On 21 April 2016, the European Commission announced that 189 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 26 countries have been selected for funding in the latest round of Horizon2020 SME Instrument, for Phase 1. The funding – €8.7 million in total, €50,000 per recipient– will finance feasibility studies for new products. The SMEs can also ask for up to three days of free business coaching.
British SMEs were particularly successful, with 36 beneficiaries accepted for funding, followed by firms from Spain (34) and Italy (25). Most of the projects funded will be in the area of ICT, followed by transport and low-carbon energy systems.
Among the projects receiving funding are:
- a technology to turn residue from the wheat milling process into biodegradable packaging;
- a robotic inspection and cleaning system for solar panels;
- a low energy technology to capture CO2 from gasses;
- a cost-reducing train maintenance system for early detection of wheel defects.
The European Commission received 1995 proposals under Phase 1 by 24 February 2016, the first cut-off date for this year. The 189 SMEs that will receive funds proposed 174 projects in total (multiple SMEs can be involved in one project).
Since its launch on 1 January 2014, 1473 SMEs have benefited from funding for feasibility studies under the SME instrument, which is financed by the Horizon 2020 programme under the responsibility of Commissioner Carlos Moedas.
For further information, please visit the relevant EASME webpage: https://ec.europa.eu/easme/en/news/189-innovative-smes-selected-funding-under-phase-1-sme-instrument
See also the relevant European Commission webpage: http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/news/latest-sme-instrument-results-european-commission-invest-%E2%82%AC87-million-189-innovative-businesses