The SME Instrument is a funding programme for Small and Medium Enterprises under Horizon 2020, the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The program “supports high-risk, high-potential small and medium-sized enterprises and innovators to help them develop and bring onto the market new innovative products, services and business models that could drive economic growth.”
The 6 of June of 2019 the European Commision made a public announcement in its webpage saying that:
“The SME Instrument becomes the EIC Accelerator, offering optional equity investment in addition to a grant.” European Commission.
The announcement followed the official opening of the EIC Accelerator programme the 5 of June of 2019.
Did that mean that from that moment onwards the SME Instrument disappeared and that completely new rules applied? Not exactly, currently the EIC accelerator is in its pilot phase and it will not become a ‘fully-fledged’ reality until 2021 under the next EU research and innovation programme Horizon Europe (2021-2027).
In the next section you will find some practical questions and answers: