499 companies selected under the SME instrument in 2018 (so far)

 499 SMEs (small-medium enterprises) have been selected so far under the 2018 rounds of the SME instruments. They will receive a total amount of 228,89M€ to develop their projects and get their innovations to the market quicker.

The lion's share of the companies selected come from the information and communication technology ICT, health, and engineering sectors. Most of the SMEs are based in Spain (113), Italy (61), and France (50). 

What is SME Instrument 2018-2020 Phase 1-2?


SME Instrument is part of the European Union's "Horizon 2020" programme. It offers SMEs funding to develop innovative and advanced tools in the form of products, services and processes. The more recent structure of this instrument adopted a more general approach with no designated topics related to the call for proposals.

SME instrument Phase 1 offers funding to carry out the feasibility study, and SMEs can apply for a fixed sum of €50.000. In Phase 2, when the concept is to be boosted to be commercialized, SMEs can request between €0,5 – 2,5M.

In Phase 1, the companies generally apply for feasibility studies, risk assessment, market research, user involvement, analysis of regulatory constraints. In Phase 2, the applicants aim at developing downstream activities such as; prototype production, validation, demonstrations, pilot project development.

The results

SME Instrument Phase 2 had a total number of 1,163 applicants for the January 10th, 2018 deadline. It's communicated that 57 applicants were granted funding equivalent to 4,9 % granted funding and 405 applicants were above the threshold. In total €94,2M were allocated in the first cut-off for SME Instrument Phase 2. In the cut-off for SME Instrument Phase 1, a total number of 2,009 proposals were submitted for the February 8th, 2018 deadline. We estimate that 80 applicants were granted funding equivalent to 3,9 % of the applicants.

The European Commission received 2149 proposals for the 3 May cut-off, a total of 242 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 30 countries have been selected for funding in the so-called Phase 1 of the programme. The next application deadline for SME Instrument Phase 1 is on 5 September 2018.

Indicative budget for SME Instrument 2018-2020

​2018 ​2019 ​2020
​€497.74 M ​€552.26 M ​€600.99 M
​Phase 1​€48 M​€55 M​€60 M
​Phase 2​€417 M​€480 M​€522 M