About SME Instrument 2018
Starting in 2018, the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument has been redesigned to improve both its accessibility and the selection process. The major changes are:
- Full bottom-up selection approach: the 13 pre-defined topics from the previous Work Programmes have been removed, which will allow companies from all sectors of the economy to apply. The focus will be on selecting high-risk, high-potential small and medium-sized enterprises and helping them to bring to the market new innovative products, services and business models that can drive economic growth.
- The importance of the Impact section: when determining the new overall score for each proposal, the Impact criterion will be given a weight of 50% and the Excellence and Quality of implementation will be given a weight of 25% each. This will ensure that products or services with a large European Impact will receive funding.
- Interview step in the selection process: the SME Instrument Phase 2 applications that are ranked over the threshold and within the budget will now be invited to a face-to-face interview in Brussels. The interview will be conducted with international high-level expert-evaluators selected on the basis of their high profile and level of expertise in investment, business or innovation.
The cutoff dates for the SME Instrument in 2018 are: