Horizon Europe for SMEs

The EU’s funding programme for research and innovation, Horizon Europe, has succeeded the Horizon 2020 programme. Support of small and medium sized companies (SMEs) was one of the focus areas in Horizon 2020 – and also Horizon Europe offers interesting approaches.

“Especially when SMEs’ innovation projects can contribute to the EU’s priorities and strategies or offer a decisive approach to solving the societal challenges of our time, there are good opportunities,” says Dagmar Heidenreiter-Gelov, Senior Funding Expert from Enterprise Europe Network Hessen. “A new approach of Horizon Europe is cascade funding through specific CSA calls.”

CSA stands for coordination and support actions. In CSA calls, funding is given to consortia that in turn fund projects through own calls. Participation in learning and innovation communities, which often take the shape of public private partnerships, is another option Ms Heidenreiter-Gelov sees.
“If SMEs are interested in Horizon Europe funding opportunities, they should get help to identify the best option,” emphasizes Ms Heidenreiter-Gelov – a piece of advice that both Dr Christian Bölling and Dr Wolfgang Kniejski from EIT Manufacturing give regularly when funding is concerned. As Senior Business Creation Manager, Mr Kniejski supports startups in creating and scaling their businesses – on the one hand with EIT Manufacturing support programmes, on the other hand with contacts from the EIT Manufacturing community and beyond.

“Also for the EIT Manufacturing Call for Proposals 2023, which will be opened in February 2022, we advise all interested parties to approach us early with ideas and challenges,” confirms Mr Bölling. “From our experience, this will bring the best results.”

Ms Heidenreiter-Gelov, Mr Bölling and Mr Kniejski were speakers at a German-language online event “Innovationen made in Europe – Wie KMU von Horizon Europe profitieren” organised by Enterprise Europe Network Hessen of Hessen Trade & Invest in cooperation with the EIT Manufacturing which took place 25 January 2022.

About EEN Hessen

The EEN Hessen of Hessen Trade & Invest advises Hessian small and medium-sized enterprises in particular on the topics of internationalisation, financing of innovation projects, innovation management processes and sustainability.