SME Instrument

Horizon2020 and the SME Instrument.

The SME instrument has been designed specifically for single or groups of highly innovative SMEs with international ambitions, determined to turn strong, innovative business ideas into winners on the market. The instrument provides full-cycle business innovation support from the stage of business idea conception and planning (phase I) over business plan execution and demonstration (phase II) to commercialisation (phase III). Participants will be able to call on business innovation coaching for the duration of their project.

  • Phase I (proof-of-concept): Explore the scientific or technical feasibility and commercial potential of your new idea in order to develop an innovation project, with the help of a € 50,000 grant, and receive more support in case of a positive outcome!
  • Phase II (development & demonstration): Develop your sound, ground-breaking business idea further with the help of a grant in the order of € 500,000 to 3 million into a market-ready product, service or process!
  • Phase III (go-to-market): Take advantage of additional EU support to enter the market successfully (no grants).

The SME Instrument can be used to target any of the 7 Societal Challenges from Secure, clean and efficient energy to health and also sections of the Industrial Pillar such as ICT and advanced manufacturing.

Where to Start?

Contact the European Advisors.

Horizon 20/20 Profiles.Fennell Photography Copyright 2013 Sean Burke
Enterprise Ireland
4500 Atlantic Avenue
Shannon. Co. Clare
Tel: 061-777048
Mob: 087 9534606
Jill_Leonard Jill Leonard
Enterprise Ireland
Eastpoint Business Park
Dublin 3
Tel: 01 7272751
Mob: 087 9141439

If you already have a specific idea use our SME Instrument One Page Proposal Outline as an initial discussion document and email it to Sean and Jill.


Head Office

Enterprise Ireland
East Point Business Park, Dublin 3
Tel: +353 1 727 2000 | Fax: +353 1 727 2020

  • The Department for Agriculture Food and the Marine
  • The Environmental Protection Agency Ireland
  • Health Research Board
  • Higher Education Authority
  • Irish Research Council
  •  Irish Universities Association
  • The Marine Institute
  • Science Foundation Ireland (SFI
  • The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

Horizon 2020 national support network led by Enterprise Ireland