SME Instrument - The EIC Accelerator Pilot

Mono-beneficiary acceleration scheme, including a grant up to 2.5 million Euro for scale-up and commercialization of a disruptive product, belonging to an excellent high-growth-potential company.

What is the SME Instrument?

  • The SME Instrument  is a financing and acceleration scheme for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs), under the European Framework Programme Horizon 2020.

  • This program is intended for SMEs with a groundbreaking product \ service \ process \ business model, who are conducting close-to-market R&D. See the work program here.

  • From the EU's perspective, SMEs will lead the economy of the future and therefore they merit this support. Thus, The focus is not only on the project for which you ask funding, but on the empowerment of the company.

  • A Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) is defined:

    1. less than 250 employees

    2. less than 50 million Euros in annual turnover or less than 43 million Euros of balance sheet

    3. Established in the EU or in an Associated Country

There are 2 options of submission under the SME Instrument scheme

  • Phase 1 

    • fixed grant amount of 50,000€ for the winners. 

    • Used for a feasibility study that can take between 3-9 months, when the product is already being developed in the company.

    • Intended to "close a certain gap" related to research of technical or commercial feasibility issues. Examples: market survey, checking competitor patents, risk assessment, etc.

    • Evaluation for phase 1 is done remotely by 4 independent evaluators.

  • Phase 2

    • Grant between 500,000€ to 2.5€ million for the winners. 

    • The company receives 70% of the amount needed for the project + 25% overhead (~87.5%). 

    • Used for a full-fledged project that can take between 12-24 months, when its goal is to market the innovative product- scale-up a prototype and advance in close-to-market R&D towards market uptake

    • From the last cut-off in 2019, applicants could ask for blended finance of a grant (up to 2.5M Euros) and equity (up to 15M Euros). 

    • The evaluation of phase 2 proposals are done in two steps: 

      • Remotely by 4 independent evaluators

      • Face-to-face interview conducted in Brussels.

When to submit and in what subjects?

  • The cut-offs dates for phase 1 in 2019 are: 13.02.19, 07.05.19, 05.09.19 

  • The cut-offs dates for phase 2 in 2019 are: 09.01.19, 03.04.19, 05.06.19, 09.10.19

  • There are no limits on re-submissions

  • All subjects are eligible for funding, in a 'bottom-up' approach

Business Acceleration Service

The SME-Instrument scheme operates as a business accelerator. Thus, it offers winners additional business acceleration support and coaching services

Useful information

 


For additional questions: SME_FTI@iserd.org.il