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Innovation SMEs

Innovation in SMEs

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  SMEs will be supported across Horizon 2020. For this purpose a dedicated SME instrument is targeted at all types of innovative SMEs showing a strong ambition to develop, grow and internationalise. It will be provided for all types of innovation, including non-technological and service innovations. The objective is to help filling the gap in funding for early stage high risk research and innovation, stimulate break-through innovations and increase private-sector commercialisation of research results.

Only SMEs will be allowed to apply for funding and support. They can form collaborations according to their needs, including for subcontracting research and development work. Projects must be of clear interest and potential benefit to SMEs and have a distinct European dimension.

The SME instrument will cover all fields of science, technology and innovation in a bottomup approach within a given societal challenge or enabling technology so as to leave sufficient room for all kinds of promising ideas, notably cross-sector and inter-disciplinary projects, to be funded.

1. Support for research intensive SMEs

  • targets research intensive SMEs in high-technology sectors that also need to demonstrate their capability to commercially exploit the project results
  • covers the entire field of science and technology with a bottom-up approach to fit the needs of R&D performing SMEs

2. Enhancing the innovation capacity of SMEs

  • Activities assisting the implementation and complementing the SME specific measures across Horizon 2020 will be supported, notably to enhance the innovation capacity of SMEs
  • Activities may include awareness raising, information and dissemination, training and mobility activities, networking and exchange of best practices, developing high quality innovation support mechanisms and services with strong Union added value for SMEs (e.g. intellectual property and innovation management, knowledge transfer, innovative use of ICT and e-skills in SMEs), as well as assisting SMEs to connect to research and innovation partners across the Union

3. Supporting market-driven innovation

  • This will support market-driven innovation in view of enhancing the innovation capacity of firms by improving the framework conditions for innovation as well as tackling the specific barriers preventing the growth of innovative firms, in particular SMEs and enterprises of intermediate size with potential for fast growth.


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