The SME Instrument proposals are evaluated by 4 external experts under three criteria: Excellence, Impact, Implementation.
The experts give scores on a scale of 0-5:
0 — The proposal fails to address the criterion or cannot be assessed due to missing or incomplete information.
1 — Poor. The criterion is inadequately addressed, or there are serious inherent weaknesses.
2 — Fair. The proposal broadly addresses the criterion, but there are significant weaknesses.
3 — Good. The proposal addresses the criterion well, but a number of shortcomings are present.
4 — Very Good. The proposal addresses the criterion very well, but a small number of shortcomings are present.
5 — Excellent. The proposal successfully addresses all relevant aspects of the criterion. Any shortcomings are minor.
- SME Phase 1: The threshold for individual criteria is 4. The overall threshold, applying to the sum of the three individual scores, is 13.
- SME Phase 2: The threshold for impact is 4. The threshold for the other 2 criteria is 3. The overall threshold is 12.
- Impact: This is the main evaluation criterion. For both SME instrument Phases 1 and 2 the score for the criterion ‘impact’ will be given a weight of 1.5 to determine the ranking of proposals.
- The economic impact of the innovation on company growth
- The relevance of the project to the relevant topic of the work programme
- European added value and other societal benefits
- Excellence: The ‘excellence’ criterion focuses on the quality and specifically the breakthrough nature of the innovation.
- Clarity of the objectives
- Soundness of the concept and approach
- Advances beyond state-of-the-art
- Quality and effectiveness of the work plan
- Technical/scientific knowledge/management experience of the team
- Appropriate allocation of tasks and resources
For further information please consult the self-evaluation form on the Participant Portal.
Time to grant
The European Commission aims for a time to grant of 3 months for a Phase 1 application and 6 months for Phase 2.