finance feasibility studies for their projects, and can also benefit from up to three days of business coaching. After that, their projects may be considered for further financial support from the Commission worth up to €2.5 million.

The SME instrument was established under Horizon 2020 with the objective to help innovative small firms get innovative projects from the lab to the market. SMEs from EU Member States or countries associated to Horizon 2020 can apply.

The selected SMEs are in a good position to succeed in the second phase of the programme, in which applicants can receive between €0.5 and 2.5 million to finance innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, piloting, scaling up, and miniaturisation. The Commission expects around 645 projects to be funded in 2014, rising to 670 in 2015. The call for proposals is constantly open and the next deadlines for evaluation are 24 September and 17 December 2014 for Phase 1, and 9 October and 17 December 2014 for Phase 2.

For further information, please refer to the European Commission's website: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/calls/h2020-smeinst-1-2014.html

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