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Overall aim

The SME Instrument call is directed at SMEs with a revolutionary business idea and an underlying technology, all based on a business plan for rolling out a marketable innovation solution – and with an ambition to significantly scale up.

In 2018-2020 under the European Innovation Council (EIC), this instrument focuses on market-creating innovations, breakthrough products, services, processes or business models, which open up new markets, with the potential for rapid growth at both European and global levels.


Excellence (criterion 1)

This section shall demonstrate how the high-risk/high-potential innovation goes beyond the state of the art in its field, in comparison to existing and competing solutions. Also the applicant should show that the product/service/model is already at an advanced stage of development (high TRL).

Impact (criterion 2)

This section assesses the extent to which the proposed innovation will create substantial demand (including willingness to pay) for the product, service or model. It must also assess and quantify the competitiveness and growth of the applying SME, based on the project, and in relation to environmental/industrial/social issues.

Implementation (criterion 3)

This section must address, among other things, how the innovative product will be managed, and which team resources are available for that. It is of particular relevance, as an effective innovation management scheme allows the applicant to exploit new opportunities, both inside and outside the project.