European Commission - Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME)

SME Instrument 2018- 2020

Objeto del programa

The SME Instrument provides full-cycle business innovation support. It has three phases, including a coaching and mentoring service. 

  • There are no set topics. Innovative companies across the board are welcome to submit their bright ideas. The main focus of the EIC pilot is on radical, market-creating innovations to improve productivity and international competitiveness and generate new jobs and higher standards of living.
  • Companies are recommended to apply for Phase 1 first, but may also apply directly for Phase 2 depending on the maturity of their project.
The SME Instrument is now part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot that supports top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with funding opportunities and acceleration services. 

Beneficiarios de la ayuda

The SME Instrument is designed for For-profit SMEs, including young companies and start-ups, from any sector. You must be established in an EU Member State or a Horizon 2020 associated country. 


  • Feasibility study - Phase 1 helps you get a grip on the R&D, technical feasibility and commercial potential of a ground-breaking, innovative idea and develop it into a credible business plan for scaling it up. Projects will receive a lump sum of €50 000 and should last around 6 months.
  • From concept to market - Phase 2 helps you develop your business concept further into a market-ready product, service or process aligned with your company's growth strategy. Activities could, for example, include trials, prototyping, validation, demonstration and testing in real-world conditions, and market replication. If the activity concerns a primarily technological innovation, a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 6 or above is envisaged. Projects will receive between € 0.5 and € 2.5 million but you can request a higher or lower amount, duly justified, when applying. Projects should normally take 12 to 24 months to complete, but could be longer in exceptional and well-justified cases.
  • Business acceleration services and coaching - Phase 3:  The EIC pilot offers free coaching, business acceleration services and mentoring to help your business scale up and grow. These are open to all small businesses that are EIC clients, simultaneously to their grant.

Plazo de solicitud

SME instrument call

  • Phase 1
    • 2018: 08 February; 03 May; 05 September; 07 November
    • 2019: 13 February; 07 May; 05 September; 06 November
    • 2020: 12 February; 06 May; 02 September; 04 November 2020
  • Phase 2
    • 2018: 10 January; 14 March; 23 May; 10 October
    • 2019: 09 January; 03 April; 05 June; 09 October
    • 2020: 08 January; 18 March; 19 May; 07 October 2020

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