EUROPEAN CENTER FOR SERVICES INVESTMENTS AND FINANCING

BUCHAREST - LONDON - BRUSSELS

Bucharest headquarter: +40-729590504

London office: +44-2033185962 Brussels office: +32-28084729

©2018 BY EUROPEAN CENTER FOR SERVICES INVESTMENTS AND FINANCING.

SME INSTRUMENT

Write a successful SME Instrument proposal

Between 2014 - 2017, ECSIF Experts have been selected by the European Commission to evaluate the first SME Instrument Proposals on both Phase 1 and Phase 2. By analyzing hundreds of projects and studying in a doctoral research the results of over 20.000 applications on Horizon 2020, we've succeeded to identify the essential criteria of a winning proposal. In 2018, ECSIF designed a brand new training course that uses the findings of our doctoral research in Horizon 2020 SME Instrument projects.

 

SME INSTRUMENT CONSULTING

Writing successful SME Instrument Proposals

Writing:

  • Proposal Phase 1: 3999 Euro + 10% Success Fee

  • Proposal Phase 2: 7999 Euro + 10% Success Fee


Improving Proposals:

  • Initial Proposal Evaluation and Recomandations Phase 1: 4999 Euro

  • Initial Proposal Evaluation and Recomandations Phase 2: 9999 Euro

  • Resubmited Proposal Evaluation Phase 1: 3999 Euro

  • Resubmitted Proposal Evaluation Phase 2: 7999 Euro


ECSIF consultancy method was developed over three years of doctoral research, during which I and Diana studied the successful elements of European projects. After evaluating hundreds of European projects on competitiveness, including the Horizon 2020 - SME Instrument, and research all the available open database comprising thousands of projects on innovation, ECSIF managed to translate the results of the doctoral research in a consultancy system designed to maximize the chances of being successful on applications for the Horizon 2020 - SME Instrument program.

The result is an integrated toolbox for innovative SMEs wishing to develop their business through European Funds. After more than 4 years evaluating proposals for Horizon 2020, lots of courses on the SME Instrument throughout Europe, beginning with 2018 we will come with new services for the SME Instrument in order to help innovative SMEs reach their full potential through European funds!

 

SME INSTRUMENT - INHOUSE TRAINING

2 days of inntensive learning experience

SME Instrument Day 1

09:00 – 10:30 The SME Instrument

Presentation of the SME Instrument:

  • General information about the program Horizon 2020, SME Instrument;

  • Presentation of the 3 phases of the program (purpose, sums, duration);

  • Dates for proposal submission on 2018-2019;

  • Eligibility of projects and applicants;

  • Examples of successful Startups and SMEs;

  • Where & how to apply?

  • Q & A session at the end of the presentation.

10:30 – 11:00 Coffee break

11:00 – 12:30 Phase 1

Preparing a successful Phase 1 Application:

  • Analyzing the official template from EC (10 pages);

  • Understanding the importance of each element;

  • Tips on how to complete each part of the Phase 1 Application;

  • Official statistics on Phase 1 Applications.

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch break

13:30 – 15:00 Phase 1

Writing a Phase 1 Application:

  • The Pareto Principle – identification of the 20% of the Application elements that generates 80% of its score;

  • Identify the criteria for success.

15:00 – 15:30 Coffee break

15:30 – 17:00 Phase 1

Understanding the evaluation process of Phase 1 Applications:

  • How are the proposal evaluated?

  • Tips and recommendations from SME Instrument evaluators;

  • Improve the Phase 1 Application from the Evaluator perspective.


SME Instrument Day 2

09:00 – 10:30 Phase 2

Preparing a successful Phase 2 Application:

  • Analyzing the official template from EC (30 pages);

  • Understanding the importance of each element;

  • Tips on how to complete each part of the Phase 2 Application.

10:30 – 11:00 Coffee break

11:00 – 12:30 Phase 2

Phase 2 Application:

  • The Pareto Principle – identification of the 20% of the Application elements that generates 80% of its score;

  • Identify the criteria for success.

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch break

13:30 – 15:00 Phase 2

Understanding the evaluation process of Phase 2 Applications:

  • How are the proposal evaluated?

  • Tips and recommendations from SME Instrument evaluators;

  • Improve the Phase 2 Application from the Evaluator perspective.

15:00 – 15:30 Coffee break

15:30 – 17:00 Phase 3 & coaching

How to have a successful Phase 3 strategy:

  • The Horizon 2020 – Innov FIN Programme;

  • Where to find Phase 3 Financing for further development?

  • What are the additional services provided by EEN?

  • The importance and benefit of coaching.

 

Innovate. Learn. Succeed.

SME INSTRUMENT

The dedicated SME instrument's supports close-to-market activities, with the aim to give a strong boost to breakthrough innovation. Highly innovative SMEs with a clear commercial ambition and a potential for high growth and internationalisation are the prime target.

