European SME funding for research and innovation projects

According to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, there are about 23 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the EU, which account for almost 99% of the total number of enterprises. They are the driving force for stimulating economic growth and the creation of new jobs. SME funding is therefore an important component of the European policy on small and medium-sized enterprises.

SME funding within Horizon 2020

SME funding plays a particularly significant role in Horizon 2020. Small and medium-sized enterprises are regarded by the Commission as an innovation engine and the players that can swiftly convert research results into market-ready products. The SME Instrument is aimed exclusively at small and medium-sized enterprises with growth potential that are pursuing innovative ideas with European added value in the long term and already possess market experience. Moreover, the EU Commission as a rule requires a strong involvement of SMEs in associated research projects.

SME funding outside Horizon 2020

SME funding outside Horizon 2020 offers numerous alternatives and opportunities to SMEs for taking part in transnational cooperation projects. The programmes specified below are either designed exclusively for SMEs or are structured in such a way that they are particularly suitable for SMEs.

Further information about the individual SME funding programmes

Below, you will find an overview of national and European funding programmes aimed at SMEs:

  • Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs

    Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs

    Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a cross-border exchange programme which gives new or aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to learn from experienced entrepreneurs running small businesses in other Participating Countries.

  • IraSME


    IraSME supports SMEs in their transnational innovation activities, helps them to acquire technological know-how, extend their networks and bridge the gap between research and innovation.

  • Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)

    Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)

    The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) supports the development of high performing, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital services.

Support from BayFOR

Are you a Bavarian SME and are you interested in national and European funds for your company? Would you like to know which programme is best suited for your project? Are you looking for relevant partners for transnational cooperation? Do you have any questions about the required timing and the costs related to a funding application? Do you need support in submitting your application? Then please get in touch with us! We are here to help!

Dipl.-Jur. Natalia García Mozo

Natalia García Mozo
Head of Unit SME Advisory Services
Phone: +49 (0)89 9901888-171

Competent Support for Excellent Research in Bavaria, Europe and the World

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Competent Support for Excellent Research in Bavaria, Europe and the World

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