A total of 277 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form 25 countries have been selected for funding under the latest round of the SME Instrument, in the so-called Phase 1 of the programme. The companies will receive a total amount of €13.7 million to share between their projects to get their innovations faster on the market.
Examples of the projects selected include a world-first foldable car seat, a satellite monitoring system for wildfires, a fast test for breast cancer screening, a smart charger for mobile devices, a fast control system for acrylamide in food, 4D asset modelling for drones, an artificial intelligence-based software platform and a platform detecting and preventing cyber-violence.
In this phase of the SME Instrument each project, 274 in total, will receive €50.000 to draft a business plan. Several companies can team up to propose one project. The companies will also get free coaching and business acceleration services.
Most companies selected for funding are in the field of information and communication technology (ICT), health and engineering. Most companies are based in Spain (46), Switzerland (23) and France (22).
The European Commission received 2822 proposals for the 13 February cut-off.
The SME Instrument is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot that supports top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with funding opportunities and acceleration services. Companies can apply for two distinct phases under the SME Instrument, depending on the maturity of their innovation. Under Phase 1 of SME Instrument, each project will receive a lump-sum of €50.000 to carry out a feasibility study. Under Phase 2, each project will receive from €0.5 to €2.5 million to finance innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, piloting and scaling up. In addition, companies under both phases can benefit from free coaching and business acceleration services.