EU SME Support hjälper innovativa, små och medelstora företag (SME) med internationella ambitioner att söka EU-finansiering. Kostnadsfri expertrådgivning och snabb respons.

Information about the EU SME Support project

What is EU SME Support?

EU SME Support is a national service financed by Vinnova, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket) and the Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten). Our mission is to get more Swedish small and medium sized enterprises with international ambitions to successfully apply for financing from the major EU programmes for their innovative research projects. We furthermore aim to strengthen the competitiveness of European industry through facilitating co-operation with the international network Eureka.

Is your project innovative, unique, scalable and does it have international potential?

If so, you are very welcome to contact us at EU SME Support. We support small and medium-sized Swedish companies to find and apply for appropriate funding from EIC, Eureka and CINEA.

The information below is updated according to the EIC Work programme 2023 and is subject to change.

Eurostars – for innovative SMEs

Within Eurostars, SMEs can apply for funding for the development of products, processes or services which are close to market introduction. Eurostars gives access to international knowledge, collaboration and the the possibility to test new markets.

Facts about Eurostars

  • The program with the highest success rate, around 30%.
  • Project scope: Similar to the EIC Accelerator, but with more focus upon collaboration and the possibility to work on projects at an earlier stage
  • Project duration: Up to 3 years.
  • Project partners: A minimum of 2 partners from at least 2 different Eureka countries. It has to be a well-balanced consortium. An individual partner or individual country cannot secure more than 75% of the budget. The project has to be managed by an SME and the other partners can be either SMEs, universities , large cooperations or research institutes. The funding is provided by national authorities (Vinnova in Sweden) so local rules and conditions apply.
  • You can receive up to 50% of the costs as a SME
  • Budget: A maximum of EUR 5M can be awarded for the project. The Swedish SME can apply for up to SEK 5M of the budget.
  • Market introduction: The product, service or process should be able to be introduced to the market no later than 2 years after the end of the project. For pharmaceuticals and medical device, clinical trials should be started 2 years after the end of the project.
  • Cut-offs per year: 2
  • The application is submitted via Eurostar’s digital platform.
  • Process: you will receive a decision regarding your application within 3.5 months and the money can be transferred within 7 months.

Local regulations from Vinnova

In addition to following Vinnova’s general terms and conditions for funding, the Swedish project parties must also fulfill the following term:

  • Company must be registered as a Swedish limited company
  • Companies must have a place of business in Sweden
  • Activities in the project must be conducted at the Swedish operating site and the project costs must be borne by the operating site
  • Companies must be registered for employer contribution
  • Companies must have submitted at least 2 annual reports to the Swedish Companies Registration Office
  • The most recently registered annual report must show that net sales or equity correspond to at least half of the sum applied for.
  • Records of non-payment and other remarks in financial information. If the company has a record of non-payment, debt balance to the Swedish Enforcement Authority, or other financial or legal remarks, we do not finance the company.

Vinnova only checks the most recently registered annual report when assessing national criteria.

The financial control of the projects begins immediately after closing.

It is not possible to update and supplement afterwards.

EIC Accelerator – knowledge-intensive SMEs

To be able to apply for funds from the EU’s EIC Accelerator program, your company must have the ambition to fully develop and prepare to scale up a disruptive innovation for the global market. The innovation must be based on research or technical development that enables a unique product, process or service that is commercially scalable, for example through IP strategy. The vision must be to revolutionize industries, accelerate ambitious international growth and at the same time create positive change for the EU, for example with a connection to the UN’s global goals. The company can apply for grants and/or investment. The purpose of the grant is to bridge financing needs where the capital market considers the risk to be too high.


