Phase 2Stats

SME Instrument: Recent Cut-off Stats Phase 2 (January 2018)

2018 is a year of changes in the SME Instrument. One is the way the EC presents cut-off data. With the first call of the year, the EU shared fewer stats than usual about the latest Phase 2 SME Instrument, but we were still able to squeeze out some interesting data for you.

Companies from 36 countries have applied, mostly as single SMEs (93%).

It seems that the new evaluation system had its impact on the number of proposals, with 1163 submitted. This is less than in any of the 2017 SME Instrument Phase 2 calls, and almost half of the record October 2017 call (2123 proposals) which was the last one before the changes were applied.

Zafiro SME Instrument Stats Phase 2 Comparison

No changes in the leaderboard

Despite the new rules, the most active countries in submitting proposals stay the same. Spain alone is responsible for 18% of all applications (205), followed by Italy (119), France (88), Germany and the United Kingdom (both 75). Unfortunately, the European Commission has not provided data on other countries at the moment of writing this post.

Zafiro SME Instrument Stats Phase 2 Proposals

5 countries = almost 50% of all proposals

The top five countries submitted a total of 562 proposals which is almost 50% of all applications. It is impressive how popular the SME Instrument is in these countries, especially considering that the other half comes from a larger group of 31 countries. It is worth to remember, that the quantity of proposals submitted does not guarantee higher success rates in the programme.

Zafiro SME Instrument Stats Phase 2

Most popular industries

Most proposals came from ICT and health-tech companies.

Most used keywords

Topics are replaced by keywords which are used to classify proposals and assign them to the experts in the field. European Commission informs that there is no separate budget for each keyword; all projects compete with each other. The most frequently used keywords were: health, ICT and engineering and technology.


The EC informs that the results will be published around mid-March 2018. It is not clear if there would be enough time for those interviewed in Brussels to resubmit their proposals in the March call as the next cut-off for SME Instrument Phase 2 is on 14.03.2018.

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