Annotated proposal template SME Instrument Phase 1 and Phase 2

The ‘Annotated proposal template SME Instrument ‘ is a guide created in order to assist innovative companies in applying to the EIC SME Instrument 2018-2020 call of Horizon 2020.

Its aim is to help companies better understand the requirements of the template and write better applications.

The authors of this guide are Horizon 2020 NCPs dealing daily with SME Instrument applications. Their recommendations also include feedback received from evaluators of SME Instrument proposals employed by the European Commission. The NCPs interacted with, trained and provided advice to thousands of companies that wanted to introduce their innovative product or service to market by using SME Instrument funding.

The guide should be useful for anyone who wants to submit an EIC SME Instrument related proposal.

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Participation of SMEs in the environmental areas of FP7 and H2020

Increase of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) participation in research projects has been one of the priorities of EU research programmes. We focus on this issue within environmental priorities of 7th Framework Programme (FP7) and Horizon 2020 programme (H2020). In FP7, environmental research was mainly included in Environment (including Climate change) topic, in H2020 we find it in so-called Societal Challenge 5: Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials.

Our source of data, the H2020 E-CORDA  database (version  5, 31/05/2016),  allows  for  a  rough  categorization  of  research  teams  according  to  their predominant  activities: universities, research organizations, private and public sector, SMEs and others. In FP7, SMEs constituted 15.62 % and 14.44 % of all participants in proposals and grants, respectively. With a shift of H2020 orientation towards innovation and requirement of specific solutions the increase of SMEs entering the projects as end-users or demanders could be expected. Indeed, the share of SMEs in H2020 increased to 35.54 % in proposals and 21.66 % in grants. But we have to take into account the new H2020 type of action, so-called SME instrument designed for SMEs only. After exclusion of this instrument we are coming to 19.49 % of SMEs in proposals and 15.8 % in grants. The increase of SMEs share in “classical” project types is still visible, but especially in case of grants much less significant. Above mentioned data comprise participants from all countries whereas Figures 1 and 2 describe the situation in EU countries only.

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