The SME Instrument offers small and medium-sized businesses the following:

Business innovation grants for feasibility assessment purposes (optional phase I): EUR 50,000 (lump sum) per project (70% of total cost of the project);
Business innovation grants for innovation development & demonstration purposes (possible phase II): an amount in the indicative range of EUR 500,000 and 2,5 million (70% of total cost of the project as a general rule);
Free-of-charge business coaching (optional) in order to support and enhance the firm’s innovation capacity and help align the project to strategic business needs;
Access to a wide range of innovation support services and facilitated access to risk finance, to facilitate the commercial exploitation of the innovation.

SME INSTRUMENT - PHASE 1

Feasibility assessment

Funding is available for: exploring and assessing the technical feasibility and commercial potential of a breakthrough innovation that a company wants to exploit and commercialize.
Activities funded could be: risk assessment, design or market studies, intellectual property exploration; the ultimate goal is to put a new product, service or process in the market, possibly through an innovative application of existing technologies, methodologies, or business processes.
The project should be aligned to the business strategy, helping internal growth or targeting a transnational business opportunity.
Amount of funding: lump sum of €50,000 (per project, not per participating business).
Duration: typically around 6 months
Outcome: The outcome of a phase 1 project is a feasibility study (technical and commercial), including a business plan.
Should the conclusion of the study be that the innovative concept has the potential to be developed to the level of investment readiness/market maturity, but requires additional funding in view of commercialisation, the SME can apply for Phase 2 support.

SME INSTRUMENT - PHASE 2

Innovation project

Funding is available for: innovation projects underpinned by a sound and strategic business plan (potentially elaborated and partially funded through phase 1 of the SME Instrument).

Activities funded in phase 2 can be of several types: prototyping, miniaturisation, scaling-up, design, performance verification, testing, demonstration, development of pilot lines, validation for market replication, including other activities aimed at bringing innovation to investment readiness and maturity for market take-up.

Amount of funding: in the indicative range of €500,000 – € 2.5 million or more (covering up to 70% of eligible costs, or in exceptional, specific cases up to 100%).

Duration: typically around 1 to 2 years

Outcomes:

a new product, process or service that is ready to face market competition;
a business innovation plan incorporating a detailed commercialisation strategy and a financing plan in view of market launch (e.g. on how to attract private investors, if applicable).

SME INSTRUMENT - PHASE 3

Commercialisation & Coaching

With the view of facilitating the commercial exploitation of the innovation activities resulting from phase 1 or phase 2, specific activities will be proposed. These can include support for further developing investment readiness, linking with private investors and customers through brokerage activities, assistance in applying for further EU risk finance, and a range of other innovation support activities and services offered via the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN).

Coaching

Optional Innovation and Business Development Coaching is offered in parallel throughout phases 1 and 2 to help SMEs:

enhance the company's innovation capacity
align the project to the identified business development strategy
develop the commercial/economic impact and long term sustainability.
Coaching is provided by experienced business coaches, selected through the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN).

 

Our secret formulae for success

SME INSTRUMENT CONSULTING & TRAINING

"I must confess that I have a deep admiration for entrepreneurs who strive to access European funds to develop their business because I found myself 8 years ago being in the same situation. It took me no more than one week of hard work to successfully secure a European Grant of almost 3.000.000 Euro. Back then it was a leap of faith, an experience with lots of highs and lows. But now I know now exactly that you can successfully write alone a successful application, and more, that it can be tough!  Our results prove it after every course that I held with European Center for Services Investments and Financing - ECSIF in London, Madrid, Warsaw, but also outside the European Union in Tel Aviv and not least in Geneva.

When I look at those who have managed to successfully access European funds I don’t see necessarily some people much different from other entrepreneurs, but I see vivacious people who managed to follow a well-structured educational and consultancy system oh Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. 

First, to successfully access the European funds on Horizon 2020 SME Instrument one must have an extraordinary innovative product (including innovative services or processes). All other factors that influence the success of an SME Instrument program applications would have no effect without a great innovative product. But the same applies in reverse! And how to put the lights on this innovation can be learned! This course will teach you how to improve your chances to finance your product through European funds. 

Our training presents an academic system of writing a successful grant application. The mechanism developed is useful for innovators and for those who want to become experts in European Funds.

ECSIF method was developed over three years of doctoral research, during which I and Diana studied the successful elements of European projects. After evaluating hundreds of European projects on competitiveness, including the Horizon 2020 - SME Instrument, and research all the available open database comprising thousands of winning projects on innovation, ECSIF managed to translate the results of the doctoral research in an educational and consultancy system designed to maximize the chances of being successful on applications for the Horizon 2020 - SME Instrument program.

The result is a course designed as an integrated toolbox for innovative SMEs wishing to develop their business through European Funds. Our students will find our 5 days course extremely useful and practical. You will learn writing techniques statistically validated to improve the chances of success, tips, and tricks and you will also learn how to avoid the most common mistakes in European funds, and believe me for 10 years I made a lot of mistakes!

After more than  4 years evaluating proposals for Horizon 2020, lots of courses on the SME Instrument throughout Europe, beginning with 2018 we will offer new innovative services on the SME Instrument and INNOV FIN in order to help innovative SMEs and FInancial Institutions reach their full potential through European funds!"

Dr. Daniel Dumitrescu