06 December 2016

SME Instrument? Never Heard Of It


SME Instrument has been established for companies from the SME sector, which show high-growth potential and have an innovative product, technology or service for the European and global market. Proposed innovative solutions should address a specific problem or gap in the market. It’s worth mentioning, because IT companies are always searching for accelerating their growth and SME instrument might be a perfect tool for that.

What SME Instrument has to offer?

SME Instrument offers financial support and expert guidance. Its role is to enable effective commercialization of solutions on the European or global markets. It allows:

  • Commercial and technological verification (Phase I),
  • Development of technology to the moment, when it’s ready for market introduction (Phase II),
  • Expert support (Phase III).

Phase I – Feasibility study

The purpose of this stage is to evaluate technological and commercial potential of the product/service/technology. Evaluation also includes rating the potential risk, intellectual property management and finding partners for the project.

  • A lump sum for the highest rated projects: 50000 EUR
  • Duration: Up to 6 months

Phase II – Implementation

The subject of this stage is to verify the designed solution/service/technology in relevant conditions up to the moment, when it will be ready for commercialization. The Following actions can be funded: product calibration, performing demonstrations, miniaturization and market replication

  • Value of the project: from 0,5 up to 2,5 million EUR (grant up to 70% of eligible costs)
  • Duration: from 12 up to 24 months

Phase III – Commercialization and coaching

Projects qualified to this stage will be provided with intermediate support consisting of:

  • Easier access to capital and debt financial instruments
  • Support with networking,
  • Protection of intellectual property rights,
  • Impact of the product on new markets.

Support will be provided to companies, which received grants in Phase I or Phase II.

Phase I in practice

This stage of the SME Instrument is provided for companies from the SME sector, which achieved the TRL6 stage of development (prototype demonstration performed in relevant environment). The SME Instrument is also divided into topics, i.e. biotechnology, nanotechnology or environmental protection.


Applications can be issued without walking out of the office, via the Participants Portal available on the European Commission website The application form consists of three parts:

  • Administrative form,
  • Description of the solution in accordance to three criteria: excellence, impact and implementation. This part also has a limit of ten A4 pages,
  • Applicant description and ethical issues

The application form must be filled in English. Calls for proposal are being conducted periodically. Results of the call for proposals are announced usually within two months after the call deadline.

When to apply?

15 February 2017, 17:00:00
03 May 2017, 17:00:00
06 September 2017, 17:00:00
08 November 2017, 17:00:00


The SME instrument is demanding, since entrepreneurs from all over the Europe apply, making the competition very fierce. Statistical probability of receiving a grant, given the number of applicants, varies between 5 and 10 percent. Is it worth to invest energy, effort and resources? This is a question, every entrepreneur should answer before applying.

We answered it, together with Solution4Labs. We’re ready. We’re applying.

SoftwareHut applies in the SME instrument in order to further develop our Supply Chain Management System, capable of optimizing the entire process from the manufacturer to the final receiver.

Solution4Labs is participating in the SME instrument, in order to acquire funding for creating our own laboratory automation system (LAS), which reduces human interference in the process of specimen analysis to the least possible extent.

Rafał Rusiłowicz
External Funding Specialist

Master of Law degree at the University of Bialystok. Gained experience in acquiring external funding since 2012. Applied for funding from both national and EU resources. Implemented several training and investment projects for both public entities and enterprises. Performed financial and substantive settlement, confirmed by relevant state authorities. Currently specializes in research and development projects, also within the Horizon 2020 program.