The Horizon 2020 European Program for Research and Innovation is the main European instrument for encouraging research and innovation in disruptive projects, with three priority pillars:

  • Scientific Excellence
  • Industrial Leadership
  • Societal Challenges

SME Instruments

SME Instrument Phase 1

An incentive for: the elaboration of technical and commercial feasibility study of the disruptive potential of the project for the sector or market

Incentive Fee: 70% of the project's estimated total cost, up to € 50,000, non-refundable

Duration: approximately 6 months, but is adjustable for each project

Outcome: The expected outcome of this phase is an assessment of the feasibility of project implementation and development, accompanied by an Economic-Financial Plan (Business Plan).

SME Instrument Phase 2

An incentive for: Innovation projects in a demonstration, testing, pilot or scale-up phase, leveraged by an economic and financial plan and a strategic feasibility study that underpins project innovation

Incentive Fee: 70% of eligible costs, between € 500,000 - € 2.5 million, fully lost

Duration: 1-2 years of implementation

Result: A new idea (product, process, service) that can be marketed or an Innovative business plan that shows in detail a marketing strategy and strategies to attract private investment.

SME Instrument Phase 3Support for commercialization (of projects approved in phase 2), promoting the broad implementation of innovative solutions and clients, supporting financing for growth, facilitating access to public and private venture capital. This step does not provide direct funding, but SMEs can benefit from indirect support measures and services, as well as access to financial facilities supported by the H2020.

Research and Innovation Action (RIA)

A program designed to implement activities aimed at establishing new knowledge and / or exploring the viability of new or improved solutions, whether technology, products, processes or services. These include basic and applied research, technological development and integration, testing and validation of small-scale prototypes in a laboratory or simulated environment. Projects may include demonstrations or pilot activities, albeit limited, to prove technical feasibility in a close-to-operational environment. It is intended for a consortium of at least three entities. 100% funding rate

Coordination and Support (CSA)

A program designed for the implementation of follow-up activities such as standardization, dissemination, awareness-raising, communication, networking, coordination and support services, policy dialogues, and mutual study and learning exercises. They may also include study design for new infrastructures and complementary activities of strategic planning, networking and coordination between programs from different countries.100% funding rate

Innovation Action (IA)

A program designed for the implementation of activities that aim to design and plan technology, products, processes or services, whether news, improvements or modifications. These include prototyping, testing, demonstration, piloting, large-scale product validation, and market replication activities. Projects may include some research and development. It is intended for a consortium of at least three entities.Funding rate: 70% (100% for non-profit entities).