  • A budget is allocated annually for projects in all technology areas as well as in designated technology areas, so-called ”Challenges”.
  • Financing for e.g. the production of prototypes, tests, certifications, pilots, scale-up, miniaturization and application development.
  • Project focus: Start at the beginning of TRL5 at the earliest. Remaining technology development and market preparation activities. Prior to the application, a ”Freedom To Operate” must be completed and the company must have a capital plan and be able to meet requirements for co-financing of the grant part.
  • Minimum project 715 kEuro for 1-2 years.
  • Cost coverage: Grant (Lump Sum = lump sum/fixed prices on each work package) 500 kEuro up to 2.5 MEuro, (= 70% grant for costs TRL 5-8) and/or equity through EIC Fund for TRL9+ of max 15 MEuro (with a maximum 50% of the new emission capital up to 25% ownership)

Application process

The application process is divided into three stages.

1) Short application is registered on the Funding & Tender portal at any time during the year and a response is received within approximately 1 month. 

2) If the short application is approved, the company receives an invitation to write a full application. The full application is written via a link provided by EIC and has 2-3 cut-offs dates per year

3) If the full application is approved, the company’s management team is invited to a pitch and interview by the EIC jury in the form of a ”Dragon’s Nest” (max. 3 people). This is a 10 minute pitch and 35 minutes of Q&A

Each company has the opportunity to apply a maximum of three times during the period 2024–2027.

Short application content:

  • The application is submitted via the Funding & Tender portal. The application can be made continuously during the year, i.e. no cut off/fixed deadline.
  • A video of up to 3 minutes in which the team pitch their company and their project proposal should be included
  • A pitch deck in pdf consisting of 10 slides

Full application

  • Submitted in the portal via a link received in an invitation email from EIC
  • A pitch deck in pdf, 10 slides. It is this pitch deck that is used when companies are invited to a pitch and interview.
  • A video of up to 3 minutes in which the team must pitch their company and their application. This may be the same one as submitted in the Short Application.
  • Number of cut-off dates per year: 2–3.
  • A decision regarding the full application shall be notified within 3–4 months.

Pitch for jury and interview

– A pitch of a maximum of 10 minutes before the jury and a 35-minute interview, in a similar style to “Dragon’s Den”. This can be a digital meeting or physical meeting in Brussels.
– The final proposal decisions are announced after the interviews.

  • A prepayment of 30–50% of the grant amount is paid within 4–8 weeks after receiving the decision to fund the project.

EIC Transition

The program Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) aims to accelerate market introduction of innovations like new products, processes, services and business models.

EIC Transition is the call for early project results that can lead to ground-breaking innovations and new businesses. 

To apply for funds from EIC Transition, your company must own full rights to use project results from previous EIC Pathfinder, FET or ERC Proof of Concept projects. Project results must be able to form the basis of ground-breaking innovations and new businesses. The new technology must also be ready for the next stage towards validation. Your team should be led by entrepreneurs who know how to develop the idea and increase its market readiness.

EIC Transition consists of two parts :

  • EIC Transition Openwhere all fields of research are welcome
  • EIC Transition Challengeswhere solutions in specific topics can apply for grants.

EIC Transition Challenges 2023

Applications in the following topics are included in EIC Transition Challenges 2023:

  • Full scale Micro-Nano-Bio devices for medical and medical research applications
  • Environmental intelligence
  • Chip-scale optical frequency combs

Call Conditions

  • Projects that start at TRL 4 and go up to TRL 5/6 which have previously received funding from EIC Pathfinder, FET or ERC Proof of Concept
  • A single SME or a small consortium (2-5 partners) can apply
  • Project Funding: the grant portion is up to approx. EUR 2.5 M. Funding covers 100% of costs

Application process

  • A digital application of up to 20 pages is submitted via the EIC portal. You will receive notification within 9 weeks after the cut-off date.
  • If the application is accepted, you will be called for an interview about 13 weeks after the cut-off.
  • Notification of the funding decision is sent within 4 weeks after interview. A grant agreement must then be signed within 6 months after the cut-off.

Ucefull links

EIC Pathfinder – for early projects with great opportunities

Do you have a vision of a future technology with an amazing market that can make a difference in our lives?

EIC Pathfinder is about tangible, new and ambitious science-to-technology breakthroughs with compelling long-term visions that have the potential to positively transform our economy and society. It is also about high risk/high profit, ambitious research methods and methodologies with the possibility of developing radical new technologies that can make a difference in our lives.

