SME Instrument for innovative SMEs

For whom?

Innovative SMEs with cross-border ambitions

For what?

Innovation projects

When to apply?


More information

The SME Instrument is a facility under Horizon 2020 specifically aiming to invest in innovative SMEs with an ambition to develop, grow and have an international impact.

Grants for outstanding projects with impact

Projects funded by SME Instrument belong to the best and most innovative projects with a crucial impact on Europe. Unlike most European funding programmes, single company support is possible within the SME Instrument.

Horizon Europe

Funding options for SMEs

Within the SME instrument, three phases are identified that correspond with the different stages of innovative projects. There is no obligation to sequentially cover all phases, although following them up is strongly advised by the European Commission.

  • Phase 1 | Concept & feasibility assessment [closed]

To figure out the technical and economic feasibility of a project, SMEs can request funding for a feasibility study. The fixed grant amount per project is € 50.000, -. The duration of this phase is approximately six months.

  • Phase 2 | R&D and demonstration

In order to prepare the innovation for market launch, SMEs can apply for R&D/demonstration projects. The funding varies between € 500.000,- and € 2.5 million per application. Up to 70% of the project costs are cofunded. The duration of this phase is one to two years.

  • Phase 3 | Commercialisation

This phase includes access to a wide range of innovation support services and facilitated access to risk finance, to facilitate the commercial exploitation of the innovation. This phase does not involve any funding.

Extensive experience in the SME Instrument

Hezelburcht has a high level of knowledge of European grant programmes and applies for European grants for various international organisations and consortia. Should you have any questions or like to receive more information about the SME Instrument? Please do not hesitate to contact us via 088 495 20 00 or!



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