Horizon Europe for Small & Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), startups and entrepreneurs

Are you looking for specific funding opportunities for SMEs? Are you a small company or university spin-off with bright ideas and the ambition to scale up internationally?

Small and Medium-sized businesses, startups, university spin-offs or in some cases entrepreneurs are eligible to apply to Horizon Europe calls for proposals.

European Innovation Council (EIC) is a part of Horizon Europe dedicated to game-changing innovators willing to turn their science/their technology/their idea into new business and accelerate the scale-up of their solution to change Europe and the World. (

EIC Pathfinder supports radically new technologies emerging from research excellence.

Why can I expect as an SME? To co-develop radically new technologies with world-class researchers.

EIC Transition helps to bring results from certain types of EU-funded projects (e.g. Pathfinder, ERC proof-of-concept, projects from the EIT…) to develop their innovation potential.

Why can I expect as an SME? Use a key technology relevant to your business and bring it to the market

EIC Accelerator invests in high-risk / high potential disruptive technologies or ideas from startups, spin-offs, entrepreneurs and any innovative SME to scale-up fast in the market.

Why can I expect as an SME? Get the push needed for rapid scale-up and deployment into the market?

EIC Prizes address companies and other innovators to solve a major challenge facing society, without prescription on the way to achieve it.

Why can I expect as an SME? Propose your product or service as the solution to solve a global challenge

For more information, see dedicated section to EIC here. 


Other parts of Horizon Europe are also open to SMEs. Most of funding opportunities consist in large transnational collaborative Research & innovation projects addressing specific challenges.

Joining a collaborative R&I project can benefit for SMEs:

  •  To co-develop solutions with world-class researchers
  •  To test and deploy products/services in several markets at the same time
  •  To acquire key customers or key partners in the consortium
  •  To contribute to build EU strategies and initiatives which matter for business

Contact your National Contact Point in charge of Clusters for more information

See more information on funding opportunities from Horizon Europe Clusters here.


European R&I Partnerships are new form of old Joint Technology Initiatives (JTI) and R&I Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). These partnerships are co-funded by Industry, the EU and Member States on several key technologies to keep the EU at the forefront of technologies of the future.

SMEs can benefit from the many calls for proposals to be launched by Partnerships.

See more information here.


Funding outside Horizon Europe is also available to SMEs:

Eurostars is a transnational funding scheme from the EUREKA Programme. Its aim is to help innovative SMEs to get their innovation faster to the market and lead international R&D projects.

SMEs do not need to have previous R&D experience, but they have to proof their ambition and capabilities to develop new products, processes and services

More information


Innovation Fund is a  funding programme for the demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies. Its aims at helping businesses to invest in clean energy and industry to boost economic growth, create local future-proof jobs and reinforce European technological leadership on a global scale.

Small or large-scale projects will be funded targeting the following areas:

  • innovative low-carbon technologies and processes in energy-intensive industries, including products substituting carbon-intensive ones
  • carbon capture and utilisation (CCU)
  • construction and operation of carbon capture and storage (CCS)
  • innovative renewable energy generation
  • energy storage

More information


InvestEU builds upon the Investment plan for Europe under 2014-2020. It aims at gathering investment (equity, loan, guaranteee, etc.) especially for enterprises to innovate, to invest and create jobs.

More information

More in this category: « EU Funding Horizon Europe »