SME INSTRUMENT: NEW RULES AND PERSPECTIVES FOR 2018-2020

SME INSTRUMENT: NEW RULES AND PERSPECTIVES FOR 2018-2020
Du 06/11/2017 au 08/12/2017

The SME Instrument funding scheme, which has raised huge interest among innovative SMEs across Europe, will undergo significant changes in the 2018-2020 period. Compared with previous work programmes, the scheme will benefit from a larger budget over the

The SME Instrument funding scheme, which has raised huge interest among innovative SMEs across Europe, will undergo significant changes in the 2018-2020 period. Compared with previous work programmes, the scheme will benefit from a larger budget over the next 3-year period without any topic constraints and a new evaluation process for Phase 2 proposals (an interview for the best applicants).

The highlights are as follows:

  • Fully bottom-up, no predefined topics, so innovative projects that cut across sectors/technologies become eligible for support
  • Single budget line, maintaining budgetary contributions from Societal
    challenges and LEIT
  • Larger pool of evaluators with relevant technological/scientific expertise as well as financial/commercial backgrounds
  • Evaluation criteria in Phase 2 revised to better target the scaling up of SMEs with the greatest potential for breakthrough, market-creating innovation (business capacity, international growth ambition)
  • Interviews for successful Phase 2 applicants
  • Coaching for SMEs (available across SMEi, FTI and FET-open)
  • Mentoring introduced
  • Monitoring of thematic coverage

As far as the SME Instrument Phase 2 evaluation criteria are concerned, the breakdown is as follows:

  • Impact (50%): covering demand, users, market, scale up, commercial
    strategy, international dimension
  • Excellence (25%): involving high risk and potential,  steps to market, beyond state-of-the-art, feasibility
  • Implementation (25%): covering the team, resources, implementation plan and time frame

The interview step will concentrate on the commercial strategy, feasibility and quality of the team.

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