Industrial Leadership

Grants focused on companies, mainly SMEs, for the development of technologies and innovations, especially Key Enabling Technologies (KET), access to Risk Finance, and Bottom-Up Projects market oriented with New SME instrument.
Topic / Target >SMEInst-10-2016-2017 Small business innovation research for Transport and Smart Cities Mobility


Specific Challenge

The European transport sector must have the capacity to deliver the best products and services, in a time and cost efficient manner, in order to preserve its leadership and create new jobs, as well as to tackle the environmental and mobility defies.

The role of SMEs to meet these challenges in all the areas of the Transport Specific Programme is critical as they are key players in the supply chains. Enhancing the involvement of weaker players in innovation activities as well as facilitating the start-up and emergence of new high-tech SMEs is of paramount importance.

SMEs are pivotal for delivering the innovations needed for greater sustainable and smarter mobility, better accessibility and logistics serving business and citizens, and thus higher economic growth, in a context where the majority of population lives in urban and urbanised areas.

Actions to develop new services, products, processes, technologies, systems and combinations thereof that contribute to achieving the European transport and mobility goals defined in the 2011 Transport White Paper could be particularly suited for this call.


H2020-SMEINST-2016-2017 (2)
Start date: 26/11/2015
End date: 13/10/2016
Total budget
for this call: 307,458,000
CALL H2020-SMEINST-2016-2017 (1)
Start date: 26/11/2015
End date: 09/11/2016
Total budget
for this call: 35,340,000
H2020-SMEINST-2016-2017 (4)
Start date: 18/01/2017
End date: 18/10/2017
Total budget
for this call: 335,741,700
H2020-SMEINST-2016-2017 (3)
Start date: 10/11/2016
End date: 08/11/2017
Total budget
for this call: 38,591,000
(SMEI) H2020-SMEINST-2016-2017 (1) SME instrument

(SMEI) H2020-SMEINST-2016-2017 (2) SME instrument

(SMEI) H2020-SMEINST-2016-2017 (3) SME instrument

(SMEI) H2020-SMEINST-2016-2017 (4) SME instrument

SME Instrument

The SME instrument consists of three separate phases and a coaching and mentoring service for beneficiaries. Participants can apply to phase 1 with a view to applying to phase 2 at a later date, or directly to phase 2.

In phase 1, a feasibility study shall be developed verifying the technological /practical as well as economic viability of an innovation idea/concept with considerable novelty to the industry sector in which it is presented (new products, processes, design, services and technologies or new market applications of existing technologies). The activities could, for example, comprise risk assessment, market study, user involvement, Intellectual Property (IP) management, innovation strategy development, partner search, feasibility of concept and the like to establish a solid high-potential innovation project aligned to the enterprise strategy and with a European dimension. Bottlenecks in the ability to increase profitability of the enterprise through innovation shall be detected and analysed during phase 1 and addressed during phase 2 to increase the return in investment in innovation activities. The proposal should contain an initial business plan based on the proposed idea/concept.
The proposal should give the specifications of the elaborated business plan, which is to be the outcome of the project and the criteria for success.
Funding will be provided in the form of a lump sum of € 50.000. Projects should last around 6 months.

In phase 2, innovation projects will be supported that address the specific challenges identified and that demonstrate high potential in terms of company competitiveness and growth underpinned by a strategic business plan. Activities should focus on innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, prototyping, piloting, scaling-up, miniaturisation, design, market replication and the like aiming to bring an innovation idea (product, process, service etc.) to industrial readiness and maturity for market introduction, but may also include some research. For technological innovation a Technology Readiness Levels of 6 or above (or similar for non-technological innovations) are envisaged; please see part G of the General Annexes.
Proposals shall be based on an elaborated business plan either developed through phase 1 or another means. Particular attention must be paid to IP protection and ownership; applicants will have to present convincing measures to ensure the possibility of commercial exploitation ("freedom to operate").
Proposals shall contain a specification for the outcome of the project, including a first commercialisation plan, and criteria for success.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between € 0.5 and 2.5 million would allow phase 2 to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Projects should last between 12 and 24 months.

In addition, in phase 3, SMEs can benefit from indirect support measures and services as well as access to the financial facilities supported under Access to Risk Finance of this work programme.
Successful beneficiaries will be offered coaching and mentoring support during phase 1 and phase 2. This service will be accessible via the Enterprise Europe Network and delivered by a dedicated coach through consultation and signposting to the beneficiaries. The coaches will be recruited from a central database managed by the Commission and have all fulfilled stringent criteria with regards to business experience and competencies. Throughout the three phases of the instrument, the Network will complement the coaching support by providing access to its innovation and internationalisation service offering. This could include, for example, depending on the need of the SME, support in identifying growth potential, developing a growth plan and maximising it through internationalisation; strengthening the leadership and management skills of individuals in the senior management team and developing in-house coaching capacity; developing a marketing strategy or raising external finance.

Transition from one phase to the next will be seamless, provided that the SME project has proven to be worth further funding during a previous phase. There is no obligation for applicants to sequentially cover all three phases. At the same time each phase will be open to all SMEs.

Expected Impact:
* Enhancing profitability and growth performance of SMEs by combining and transferring new and existing knowledge into innovative, disruptive and competitive solutions seizing European and global business opportunities.
* Market uptake and distribution of innovations12 tackling the specific challenges in a sustainable way.
* Increase of private investment in innovation, notably leverage of private co-investor and/or follow-up investments.
* The expected impacts should be clearly described in qualitative and quantitative terms (e.g. on turnover, employment, market seize, IP management, sales, return on investment and profit).
Innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises

The specific objective of this programme is to stimulate growth by means of increasing the levels of innovation in SMEs, covering their different innovation needs over the whole innovation cycle for all types of innovation, thereby creating more fast-growing, internationally active SMEs
 SME-SPACE-1-2014 SME instrument
 SME-SPACE-1-2015 SME instrument

Need funding for your R&D&I project?

  • We assess the possibilities of your Project.
  • We support you in identifying the TOPIC and Call that fit your Project best.
  • We support you in Partner searching.
  • We inform you in advance and help you in defining management duties for a FP7 funded Project.

      Click for a Free econet support request.

econet HELP DESK