COMING SOON: SME instrument common call – phase one


The European Commission Horizon 2020, under its Innovation in SMEs programme, will be seeking proposals for its SME instrument common call – phase one.

More information will become available in the third quarter of 2015. The following information, including which the topics addressed in this call, may be subject to change.

In phase one, funding is available for a feasibility study, in to verify the technological and practical, as well as economic, viability of an innovation idea or concept which has considerable novelty to the relevant industry sector.

Proposals can address the following topics:

•leadership in enabling and industrial technologies, including

H2020-SMEinst-81-2016-2017-ICT open disruptive innovation scheme,

H2020-SMEinst-82-2016-2017-NMBP accelerating the uptake of nanotechnologies advanced materials or advanced manufacturing and processing technologies by SMEs,

H2020-SMEinst-83-2016-2017-NMBP dedicated support to biotechnology SMEs closing the gap from lab to market,

H2020-SMEinst-84-2016-2017-BIOTEC SME boosting biotechnology-based industrial processes driving competitiveness and sustainability and

H2020-SMEinst-84-2016-2017-SME-SPACE engaging SMEs in space research and development;

Health, demographic change and wellbeing, including

H2020-SMEinst-11-2016-2017-PHC clinical research for the validation of biomarkers or diagnostic medical devices;

Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy, including

H2020-SMEinst21-2016-2017-SFS resource-efficient eco-innovative food production and processing,

H2020-SMEinst-22-2016-2017- advancing innovations in integrated pest management – a role for SMEs,

H2020-SMEinst-23-2016-2017- creating added value from waste and by-products generated on farm and along the value-chain,

H2020-SMEinst-24-2016-2017-BE intelligent solutions and tools in forest production systems, fostering sustainable supply of quality wood for the growing bio-economy,

H2020-SMEinst-25-2016-2017-BG supporting SMEs efforts for the development- deployment and market replication of innovative solutions for blue growth;

Secure, clean and efficient energy, including

H2020-SMEinst-31-2016-2017-SIE stimulating the innovation potential of SMEs for a low carbon and efficient energy system;

Smart, green and integrated transport, including

H2020-SMEinst-41-2016-2017-IT small business innovation research for transport;

Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials, including

H2020-SMEinst-51-2016-2017-SC5 achieving a resource-efficient and climate change resilient economy and a sustainable supply of raw materials;

Europe in a changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective societies, including

H2020-SMEinst-61-2016-2017-INSO innovative mobile e-government applications by SMEs,

H2020-SMEinst-62-2016-2017-INSO SME business model innovation;

Secure societies – protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens, including

H2020-SMEinst-71-2016-2017-DRS protection of urban soft targets and urban critical infrastructure and

H2020-SMEinst-72-2016-2017 protection of urban soft targets and urban critical infrastructure.

Actions require at least one SME. Only applications from for-profit SMEs established in EU member states or countries associated to Horizon 2020 are eligible. All H2020 funding calls allow third country partners who secure their own funding to participate in consortia.

Closing date 02 Mar 16

Industry Fellowship

This scheme is for academic scientists who want to work on a collaborative project with industry and for scientists in industry who want to work on a collaborative project with an academic organisation.

It aims to enhance knowledge transfer in science and technology between those in industry and those in academia in the UK.

The scheme provides a basic salary for the researcher and a contribution towards research costs.

The scheme is funded by the Royal Society, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Natural Environment Research Council, Rolls-Royce plc and BP plc.

The scheme covers all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering but excluding clinical medicine.

The applicant must:

  • have a PhD or be of equivalent standing in their profession
  • hold a permanent post in a university, not-for-profit research organisation or industry in the UK
  • be at a stage in their career when they would particularly benefit from establishing or strengthening personal or corporate links between academia and industry as a foundation for long-term collaboration and development

Applications involving spin-offs or small companies are encouraged. Applicants should clearly state how the fellowship will benefit the not-for-profit research organisation, especially in cases where the applicant has financial involvement within the company. Applicants should also state which complementary skills the employees at the company can offer.

Applicants should ensure that they meet all the eligibility requirements, which can be viewed in scheme notes (PDF).

The applicant’s basic salary is provided while on secondment but the employing organisation continues to pay national insurance and pension contributions.

Research expenses may be claimed up to the value of £2,000 per year. Awards can be for any period up to two years full-time or a maximum of four years pro rata. (i.e. an award could be held at 50% part-time for four years enabling fellows to maintain links with their employing institution more easily).

For further information go to

Funding for Staffordshire companies

SOTCC logo

Staffordshire companies are being invited to share part of a £3 million funding pot awarded through the Regional Growth Fund. The funding is available until March 2015 and aims to create more than 170 jobs in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. This funding programme is being run by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire University is one of the project partners providing support to local companies to help with business expansion.

The ‘Innovative Growth in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’ fund will be providing capital grants to companies for premises or the purchase of new equipment, consultancy, market development, research development and innovation to bring new products to market.  Staffordshire University’s involvement is being led by Naomi Arblaster, Commercial Funding Manager based in our Enterprise and Commercial Development department.  Please help us to promote this opportunity to your contacts. 

Further information can be found on the attached press release here : IGISS press release 25 02 14 

Or please contact Vanessa Darlington, Programmes and Data Manager at Stoke-on-Trent City Council (   



Horizon 2020 briefing sessions

As we are coming close to the launch of the first series of Horizon 2020 calls on December 11th, Beta Technology and the Environment Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Network (ESKTN),are organising webinars on 5th December on the following topics:

  • 10.00 – 11.00: Food Security Societal Challenge (Jane Watkins, UK National Contact Point for Food Security Challenge)
  • 11.00 – 12.00: Climate Change Societal Challenge (Catherine Holt, UK National Contact Point for Climate Change)
  • 14.30 – 15.30: SME Instrument (Steve Bradley, UK National Contact Point for SMEs)

The webinars can be viewed via Further information from Beta Tehcnology at



Looking to collaborate with partners in Australia?


CAESIE is a new consortium established to promote partnerships between European and Australian Researchers and SMEs

CAESIE (Connecting Australian European Science and Innovation Excellence) is a bilateral partnership supported by the European Union and the Australian government.  It provides a range of support to foster bilateral SME research links including partner brokerage, funding to develop new collaborations and support to access mainstream international collaborative research funding.  We can therefore get assistance to develop links with SMEs in Australia through this scheme. CAESIE prioritises the following three areas:

  • clean energy
  • healthy ageing
  • sustainable cities

Further details:

Business Minister Announces £40m boost for High Growth SMEs


A new Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF) has been launched by the Business Minister Michael Fallon to invest in science, technology and engineering-focused SMEs. The Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF) will be providing a new source of investment for growth companies. For more information on this and other ECFs, go to: