SME Instrument

SME Instrument is a grant provided by the European Commission under the European Innovation Council pilot. It is highly popular for several reasons: the amount that can be received (up to €2.5 million for a single company), the short administrative process (you can have the money in your bank account within only 4 months after applying), and easy implementation.

Seeing as SME Instrument is so popular, it also means it’s become extremely competitive. Due to this competitive element, winning an SME Instrument is a major seal of excellence for a company and their product, service or technology. Over the last 10 years, Catalyze has won many SME Instrument grants for our clients in life science, health, biotechnology and agro-food. With our support, you can make sure that you have the best possible chance of getting funded and attaining the prestige that comes with it.

SME Instrument Phase 1

The SME Instrument Phase 1 grant is a lump sum of €50.000 to perform a technical and commercial feasibility study for an innovative idea. This study can help you understand the business opportunity of your innovation, as well as the strategy you need to follow to make it a success.  Read more about feasibility studies

The outcome of an SME Instrument Phase 1 project is an elaborate business plan.

  • Subsidy: €50,000
  • Total budget: €55,226,000 (in 2019) and €60,099,000 (in 2020)
  • Funding rate: 70%
  • Deadlines: 7 May 2019
  • Project duration: 6 months
  • Timelines: Evaluation ~4 weeks. Project start 8 weeks after deadline.

Who can apply?

For-profit SMEs, including young companies and start-ups, from any sector. You must be established in an EU Member State or a Horizon 2020 associated country.

Not sure if you are an SME? Read our blog >

What is this funding for?

Typical activities for this grant include: Risk assessment, Market research, Expansion strategy, User involvement, Regulatory, IP management, FTO analysis, Partner search, Feasibility assessment, Revenue model(s). Funding can be used to subcontract consulting firms.

SME Instrument Phase 1 deadlines

SME Instrument Phase 1 is a yearly returning call, with 4 cut-off dates per year. In 2020, the cut-off dates are:

  • 12 February 2020
  • 6 May 2020
  • 2 September 2020
  • 4 November 2020

What type of projects in the life sciences?

In SME Phase 1 companies usually:

  • Perform market research to find the best indication for a drug development platform technology;
  • Perform a freedom to operate study;
  • Define the best pricing of a medical device, based on user interviews and market study.
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A must-have if you’re interested in getting your business to the next level