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Displaying items by tag: SME

Wednesday, 28 February 2018 11:15

My EU Funding: SME & Access to Risk Finance

Are you looking for specific funding opportunities for SMEs? Are you a small company or university spin-off with bright ideas and the ambition to scale up internationally?

In general every SME is open to participate in H2020. But sometimes regional or national opportunities could be the better choice.

It depends on the SME: Is it a relatively new start-up or a long established company? Is it a very small SME with two persons in the team or a big one close to the EU SME definition threshold? Does the SME seek funding for a research oriented project or for activities rather close to commercialisation? And finally at a first glance: does the idea fit in any of the H2020 thematic areas?

The NCP for SMEs together with your thematic NCP can help you identify relevant funding instruments under the brand new European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot. An overview of different funding schemes in H2020 is given below.

What is the goal? It is to target and support radically new, breakthrough products, services, processes or business models that open up new markets.

The EIC pilot brings together the parts of Horizon 2020 that provide funding, advice and networking opportunities for companies at cutting edge of innovation and with the ambition to scale up internationally. 



SME Instrument

Fast Track to Innovation

Future and Emerging Technologies

EIC Horizon Prizes


If you have a great idea or innovation but are not sure which funding scheme is right for you, NCP Brussels will help you find it.

Between 2018 and 2020 the EIC pilot will provide €2.7 billion to breakthrough, market-creating innovations.

This support is aimed at people and companies with ideas or innovations which:

• are radically different from existing products, services or technologies,

• are highly risky,

• need additional investment to get to market.


Concept of EIC Pilot 2018-2020:



Published in EU funding
Monday, 01 January 2018 15:03

Success Stories

Here are some examples of successful Brussels participation in EU-funded Research and Innovation programmes, namely Horizon 2020, the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) and the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP).

The list is non-exhaustive. If you want to share your Brussels Success Story on this Website, do not hesitate to contact us!



June was a very successful month for NCP Brussels. One of the companies we have been advising on the SME Instrument, 3E, was selected for Phase II funding and will soon receive nearly 2 million euros in order to rapidly accelerate the industrial maturity of their latest software product (SynaptiQ Building) by scaling the business and further improve their product.

Discover more by listening to the radio interview at BXFM Bruxelles with Ji-Hyeon Kim Vanguers, Elena Angiolini & Roul de Coninck on our support to the great SME 3E.



Here we are again after the second edition 2016 of “E²Tech4Cities ”, the brokerage event focused on Energy & Efficiency technologies for Cities. Organized by Enterprise Europe Brussels/hub.brussels with the collaboration of NCP Brussels presenting EU Funding Opportunities - Horizon 2020 Programme.

Held last June 17, the second edition of “E² Tech4Cities” confirmed his status of a high-quality international event. Take a look at the video here

-2016 results:

  • More than 147 international face-to-face meetings held from 9:30 to 17:00. 
  • More than 106 potential future collaborations envisaged 
  • More than 20 Enterprise Europe Network ‘s partners involved from 15 countries

-2018 results - full article here - Watch the video here

  • The event gathered more than 81 participants from more than 14 countries attending more than 195 international meetings. 
  • As good practice from the last edition of the pitch session, this year 6 companies have been selected to present their project idea in front of a panel of investors having very high visibility at European level.
  • Organization of an info session organized by NCP Brussels dedicated to SMEs on novelties of Horizon 2020 SME instrument opportunities. 

-2019 results - full article here

Total number of Participants: 155 

  • Participants E²Tech4Cities: 56 of which 21 international partners
  • Participants Brussels Exporters Day: 99 

Meetings: 354 (About 20 Belgian participants attended both meetings)

  • E²Tech4Cities: 46 of which 36 international
  • Brussels Exporters Day: 308


SUMY (Sustainable Urban Logistics & Mobility)

Hinde Boulbayem, Mobility Manager | I continue to be impressed with the responsiveness of the NCP Brussels support team. The service I received from the team (on the phone, meetings, and emails) plays a big role in my decision to apply our innovation action to the EU calls for action and research funding projects instead of leaving aside our need for innovation support. Our project aims to keep connected people & goods to foster peace and a safe place for humans to coexist in Brussels. The support I received was friendly, professional, supportive, absolutely timely and extraordinarily efficient. It is rare to find such expertise in Brussels. Our project turns to close collaboration within the EU scope for cost-effective, sustainable, safe and inclusive mobility. Especially because we knew we can get help when we need it we did it.  The technical support team of the NCP Brussels is very knowledgeable.  They’ve answered our questions very quickly.  As a new EU program user, it has reduced our learning curve tremendously. Between the face to face meetings and rapid replies to e-mails, I have been extremely pleased. Keep up the good work!