EIC Pathfinder consists of two parts:

  • EIC Pathfinder Openwhere all topics are welcome and
  • EIC Pathfinder Challengeswhere solutions in specific topics can apply for grants.

EIC Pathfinder Challenges 2023

Applications in the following areas are current for EIC Pathfinder Challenges 2023:

  • Clean and efficient cooling
  • Architecture, Engineering and Construction digitalisation for a novel triad of design, fabrication, and materials
  • Precision nutrition
  • Responsible electronics
  • In-space solar energy harvesting for innovative space applications

Call Conditions

  • Early stage (TRL 1-4), high-risk and cross-disciplinary projects to develop radical new technologies
  • Collaborative projects with a cross-disciplinary consortium consisting of minimum 3 partners from different countries for EIT Pathfinder Open & Challenges. Alternatively, a single SME or consortium consisting of minuimum 2 partners can apply for EIT Pathfinder Challenges.
  • Project Funding: the grant portion is maximum EUR 3 M for the EIC Pathfinder Open and up to EUR 4 M for the EIC Pathfinder Challenges. Funding covers 100% of project costs.

Application process

  • An application of up to 17 pages (Open) or 25 pages (Challenges) shall be submitted. You will receive notification within 5 weeks after the cut-off.
  • A grant agreement must then be signed within 8 months after the cut-off.

Ucefull links

EU Innovation Fund – for early projects with great opportunities

The EU Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest funding programs for the demonstration of innovative technology that contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The fund aims to support projects that demonstrate highly innovative technologies, processes or products, which are sufficiently mature and which have a significant potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is done by offering financial support that is tailored to the market needs and risk profiles of the eligible projects, while at the same time contributing to the possibility of attracting additional public and private funds.

The calls are divided into smaller projects (up to 7.5 million Euro) and larger projects (exceeding 7.5 million Euro).

The main aim of the projects should be to be able to verify the avoidance of/a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The focus is on the following areas:

  • Innovative low-carbon technologies and processes in energy-intensive industries
  • Capture and use of carbon dioxide
  • Construction and operation of carbon dioxide capture and storage
  • Innovative production of renewable energy
  • Energy storage

Selection criteria

  • The effectiveness of avoiding greenhouse gas emissions
  • Degree of innovation
  • Project maturity
  • Scalability
  • Cost effectiveness (cost per unit of performance)

The detailed scoring and ranking method is stated in each application round.

Responsible authority for calls and applications

The EU authority CINEA Innovation Fund  is responsible for the fund’s calls.

Applications for the fund’s calls are made via the authority’s calls for proposals portal .

The responsible Swedish authority for information regarding the fund is the Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten).

Time to apply – but when?

The programmes have one or more cut-offs per year.

EIC Accelerator

3-step application – Short application open continuously, Full application – see deadline. Last step invitation to interview / pitch

13 March (Open & Challenges)

3 October 2024 (Open & Challenges)

EIC Transition

18 September 2024

EIC Pathfinder

7 March 2024 (Open)

16 October 2024 (Challenges)


14 March 2024

12 September 2024

Innovation fund

9 April 2024 (IF23 Call)

7 February 2024 (IF23 Auction)

* From June 2019 the SME-instrument phase 2 is called EIC Accelerator Pilot, and will offer the opportunity of only grants or blended financing with grants and equity financing. 

Contact EU SME Support –
we will get in touch with you within 48 hours

Do you wish to get support regarding funding from EU through EIC Accelerator, Fast Track to Innovation or Eurostars? Have you application gotten rejected and want to enhance your application financing of EU projects or funding of other research and innovation projects? Welcome to contact us through the web form and you will get a reply within 48 hours.

På uppdrag av Vinnova, Tillväxtverket och Energimyndigheten hjälper EU SME Support innovativa, små och medelstora företag (SME)
med internationella ambitioner att söka EU-finansiering. Kostnadsfri expertrådgivning och snabb respons.

© 2024 EU SME Support