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Horizon 2020

SME Instrument

Horizon 2020

On 11 December 2013, the Call for Proposals H2020-SMEINST-1-2014 “Horizon 2020 dedicated SME Instrument - Phase 1 2014” has been published by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Research & Innovation.

The purpose of the current “Horizon 2020 dedicated SME Instrument - Phase 1 2014” call is to engage small and medium enterprises in space research and development, especially those not traditionally involved in it and reduce as much as possible the entry barriers to SMEs for Horizon 2020 funding. The specific challenge of the actions envisaged under this call could cover any aspect of the Specific Programme for Space (Horizon 2020 Framework programme and Specific programme). However, it is considered that actions in the areas of applications, especially in connection to the flagship programmes Galileo and Copernicus, spinning-in (i.e. application of terrestrial solutions to challenges in space) and the development of certain critical technologies could be adequately suited for this call.


The “Horizon 2020 dedicated SME Instrument - Phase 1 2014” call aims at:

  • Enhancing profitability and growth performance of SMEs by combining and transferring new and existing knowledge into innovative, disruptive and competitive solutions seizing European and global business opportunities,
  • Market uptake and distribution of innovations tackling the specific challenges in space in a sustainable way,
  • Increase of private investment in innovation, notable leverage of private co-investor and/or follow-up investments.


As far as the scope of the “Horizon 2020 dedicated SME Instrument - Phase 1 2014” call is concerned, the SME instrument consists of three separate phases and a coaching and mentoring service for beneficiaries. Participants can apply to phase 1 with a view to applying to phase 2 at a later date, or directly to phase 2. In phase 1, a feasibility study shall be developed verifying the technological/practical as well as economic viability of an innovation idea/concept with considerable novelty to the industry sector in which it is presented (new products, processes, design, services and technologies or new market applications of existing technologies). The activities could, for example, comprise risk assessment, market study, user involvement, Intellectual Property (IP) management, innovation strategy development, partner search, feasibility of concept and the like to establish a solid high-potential innovation proposal aligned to the enterprise strategy and with a European dimension. Bottlenecks in the ability to increase profitability of the enterprise through innovation shall be detected and analysed during phase 1 and addressed during phase 2 to increase the return in investment in innovation activities.


The overall budget available for phase 1 actions in 2014 is €25,102,000. The indicative budgets, including the breakdown of the budget according to the different phases of the SME Instrument, is provided in the H2020 Work Programme parts for the Societal Challenges and for the Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies (LEITS). Please refer to “call documents”.


The deadline for submitting proposals in the framework of the current “Horizon 2020 dedicated SME Instrument - Phase 1 2014” call for proposals is 17 December 2014, 17:00:00 (Brussels local time). Intermediate deadlines(s) are 18 June 2014, +17:00:00 (Brussels local time) and 24 September 2014, +17:00:00 (Brussels local time).


Further information on the current call for proposals is available on the European Commission’s web site at: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/topics/2537-space-sme-2014-1.html#tab1.



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