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Report
SME Instrument in Horizon 2020 – An overview
Dr Jane Watkins
Horizon 2020 - summary
1. Innovative projects (more support for innovation
activities)
2. Projects address priorities identified by the Commission’s
Work Programme
3. Projects must respond to a call for Proposals
4. Involving partners from multiple countries
5. Reimbursement up to 100 % of eligible costs
6. Co-financed through a Grant Agreement with the
European Commission
7. Simplified access, for all companies, universities, etc
• Sounds simple!!
Horizon 2020 - getting involved
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Does H2020 meet your business needs?
What are the timescales?
Is there a likely ‘home’ for you project?
- Societal Challenges, SME instrument,
Eurostars, other EU programmes?
Are you ready to be the Coordinator? How
do you find partners?
What are the participation/funding rules?
How do I write and submit a proposal?
The participant portal is collapsed, where
can I get support?
What happens if I’m successful?
Targeted Approach
• “We would like to apply for Europe Smart award. I note the
deadline is only 45 working days away. Please can you send
me full details of how to apply ASAP.
• I looked at Eurostars but we cannot apply for it as the
company has less than 5 full time researchers
• Just to double check, is there anything other than the
following 3 calls we could apply for:
• H2020 ICT 37
• H020 ICT16
• UK SMART Programme”
Horizon 2020 is different
• A strong challenge-based approach, allowing applicants to
have considerable freedom to come up with innovative
solutions
• Emphasis on innovation, with continuing support for R&D
• Less prescriptive topics, strong emphasis on expected
impact
• A strategic approach, with two-year work programmes
• Focus areas bring together different technologies, along
entire innovation chain
Horizon 2020 Priorities
Excellent
Science
 European Research
Council
 Future & Emerging
Technologies
 Marie Curie
 Research Infrastructures
Industrial
Leadership
 Leadership in enabling
and industrial
technologies
 Access to risk finance
 Research and innovation in
SME's (SME Instrument)
Societal
Challenges
 Health, demographic
change and wellbeing
 Food security, sustainable
agriculture and the bioeconomy
 Secure, clean and efficient
energy
 Smart, green and integrated
transport
 Climate action, resource
efficiency and raw materials
 Inclusive, innovative and
secure societies
SME Instrument – KEY FEATURES
• Targeted at all types of innovative SMEs showing a strong ambition to grow
(and to develop and internationalize)
• Only for profit SMEs allowed to apply for funding (single company support,
but collaboration is certainly advisable)
• Competitive, EU dimension - only the best ideas pass
• Market-oriented, close-to-market activities: 70% co-funding
• Entrance in both Phase 1 and 2
• Embedded in societal challenges and key enabling technologies
• Evaluators: market perspective
• Time to grant*: 400 days in 2008 - > 150 days in 2014
Target Group
• Innovative for-profit SMEs showing a strong ambition to develop, grow
and internationalise
• Single company support is possible or consortium of for-profit SMEs
• Highly competitive, market-oriented, EU dimension
• Other partners (research providers like universities and research
institutes, large companies etc.) can be involved as third parties
(subcontractors)
• SMEs need to be established in the EU-member states or associated
countries
SME instrument
?
Concept &
Feasibility
Assessment
Demonstration
Market Replication
R&D
Commercialisation
SME window EU
financial
facilities
Idea to concept,
risk assessment,
technological &
commercial feasibility
IDEA
Demonstration,
prototyping, testing ,
market replication, scaling
up, miniaturisation,
research
continued support throughout the project
Quality label for
successful projects,
access to risk
finance, indirect
support
MARKET
Phase 1: Concept
and feasibility
assessment
Input: Idea/Concept:
"Business Plan 1"
(~ 10 pages)
Activities:
Feasibility of concept
Risk assessment
IP regime
Partner search
Design study
Pilot application
etc.
Output: elaborated
"Business plan 2"
Phase 2: R&D,
demonstration,
market replication
Input: "Business plan 2"
plus description of
activities under Phase 2
(~ 30 pages)
Activities:
Development,
prototyping, testing,
piloting, miniaturisation,
scaling-up, market
replication,
research
Output: "investor-ready
Business plan 3"
Lump sum: 50.000 €
1-3 (5) M€ EC funding
~ 6 months
~ 12 to 24 months
Phase 3:
Commercialisation
Promote instrument as
quality label for successful
projects
Facilitate access to risk
finance
Support via networking ,
training, information,
addressing i.a. IP
management, knowledge
sharing, dissemination
SME window in the EU
financial facilities (debt
facility and equity facility)
Possible connection to PPC
(and PPI?)
