Benefits

Some of the benefits of making an SME Instrument application include:

  • Funding up to €2.5 million for two years for a single company
  • Easy to implement in financial plans and value chains. All existing collaborators can be financed as subcontractors.
  • Short administrative process. Expect an outcome within 2 months and the funds deposited within 4 months after application.

Different SME Instrument grants

There are a couple of SME Instrument grants which mostly differ in the stage of development of your product, service, or technology. SME Instrument Phase 1 is for a company or product in early stage development, and SME Instrument Phase 2 brings the innovation close to market. Below we describe the main features of each grant.

SME Instrument Phase 1

SME Instrument Phase 1 offers funding up to €50.000 for projects with a length of 6 months. The funding rate of this grant is 70%.

The objective of SME Phase 1 is to formulate a solid, high-potential innovation project with a European or global growth-oriented strategy. The focus is on understanding the R&D, technical feasibility and commercial potential of a ground-breaking, innovative idea and developing it into a credible business plan with potential to scale-up.

SME Instrument Phase 2

SME Instrument Phase 2 offers funding up to €2.5M for projects with a length of 2 years. The funding rate is the same as in Phase 1: 70%.

This SME Instrument supports high-risk, high-potential small and medium-sized enterprises to develop and bring to market new products, services and business models that could drive economic growth.

SME Instrument application

SME Instrument applications are highly competitive and require laser-focused attention to hard requirements and a comprehensive understanding of the funding scheme. To be successful in SME Instrument, there are multiple factors to consider. You need to be sure that you have the right partners on board for your project, and at the same time ensure that you define a strong project and convincing proposal.

FAQ for SME Instrument applications

Over more than 10 years, we have helped entrepreneurs make an SME Instrument application. During this time, we have had many questions regarding this funding scheme and applications for it. Below we have summarized some of the questions and answers we always receive.

What are the main requirements to make an SME Instrument application?

You can apply to SME Instrument if you are a for-profit SME (Small or Medium-sized Enterprise) in the EU. You can apply individually or as part of a consortium of multiple SMEs, and you can involve larger partners as associates.

How do I know if my company qualifies as an SME?

To make an SME Instrument application, you need to be an SME. This is a requirement by the European Commission to all applicants to SME Instrument grants. In short, to be qualified as an SME your enterprise must have less than 250 employees, and either less than €50 million in annual turnover or less than €43 million in your annual balance sheet total.

Does this mean that I can apply as a start-up?

Yes, it is possible to obtain funding as a start-up through SME Instrument phase 1 and phase 2. However, you need to make sure that you present your case in detail and back your claims with data.

Can I apply for a second SME Instrument grant?

If you have already made an SME Instrument application but lost, you can re-submit your application in the next rounds.

Catalyze and your SME Instrument application

If you’re thinking of making an SME Instrument application, we can help you succeed. Throughout the years, we have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs with their grant applications and understand the ins and outs of the funding instrument, as well as your life science or agro-food project in depth. We can help you set up a competitive proposal, including building relevant partnerships and defining your project. For SME Instrument Phase 1, we can also perform a commercial feasibility study. If you don’t want our complete support, it is also possible to provide you with relevant input via our review service. We can also improve and re-submit your proposal. Contact us to find out what works best in your case.