About SME Instrument

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 cut-off dates for the SME Instrument in 2019 are:

Phase 2 cut-offs

  • 09 January 2019
  • 03 April 2019
  • 05 June 2019
  • 09 October 2019

Phase 1 cut-offs

  • 13 February 2019
  • 07 May 2019
  • 05 September 2019
  • 06 November 2019


For more information Contact us or check out the official SME Instrument link.

Looking to write a winning SME Instrument proposal? Discover our Guides and Templates, used by start-ups and mature companies to improve chances of success.

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