EU Business Innovation funding comes from a European project called Horizon 2020. The Homepage describes it best:

“Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020), in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness.”

It is a massive commitment to securing Europe’s worldwide standing in innovation and applies to most sectors, including an entire subsection devoted to supporting SMEs.

At we assist companies with reclaiming R&D tax credits in many different industries and can offer support with EU business innovation funding as well.

EU Business Innovation Funding for SMEs

The aim is that 20% of the funding total will be distributed to SMEs, focusing on businesses that will benefit from “close-to-market” support. They are looking for businesses that are struggling to get investment for their innovative developments because they are considered too high risk. The idea is that the EU funding will get these high-potential ideas close to market with investment and support.

For more information about eligibility criteria and how to apply for Horizon 2020 funding, read our full EU Business Innovation Funding Guide. If you find out that you are not eligible for EU business innovation funding it’s worth discovering if you are entitled to R&D tax credits instead.

What kind of business support is available?

Often in business, getting the right support at the right time is just as valuable as financial investment. The EU Business Innovation Funding programme recognises this and provides “Business acceleration support and coaching services” from the European Innovation Council (EIC).

Businesses that are benefitting from a grant are entitled to up to 15 days business coaching, depending on which part of the SME scheme they are involved in. The idea is to assist businesses with the whole journey from idea, through development from pilot to market and towards upscaling into the future. This knowledge will help SMEs deal with the hurdles of strategy, organisation, finding their market and attracting future finance – amongst other things. It is a one-to-one situation, tailored precisely to each business.

Business Acceleration Support

Essentially, this means a programme of support to ensure the lifelong development of your business, including: networking, introductions to Europe-wide business partners and potential investors and ongoing CPD availability (like Trade Fairs).

It’s going to be very difficult for anyone to measure the monetary value of such support over time – but you can see the potential for your business yourself.

You maybe dreading the thought of completing yet another grant application, but the business support elements of the Horizon 2020 package make it worth your time in itself. Of course, you don’t have to spend any of your time at all – we can complete the application for you. Minimum hassle, maximum financial investment, invaluable expert support for your business.


Jamie Smith