No direct funding
Evaluating SME instrument activities
Commercialisation
potential and
economic impact
Company's
potential to
achieve the
envisaged
results
There has to
be a market
Easy to use/produce
for the customer
and the firm
Excellence in
innovation
Technical solution
possible and better
than existing ones
Plus: EU
added value
SME Instrument – Phase 1 - Submission
1st Cut-off date 18 June 2014:
• 2662 proposals
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2503 single company applications. 119 consortia with 2 SMEs. 34 with 3
SMEs. 6 with 4 SMEs
Italy was the country with the highest number of proposals submitted
(436), closely followed by Spain (420), UK (232) and Germany (188), France
(167) and Hungary (166)
The Open Disruptive Innovation (ODI) topic attracted by far the highest
number of applications with 885. followed by low carbon energy systems
(372). nanotechnologies (305) and eco-innovation/raw materials (241)
SME Instrument – Phase 1 – First Cut-Off Date
– 2602 eligible applications received, 317 (12%) were evaluated above threshold.
– Based on the positively evaluated applications per topic 155 projects could be funded
(6%).
– 49% of applications above threshold will be funded  every second "good" proposal
is funded.
– 105 out of 155 (68%) of the SMEs reportedly are newcomers to Framework
Programmes.
– Countries with highest success rate are: Ireland (20%), Austria (15%), UK (11%), Israel
(10%) and Spain (9%)
Company statistics:
• 58% of funded SMEs have between 6 to 50 employees, 30% of SMEs micro-companies
with up to 5 employees, and 11% have more than 50 employees.
• 25% of funded SMEs are consolidated companies with more than 11 trading years, 39%
with 4 to 10 years, and 36% with up to 36%.
• 36% of funded SMEs have a turnover higher than €1M, 35% between €100K-€1M, 28%
less than €100K.
SME Instrument – Phase 1 - Submission
 2nd Cut-off date 24 September 2014:
• 1944 proposals
• Italy in the lead in terms of number of applications (351). followed by Spain
(283), United Kingdom (149), Germany (128), France (93) and Hungary (91)
• Open Disruptive Innovation (ODI) attracted again the biggest number of
proposals (608), also followed by low carbon energy systems (268),
nanotechnologies (234) and eco-innovation/raw materials (199)
• No further information yet on applicants
H2020 SME Instrument – Lesson Learned
Most of the non-selected proposals were:
1. Too much focused on the project and not enough on the business
opportunity;
2. Not convincing when describing the company (you have to explain
why your company will succeed and not your competitor);
3. Not providing enough information on competing solutions;
4. Having a too low level of innovation, planning to develop a
product that already exists on the market;
5. Proposing just an idea without any concept for its
commercialisation;
6. Just trying their luck (the SME Instrument is not a lottery!).
EUREKA Eurostars
The Eurostars Programme is the first European funding and support
programme to be specifically dedicated to R&D performing SMEs.
Short lead-time
(14 WEEKS from cut-off date to funding decision)
Projects funded by the respective partners national funding bodies
UK – InnovateUK
EUREKA Eurostars
• Consortium leader is an R&D-performing SME
• At least 2 partners from 2 different Eurostars participating countries
• Project duration is no more than 36 months
• Market introduction is foreseen within 2 years after project ends.
• Research-performing SMEs undertake minimum 50% of total R&D cost
• No single country or project partner is responsible for more than 75% of the
project costs
• No restriction on thematic area [except military] and project managed from the
bottom up
• Partners in a Consortium must be separate legal entities
Fast Track to Innovation pilot Horizon 2020
• Open to any legal entity - consortia of no more than 5 participants
• Funding of innovation actions (close-to-market)
• Proposals relating to any technology field under LEITs and Societal
Challenges (bottom-up-driven logic)
• Grant up to € 3 million (but no comitology)
• •Permanently open call with three cut-off-dates per year
• •Impact criterion given a higher weighting in evaluations
• •Time-to- grant 6 months
• Open for applications as of January 6 2015
National Contact Point Support
• National Contact Points will give impartial advice regarding European
funding, tailored to each individual business and organisation. The
services include:
• Guidance on choosing relevant H2020 topics and types of action
• Advice on administrative procedures and contractual issues
• Assistance on proposal pre-screening
• Distribution of documentation (forms, guidelines, manuals etc.)
Contact details
Dr Jane Watkins
UK Horizon 2020 National Contact
Point for SMEs
Email:[email protected]
• Tel: +44(0)7500051146
• IF YOU WISH TO BE KEPT INFORMED ABOUT
EUROPEAN HORIZON 2020 FUNDING
OPPORTUNITIES PLEASE REGISTER YOUR
INTEREST ON www.h2020uk.org

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