Simon Desbarax |  FIWARE nous a permis d’accélérer le développement de notre prototype et donc la validation du marché et du business model. Par conséquent, FIWARE nous permet aussi d'attirer des investisseurs potentiels, moins frileux en voyant un prototype fonctionnel. FIWARE nous est indispensable en termes de perspectives de développement concrètes. 



Etay Oren |  « FIWARE est une fabuleuse expérience. L'apport financier est une chose, le support en termes de conseil que nous avons reçu de l'organisation en est une autre. Le fait de rentrer notre candidature nous a amenés à clarifier notre stratégie, à préciser notre vision. Daniela (NCP Brussels ICT) nous a aidé à franchir les différentes étapes, à penser aussi bien marketing que technologie. Nous y avons participé en nous disant : quelle que soit l'issue, nous aurons progressé. Et cela s'est vérifié : notre façon d'approcher le marché s'est sensiblement renforcée. De même, nous avons pu étendre notre champ applicatif. Pour Communithings, il y a un avant-FIWARE et un après-FIWARE !»


RDC Environment

RDC Environment is a Brussels SME specialised for more than 20 years on the evaluation of environmental, economic and social impacts. These evaluations concern products, services, and policies. RDC Environment has exercised its expertise with a consortium composed of 10 international partners. This has enabled RDC Environment to join an H2020 project comprising 10 partners from 6 European countries, among which industrial enterprises are known worldwide.

The proposal was submitted on March 2014 within the framework of the SPIRE (Sustainable Process Industries through Resource & Energy Efficiency) call for proposal. The official kick-off is foreseen for January 2015.


Brussels SMEObelis

Thanks to its proven expertise and reputation in the regulatory field, Brussels SMEObelis has been asked by the University of Galway (Ireland) to join a consortium of 5 partners – 1 university and 4 SME’s companies including Obelis- to work within an FP7 health-related project. This 3-year project, named “Neurograft”, started on 1st December 2012, is aiming to develop an artificial conduit for the nerve repair in cases of spinal cord injuries. In this manufacturing project of a medical device, Obelis is involved in its quality and regulatory compliance at every stage of development of the project, giving regulatory guidance to the coordinator and other partners. Obelis plays a pivotal role in specifying all the regulatory requirements and ensuring that all partners understand the structure and content of a compliant design dossier which without it, no CE marking will be granted. 

Being a partner in this FP7 project has raised the interest of Obelis in EU funding for research and namely in Horizon 2020.  As a result of this and our reputation, Obelis has been invited to join 3 new  Health proposals under Horizon 2020:

- AMEDEE project (Bordeaux) coordinated respectively by the French Institute for health INSERM (Novel tools for improved scaffold bone innervation for craniofacial surgery applications), 

- GLAM project (Leitat of Barcelona) the  Leitat Technological Center (“Glass - Laser Multiplexed Biosensor”) 

- DIACUMAT project (Galway) the University of Galway (Novel Biomaterials Enhancing Survival and Immunoprotection of Pancreatic Islets for Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus). The results for the evaluation of the proposals are expected for the 1st stage on October 2014 and 2nd stage end of April 2015.



The Brussels SME Greenloop is a partner in a FP7 project called CO2SOLSTOCK. It is a research project gathering 6 EU partners and whose objective is to use the biomimetic approach to develop new environmental technologies. Concretely, it means investigating sustainable bio-inspired solutions for carbon sequestration as an alternative or complementary way to existing Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) techniques.



The Brussels SME Perceval is coordinator of a FP6 project called VISP (Internet Service Provision). Via the project, 10 EU partners team up to develop a software platform enabling a cluster of SMEs to operate as a single business entity, in multiple dynamic business models, for the production of tailored Internet Service Provider (ISP) solutions adapted to local business needs.



Brussels SME 3E is actively involved in several FP7 projects focused on renewable energy. For example, it is the coordinator of MetaPV which brings together the expertise of system operators, inverter manufacturers, renewable energy experts and researchers, MetaPV is providing realistic and innovative solutions demonstrating the power of PV for grid optimisation.


The Brussels Capital Region

The Brussels Capital Region is actively involved, in conjunction with Plateforme Maison Passive, in the PassReg project. The project is co-funded by a CIP funding, called Intelligent Energy Europe. The objective is to help EU regions implement energy-efficient Passive House principles. To do so, the project identifies frontrunner regions and flagship projects in this field that can be made visible and transferred in other EU regions. Brussels Capital Region has been identified as a front-runner region to serve as an example.


