3 Points Essential for a Successful H2020 SME Instrument Application : Small Business Passion

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3 Points Essential for a Successful H2020 SME Instrument Application

by Helena Deane on 06/16/16

Horizon 2020 is a fantastic opportunity for many innovative SMEs with global ambitions to further their company objectives and progress a technological or product development towards a successful commercialisation. Below are 3 major points a company would need to address when preparing their SME Instrument application:

1. Excellence and Impact

Before attempting to apply for H2020 SME Instrument funding, make an honest and thorough assessment of your product or technology. Is it truly innovative when compared to the current state of the art solutions on the market today, but also emerging solutions that may not have hit the mainstream market yet, and does it provide true added value? Does your proposed innovation deliver high-level impact, not only to your company in terms of revenue and jobs, but impact on the European level for example by making the EU more competitive in the respective industrial sector and does it align with EU Policy and Call objectives? Does your proposal have potential to create a profound impact on the society or have the ability to be spun-out to other applications, industries or sectors? Only consider applying for H2020 SME Instrument Funding if the answer to all of these questions is 'yes'.

2. Every Word Counts

The template provided by the European Commission contains many helpful hints as to what information needs to be included in order to deliver a high quality standard proposal. Do not skip past, or ignore these prompts. Every time you ignore what is essentially a request for information, you put the success of your proposal at risk. Follow the instructions to the letter. Many proposals based on extremely innovative ideas are going to be in direct competition with each other and the final funding award may sometimes come down to very delicate nuances in the score. A well prepared proposal that is complete in all respects may well gain that last inch of an advantage to get it over the line.

3. Mind the Limits

Again, following the instructions to the word in this area is essential. Not following the font size limit of 11 points might affect your eligibility – ignoring this may mean your proposal may get disqualified. Also, the page limit needs to be strictly observed – if you cross the limit, the information provided beyond the page limit will be ignored and will not help your case whatsoever. This is also true if you attempt to be savvy and include information from one section with imposed page limit in another section where no page limit implies. This may have a negative impact and impede your chance of success.

For more information on H2020 SME Instrument funding, go to https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/h2020-section/sme-instrument

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