Following the latest cut-off date for Phase 1 of the SME Instrument, out of a UK total of 19 beneficiaries a further 5 SMEs (4 projects) in the midlands region have been selected for feasibility studies under the Horizon 2020 programme. This brings the total number of midlands SMEs who have benefited from Phase 1 funding to 10 out of a UK total of 46. Beneficiaries will receive €50,000 for each project and can also request up to three days of business coaching.
This feasibility study scheme provides businesses with the opportunity to test an innovative idea, develop its feasibility and eventually take it to market. In addition, the first beneficiaries of Phase 2 have also been announced with 2 Midlands SMEs benefitting from funding for their innovation activities and business plan development.
Midlands SMEs have been awarded funding across a range of Horizon 2020 topics including:
- Accelerating the update of nanotechnologies, advanced materials or advanced manufacturing and processing technologies by SMEs;
- Open Disruptive Innovation Scheme (ICT Sector);
- Protection of urban soft targets and urban critical infrastructures;
- Resource-efficient eco-innovation food production and processing;
- Small business innovation research for transport; and;
- Stimulating the innovation potential of SMEs for a low carbon energy system.
Since the launch of the programme on 1st January 2014 across Europe, 333 projects involving 361 SMEs have been selected for EU grants under Phase 1 of the SME Instrument, totalling €16.7 million. Together with Phase 2 funding, this amounts to almost €125 million so far from the SME Instrument, which is helping to support innovative companies.
Upcoming cut-off dates for proposal submissions under the SME Instrument (both Phases) are: 17th June, 17th September and 16th December 2015