The European Commission’s SME Instrument is a successful programme within the framework of the EU Horizon 2020 framework, established in 2014. It is a simple and accessible funding and business support scheme that encourages innovative, scalable and ambitious SME’s to put forward their most interesting ideas. It works in three phases, according to the stages of the innovation cycle and for the assessment of the funding proposals, the SME Instrument operates with a team of independent evaluators specialised in business, finance and innovation along other areas of expertise (ICT, health, Biotech, etc.). ECN has worked and supported the SME Instrument over the past years.
In only three years it committed €882 million in grants, coaching and business support. From 31k received applications, it selected 2457 SME’s or 6% of applicants from the EU and the Horizon 2020 Associated Countries. The SMEs did not only receive funding support, benefited from the SME Instrument community and networks, but also leveraged €480.7 million in private investment* including crowdfunding.
Now the EC is looking for more experienced investment professionals such as investment managers at crowdfunding platforms (but also business angels, venture capital, private equity investors) willing to collaborate with the SME Instrument in finding the best deals. As experts’ time is valuable, the SME Instrument works with a flexible schedule and workload, in Brussels and remotely, to best fit experts availability.
ECN would suggest interested members and other parties with the relevant expertise to consider becoming an expert evaluator. For more information, please check our investors’ page or contact us at Easme-EIC-Investors@ec.europa.eu