Meeting the expectations of small and medium-sized enterprises, we have signed an agreement with Ataknea Solutions, en entity supporting business development of research and innovation. The aim is to support SMEs in applying for funding from Horizon 2020 Programm, the largest ever funding program for research and innovation in the EU.
The most important is so-called SME Instrument. The SME Instrument is a European Commission funding scheme under the new framework program Horizon 2020. Its ultimate objective is to encourage market uptake of innovations from European SMEs.
The program is aimed at SMEs that have identified an innovative concept to be developed and commercialized as a technology or service, but need funding to help them validate, develop and take the product to market.
The SME Instrument consists of three separate, but interlinked, phases. Each SME can only apply to one project at a time. As long as one project is in progress in any of the phases, no additional proposals can be presented. In each phase the company may include other SMEs and/or subcontract part of the work to third parties such as RTDs (research and technology developers), in line with its strategic goals.
Phase 1 is focused on establishing the economic and technological feasibility of the innovation. To apply for the 1st phase, the SME must submit a 10‐page business‐oriented proposal that outlines the solution’s current stage of development, a description of the state of the art and competing solutions, as well as a work plan to be implemented in both phase 1 and phase 2. If the proposal is selected for funding, the SME receives a 50,000€ lump‐sum grant to carry out market and technical viability studies within 6 months. After completion of the first phase, the SME submits a more detailed proposal to move on to phase 2, highlighting the results of the feasibility study.
Phase 2 offers between 1M€ and 3M€ to carry out R&D, validation, and demonstration activities over two years. These tasks include: research, piloting, development, scaling‐up, prototyping, testing, demonstration, miniaturization, market replication, dissemination, and certification. The SME will also prepare a comprehensive ‘investor ready’ business plan. The overall objective of this phase is to ensure the innovation is technologically and commercially prepared for product launch at the end of the project. An SME can apply directly to phase 2 if it can demonstrate the feasibility of its idea (i.e. if the idea is a continuation of a nationally or internationally funded R&D project, or if the SME is already investing in an innovative product, but needs further financing to bring it to market). However, it is recommendable to apply for the phase 1 financing first, as the chances for subsequent funding in phase 2 are significantly higher, and the SME benefits from further market and technical feasibility studies.
Phase 3 is supported indirectly through simplified access to debt and equity instruments, as well support for issues related to intellectual property.
Would you be interested in cooperation, please do not hesitate to contact us!
Ateknea Solutions provides business and technological excellence to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to develop their ideas into profitable innovative solutions