European R&D Grant Funding (Horizon 2020)


Horizon 2020 encourages SMEs to participate – Are you benefitting?

If you are a SME with a long-term development plan for your technology and your business, there are many reasons why you should consider Horizon 2020 R&D Grant Funding.

Running to 2020 with an €80bn budget, Horizon 2020 is the framework under which all research and innovation funding will be managed.

The support for research and innovation under Horizon 2020 will:

  • Strengthen the EU’s position in science
  • Strengthen industrial leadership in innovation. This includes major investment in key technologies, greater access to capital and support for SMEs
  • Address major EU concerns such as climate change, developing sustainable transport and mobility, making renewable energy more affordable, ensuring food safety and security, or coping with the challenge of an ageing population.

Horizon 2020 R&D grants help innovative enterprises to develop their technological breakthroughs into viable products with real commercial potential. International cooperation is an important priority, and collaborative grants gained under Horizon 2020 can be significant in value.

SMEs can participate in the collaborative funding opportunities within the Leadership in Enabling & Industrial Technologies (LEIT) and Societal Challenges schemes, and in the dedicated SME Instrument scheme.

Collaborative Funding Schemes

Collaborative funding opportunities are set out in multi-year work programmes with pre-determined thematic calls.

Projects require a SME to be part of a consortium, with a minimum of three partners from different countries.

There are two main types of project, with different funding rates:

Research & Innovation Action (RIA): Projects to establish new knowledge and/or explore the feasibility of a new or improved technology, process, service or solution. The funding rate is 100%, with project funding on average c€4.9m.

Innovation Action (IA): Projects directly aimed at producing plans or designs for new or improved products, processes or services. The funding rate is 70%, with project funding on average c€5.2m.

The SME instrument:

SME Instrument projects are for single SMEs, although it is possible to collaborate.

It is targeted at innovative SMEs showing a strong ambition to develop, grow and internationalise and covers all fields of science, technology and innovation in a bottom-up approach within a given societal challenge or enabling industrial technology. This is designed to leave sufficient room for all kinds of promising ideas, notably cross-sector and inter-disciplinary projects, to be funded.

Funding is available for two phases of a project:

Phase 1: Concept and production of a technical and € commercial feasibility assessment, including a business plan, for a breakthrough innovation. Lump sum funding is provided of €50,000.

Phase 2: Projects aimed at bringing innovation projects to investment readiness and maturity for market take-up, underpinned by a strong business plan. The funding rate is 70% with a maximum project value of €2.5m

Horizon 2020 Funding Schemes  – The MSC R&D Team Way

Given the large sums of money involved, it is not surprising that it is a complex and very competitive process identifying and applying for a suitable Horizon 2020 grant.

MSC R&D’s unrivalled experience in R&D grant funding, and extensive network of contacts, means that we are ideally placed to guide you through the process of successfully applying for grants within the Horizon 2020 programme.

Our experienced team of industry experts and bid writers can take the pain away and maximise your chances of making a successful application – either through assisting you in completing your application or by completing it for you.

Our team approach and our proven ‘fast track blitz’ methodology ensures the minimal amount of disruption to our clients, safe in the knowledge that their application is being processed professionally and within the allowed timescales.

MSC R&D can also provide a range of other Horizon 2020 related services, including:

  • Project Management and Resourcing
  • Audit Compliance
  • Partner Search
  • Training on how to manage the complex EU administration requirements
  • Commercialisation of the project output

The MSC R&D Guide to Horizon 2020 Web Site

Launched in March 2017, the MSC R&D’s Guide to Horizon 2020 web site is the result of many months work and is designed to help you to better understand the Horizon 2020 programme and decide whether it is suitable for you. 

The purpose of this guide is to:

  • Provide a simple summary of the main elements of the Horizon 2020 programme
  • Provide guidance on how to choose which funding route to take
  • Provide guidance on how to identify appropriate calls
  • Provide guidance on how to make an application
  • Provide links to key official documents
  • Provide updates on current and forthcoming calls
  • Provide more in-depth support (through our Resources facility)


MSC R&D European Grant Funding-Horizon 2020

Ixaris Systems Ltd Case Study

Infographic Horizon 2020 Collaborative Funding

Infographic Horizon 2020 SME Instrument

MSC R&D Horizon 2020

MSC R&D now operates a website dedicated to the Horizon 2020 programme treating the issues of eligibility and application process amongst others. Further to this, you can also find a library of resources that will help you understand the programme, and ultimately make the relevant funding decision based on the information provided.  Visit our Horizon 2020 website by clicking here. Alternatively, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0114 230 8401 or