ACCIÓ - Agency for Business Competitiveness
Horizon 2020
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Horizon 2020

Your R&D has a place in Europe

Horizon 2020 is the current European Commission programme for funding research, innovation and competitiveness.

With an overall budget of 77,000 million euros, Catalan companies can take advantage of its latest announcements (2018-2020) in order to boost their R&D.

ACCIÓ helps you become part of a European research and innovation project!


This programme is suitable for companies, technology centres and public entities. To participate, the following regulations must be met:

  • Status as a legal entity in the European Union, associated or third countries
  • The projects must provide added value to the European sphere
  • The activities must focus on R&D and real innovation when compared to existing activities
  • The consortia must comprise a minimum of three independent entities from three countries. There are also other instruments for which it is not necessary to form a consortium in order to participate
  • The total budget for the projects exceeds 500,000 euros in most projects
  • A project is expected to last between one and five years
  • The project focus should be in line with the proposed guidelines
  • Calls and Work Programmes are published every two years
  • The grant is non-refundable and amounts either to 70% or 100%, depending on the call.

Talk to us and we will find the best match for your project!

SME Instrument

Within Horizon 2020, the European Commission offers a specific programme of non-refundable grants for SMEs with innovative, high-impact projects with high growth potential: SME Instrument, which unlike most Horizon 2020 calls, allows SMEs to present their projects individually.

SME Instrument opens calls every three months and involves two phases of access:

  • PHASE 1: Concept and feasibility study. Grant of €50,000 to validate the feasibility of the project, assess risks, explore intellectual property and do market or design research, among others. This phase is particularly recommended for SMEs that need to define and consolidate their business model in the European market, not just in the local market.
  • PHASE 2: R&D, commercial demonstration and application. 70% grant for projects of between 0.5 and 2.5 million euros to fund development, prototypes, tests and piloting, among others. This phase fosters development of the project and taking it to market with the help of a coach to maximize the chances of success.


SMEs that obtain an SME Instrument will also benefit from the support of the European Commission through greater visibility at international fairs and, at the same time, be more attractive to investors.

Get to know some of the Catalan companies for which SME Instrument has changed their life:

Find out about the projects that are being funded with SME Instrument and contact us to find out all the details!

How to find partners

ACCIÓ offers free, personalized advice so you can participate in Horizon 2020 and take your project to Europe. We provide information on the programme’s features, the announcements that best suit your project idea and support you in the process of preparing your proposal. Talk to us!

We also meanwhile offer specific services to find partners for your projects or to identify projects where you can join the consortium. If you have an R&D project, we can help you make yourself known by publishing your profile and spreading it through the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN). Consult the profiles published on the EEN network and find the projects that are looking for a partner with your profile to join the consortium.

Register with the member alert service and we will send you an email with the latest partner searches for R&D projects that are most relevant to your interests. You can draft a statement of interest with which to contact a European partner and have the chance to participate in its consortium.

Finally, the events search engine allows you to check out the different technology exchange meetings within the framework of various international fairs, such as Brokerage Event, Company Mission Info-Day, Exhibition, Workshop, etc.

Up-to-date information

ACCIÓ has everything you need to participate in European projects. Don’t miss out on all we have to offer:

Practical sessions to guide and review proposals for 2018



Check out the contents of some of the sessions and seminars on Horizon 2020 organized by ACCIÓ, the European Commission, the CDTI and other entities:


Networking activities

Participate in the technological exchange and activities meetings organized all over Europe focusing on Horizon 2020 (brokerage event, business missions, trade fairs, workshops, seminars, conferences, etc.). Check out the main events:


Innovation newsletter

Keep abreast of the most important content of Horizon 2020. By subscribing to the ACCIÓ Innovation newsletter, we will send you the most important news concerning the activities of the European Commission, information on seminars, courses, workshops, open calls for proposals, partner searches, etc.

News about Horizon 2020

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