EHTEL (European Health Telematics Association)

The Brussels based association, EHTEL (European Health Telematics Association) is a partner of the EU project Renewing Health. It is co-funded by the CIP under the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP). The project aims at implementing large-scale real-life test beds for the validation and evaluation of innovative telemedicine services by means of a patient-centred approach and a common rigorous assessment methodology. It involves 9 of the most advanced regions in the implementation of health-related ICT services.



The regional public organisation Bruxelles-Environnement is a partner of a FP7 project called TURAS « Transitioning towards Urban Resilience and Sustainability » . Via the project, 28 partners team up with the objective to facilitate the collaboration between regional authorities, companies, local communities in order to seek solutions for more sustainable and resilient EU cities. 

Published in Horizon 2020
Monday, 01 January 2018 10:10

HORIZON 2020 in brief

HORIZON 2020 is the EU Framework Programme for Research & Innovation. It is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever. It will lead to more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market. Almost € billion of funding is available over 7 years (2014-2020). 

H2020 has the political backing of Europe’s leaders and the Members of the European Parliament. They agreed that investment in research and innovation is essential for Europe’s future and so put it at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve this by coupling research to innovation and focusing on three key areas: 





Horizon 2020 is open to everyone. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science and technology that drives economic growth. 

The support of NCP Brussels is targeted at legal entities registered in the Brussels-Capital Region who wish to apply for the following types of actions within the 2nd pillar (industrial leadership) and the 3rd pillar (Societal Challenges) of Horizon 2020: 


Research and innovation actions 

Funding for research projects tackling clearly defined challenges, which can lead to the development of new knowledge or a new technology. 

Who? Consortia of partners of at least three legal entities established in an EU Member State or an Associated Country, industry and academia. 


Innovation actions 

Funding is more focused on closer-to-the-market activities. For example, prototyping, testing, demonstrating, piloting, scaling-up etc. if they aim at producing new or improved products or services.

Who? Consortia of partners of at least three legal entities established in an EU Member State or an Associated Country, industry and academia. 


Coordination and support actions 

Funding covers the coordination and networking of research and innovation projects, programmes and policies. Funding for research and innovation per se is covered elsewhere. 

Who? Single entities or consortia of partners from different countries, industry and academia

The expertise required for participating is specified in the topic. 

For these 3 fundings, the co-creation of the project with end-users and the involvement of Social Sciences and Humanities is very much encouraged. 


European Innovation Council (EIC)

The European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot supports innovators developing breakthrough innovations with the potential to create new markets and boost jobs, growth and prosperity in Europe. 

SME Instrument: Close-to-market and scale-up projects of a single SME or a consortium of SMEs established in EU Member States or Horizon 2020 associated countries.  

Fast Track to  Innovation (FTI): Close-to-market projects of consortia with three to five entities from at least three different EU Member States or Horizon 2020 associated countries. Industry must participate. Interdisciplinary approaches encouraged. 

FET Open: Early-stage, science and technology research by consortia exploring novel ideas for radically new future technologies that challenge current paradigms and venture into the unknown. Open to research into any area of technology. Aims to attract new, high-potential research and innovation players. 

Horizon Prizes: Horizon Prizes boost breakthrough innovation by fostering solutions to challenges which bring major benefits to society. 

Support and Exploratory Actions: help to optimise the impact of EU investment in EIC innovators and innovations; they contribute to building an EIC community and a vision underpinning a possible future EIC.


Work programmes announce the specific research and innovation areas that will be funded and indicate the timing of forthcoming Calls for Proposals. 

Proposals must be submitted before the deadline of the relevant Call. It is an online submission.

Many Calls require a team to have at least three partners.

The best proposals are selected for funding. After the deadline passes, each proposal is evaluated and scored by a panel of independent experts, against a list of criteria.

EU funding under H2020 covers up to 100% of all eligible costs for all research and innovation actions. For innovation actions, funding generally covers 70% of eligible costs, but may increase to 100% for non-profit organisations. Indirect eligible costs (e.g. administration, communication and infrastructure costs, office supplies) are reimbursed with a 25% flat rate of the direct eligible costs (those costs directly linked to the action implementation). The time-to-grant is reduced to 8 months (5 months for the evaluation process and 3 months for contract signing).



For information about other EU funding programme please consult:

• The webpage of the European Commission about EU funding programme 

• The regional website www.feder.brussels for information about the funding opportunities from the European Regional Development Fund 

Published in EU funding