€ 3.2 billion is the total budget for the SME Instrument (within the framework of Horizon 2020) and one of the good reasons for submission of a funding application for innovation. What can additionally encourage to file an application is the fact that the SME Instrument grant is non-refundable.
Applications for funding from the SME Instrument may be submitted by small and medium companies that have an innovative idea, from any Member State and selected Associated Countries. There is a joint budget, with no limits or guaranteed amounts. The number of subsidies granted to companies from a given country depends only on how enterprising are the local businesses. Grant is given to the most innovative enterprises and the best-prepared projects.
The budget is distributed in the two phases, depending on the advancement of works connected with the idea.
Phase 1 is intended for projects on TRL 6, whose business potential requires evaluation (economic and technical analysis). At this stage, the grant is paid as flat-rate of EUR 50 000.
Phase 2 is dedicated to projects with a positive outcome of the feasibility study, which need funds for demonstration tasks, tests, prototypes and pilot activities, necessary before launching the solution on the market. The maximum amount that may be raised in this phase is EUR 2.5 million (and even EUR 5 million in the Health topic).
If a project receives financing, the quota is EUR 50 000 in Phase 1, and in Phase 2 the applicant obtains the amount that was applied for. It is not possible to get a part of the amount applied for – you get all or nothing.