For all changemakers, innovators and pioneers out there: the EU could be funding your enterprise through its Horizon 2020 programme!
The European Commission is providing a total amount of €3 billion throughout the period 2018-2020 to fund the most talented innovators and help their companies scale up and expand beyond European borders. The so-called enhanced European Innovation Council pilot brings together parts of Horizon 2020 that provide funding, advice and networking opportunities for those at the cutting edge of innovation.
Within this pilot especially the SME Instrument could be relevant for your social enterprise. It supports high-risk, high-potential small and medium-sized enterprises to develop and bring to market new products, services and business models.
Proposals can be funded after a thorough evaluation by multinational panels of technology, business and finance experts. Selected companies receive funding and are offered business coaching to scale up their innovation idea, and can also receive mentoring. They are helped in networking with other SME Instrument clients, with other companies of all sizes, and with potential co-investors and follow-up investors across Europe. As an SME Instrument client, you will gain visibility and boost your chances of success in European and international markets.
The SME Instrument provides full-cycle business innovation support. It has three phases, including a coaching and mentoring service.
> Feasibility study: Phase 1 – helps SMEs to get a grip on the R&D, technical feasibility and commercial potential of a ground-breaking, innovative idea and develop it into a credible business plan for scaling it up. Phase 1 funding is a lump sum of €50 000.
> From concept to market: Phase 2 – focusing on strategic business plans, expected outcome of the project and criteria for success, expected impacts on the company in both qualitative and quantitative terms. Grant funding is provided (funding rate 70%) of between €0.5 million and €2.5 million.
> Commercialisation: Phase 3 – helps SMEs take advantage of additional EU support extended via a range of business support services offered on the EIC Community Platform
Not sure if this funding scheme is right for you? The EIC wizard will help you find out.
Horizon 2020 (H2020) is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever, with nearly €80 billion of funding available for 2014-2020. It aims to ensure that Europe produces world-class science, to remove barriers to innovation and to make it easier for the public and private sectors to innovate together.