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15 facts about Horizon’s 2020 SME Instrument

Since 2014, the European Union’s new € 80,000 million Framework Program for Research and Innovation – Horizon 2020 – contains a dedicated tool for financing innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

In November 2016, the European Agency for Small and Medium enterprises (EASME) published a report studying in detail the two first years of the “SME Instrument” programme“, which they manage.

Only in 2014 and 2015, over 20.000 applications were received, € 500 million were invested in more than 1400 projects, and more than € 692 million of private equity was attracted.

There are as well interesting revelations, such as:

• Competition is tough as the success rate is 8% for Phase 1 and 6% for Phase 2.
• Almost a third of the selected companies are start-ups, meaning that they are younger than 3 years.
• The average age of SME instrument funded companies is 11 years.
• The average company funded by the SME Instrument has 21 employees.
• 63% of SME instrument funded companies are in the pre-industrialised stage. 28% are in the seed stage and 35 % in the project-to-project stage. 22% are in the upscaling stage.

The report can be downloaded from the following link: https://ec.europa.eu/easme/en/news/sme-instrument-500-million-invested-more-1400-companies-2014-2015.