SME Instrument

Support for the internationalisation of SMEs

The aim of SME Instrument is to support innovative and revolutionary Small and Medium-sized Enterprises by providing them with resources and support so that they can grow, develop, and break into</strong global markets.

Funded projects can either be stand-alone or part of a consortium. Beneficiary institutions must contribute with ideas capable of either creating new markets or radically revolutionising existing markets. There are three phases (i.e. types) of aid, none of which requires the others as a prerequisite:

Phase 1: Concept and feasibility assessment:

This phase evaluates the feasibility of the project/idea presented, both at a technical and commercial level. It has an estimated duration of 6 months and provides grants of €50,000 awarded for the development of a business feasibility plan.

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Phase 2: Commercial development and production:

Once a solid and viable business plan is in place (either through Phase 1 or independently created), Phase 2 funds technological development and demonstration related activities, including: testing, prototyping, validation, verification, and/or piloting. It has a duration of 12 to 24 months and awards grants of up to €2.5 million.

Phase 3: Marketing:

This phase does not provide direct grants or subsidies; instead, the aid is in the form of training, coaching, and support in establishing ties with customers, investors, and private equity firms that are potentially interested in the idea.

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Subsidy that encourages SMEs

Providing them with resources and help to grow and internationalize.

Promotes R&D

The grant is only available for ideas capable of creating new markets or revolutionizing existing ones.

Individual or consortium projects

It is not necessary to establish a consortium to access this assistance, although it is recommended.

Other services

Fast Track Innovation

It is the world’s largest R&D grant for products and processes that can open up new markets.


This subsidy is oriented towards innovative technologies and promotes competitiveness in processes and products.

Horizon 2020

It promotes research and innovation in energy, health, transport, agriculture and food projects.

Life Program

Subsidy for environmental projects and companies fighting for biodiversity in the European Union.