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How to write a successful SME Instrument grant application

October 23 2017

The Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Work Programme supports SMEs in the field of biotechnology and to help them overcome the obstacles between early technological development and market introduction. SMEs working in the field of industrial biotechnology and ideas/concepts involving the use of systems and/or synthetic biology are particularly invited to apply for funding.

Who can apply and what to apply for?

A single SME established in EU Member States or Horizon 2020 associated countries can apply for these grants. The instrument is meant for established SMEs (>5 years). However, there are examples of younger SMEs that got funded. Within Phase 1, SMEs can request € 50.000 and the project should last around 6 months. Within Phase 2, SMEs can request up to € 2.5 million. Typically, granted projects range between € 0.5 and € 2.5 million and the duration of the project should be between 12-24 months. 

Find more information about the SME Instrument 2018 grants in our Life Sciences Funding Database.

Changes to SME Instrument in 2018

The SME Instruments funding scheme will undergo significant changes compared to prior years. The biggest changes include:

  • No specific topics defined to apply for
  • Bigger programme budget
  • More emphasis on impact
  • Two-step evaluation

Read more about the changes in the new SME Instrument work programme 2018-2020.

Horizon 2020 SME Instrument deadlines in 2018

The SME Instrument calls will have multiple cut-off deadlines in 2018. The first deadlines are expected to be on February 14 for phase 1 and January 10 for phase 2

How to write a winning SME Instrument grant proposal

We have written a resource to help you write a convincing SME Instrument grant proposal. We provide you with 5 essential tips that will help you to write a winning SME instrument proposal.

Read our article: "How to write a winning SME instrument grant proposal".

Request assistance

We can help you develop a competitive life sciences project for the SME Instrument grant. Our expertise and extensive network have empowered numerous biotech companies to succeed. We can manage your application process, or review your proposal and improve your chances to get granted by using our proven FFWD method for winning grant proposals. Our business developers are happy to answer your questions and discuss your case.

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