"Horizon 2020"/EIC SME Instrument: Austrian SMEs play in the Champions League!

Up to 7.5 million euros for three Austrian companies - support from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG

Austria's next successful chapter in the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation "Horizon 2020": Three Austrian companies have scored successfully in the latest round of the SME instrument. The Upper Austrian SME Symptoma GmbH and the two Styrian SMEs PyroScience AT GmbH and EASE-LINK GmbH each receive up to 2.5 million euros to bring their innovative projects faster to market. Both Symptoma GmbH and EASE-LINK GmbH were supported by experts from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG. "The SME instrument is highly competitive and helps small and medium-sized enterprises to implement new products and services with disruptive potential," said Henrietta Egerth and Klaus Pseiner, managing directors of FFG. "As the National Contact Point for 'Horizon 2020', we are supporting  researchers and companies - with success, as the latest examples show.“ In this round of the so-called Phase 2 of the SME instrument programme, the European Union is providing 113 million euros to 65 small and medium-sized enterprises from 16 countries.

Source: European Commission 


With the support of European research and innovation funding, Symptoma GmbH is developing a search engine for diseases: by entering symptoms, a better diagnosis can be made, which is particularly important for patients with rare or complex diseases. The challenges lie in particular in offering a high degree of informative value and precision, which the SME has succeeded in doing after many years of research and development. EASE-LINK GmbH aims to mass produce a wireless, maintenance-free charging solution for electric vehicles. The start-up cooperates with the Graz University of Technology, among others. PyroScience GmbH is dedicated to the first high-performance, all-in-one optical sensor technology to monitor the health of our oceans.

"Horizon 2020" >> SME instrument
The SME Instrument is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot that supports top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with funding opportunities and business acceleration services. Companies can apply for two distinct phases under the SME Instrument, depending on the maturity of their innovation.In the so-called Phase 2 of the SME instrument, each project will receive from 0.5 to 2.5 million euros to finance innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, piloting and scaling up. In addition, companies under both phases can benefit from free coaching.The companies also benefit from twelve days of free business coaching.The next application deadline for SME Instrument Phase 2 is on 10 October 2018, the experts at FFG will be available with a comprehensive range of information and advice.

According to the plans for the next EU Research Framework Programme "Horizon Europe" (2021 - 2027), the EIC will be located in Pillar 3 and will contribute as a one-stop shop to making the EU a leader in market-creating innovations.