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 conditions for grants, the Swedish project partners also need to fulfil the following conditions:
  • The SME 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 site of operation and the project costs must be borne by the site of operation
  • Companies must be registered for employer contributions
  • Companies must have submitted at least 2 annual reports to the Swedish Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket)
  • The most recently registered annual report must show that net turnover or equity corresponds to at least half of the requested sum. The applicant organisation(s) must be able to show evidence of this on the closing day when the financial control of the projects begins immediately afterwards. Vinnova will contact the Swedish applicants who need to supplement their application with more information/documentation.

EIC Accelerator – knowledge-intensive SMEs

Your company must be innovation-based and knowledge-intensive in able to be eligible to apply for funds from the EIC Accelerator programme. You should have international growth ambitions and have your sights set upon developing innovative products, processes or services that can revolutionize the field and make a positive change in relation to the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). The innovation should be scalable and additionally be deemed to have too high a risk to achieve financing from the regular capital market.

EIC Accelerator

  • Funding is provided for e.g. the production of advanced prototypes, tests, certifications, pilots, scale-up, miniaturisation and the development of applications.
  • Project focus: Finalising technology development and market preparation activities. A Freedom To Operate (FTO) analysis must already have been completed. The result of the project must be a new product, process or service that can compete in the international market. A business plan with a detailed Go-To-Market strategy for commercialisation, and a financing plan for an operational launch on the international market should be produced.
  • Minimum project budget is EUR 750 000 over 2 years.
  • Blended finance (Grant and Equity) is available: the grant component is EUR 0.5 – 2.5 M (= 70 percent funding of the project costs). Applicable for TRL 5–6 for development to TRL 8, i.e. The innovation must work in a relevant environment at the time of application.
  • Equity capital up to EUR 15 M can also be applied for from the European Commission (through the EIC Fund) for investment at the TRL 9 stage. The EIC Fund can invest in a maximum 50% of the actual round’s equity and own up to 25% of the SMEs total equity. More information.

Application Process

The application process is divided into three stages.

  1. Produce and submit a Short application at any time during the year and a decision will be received within approx. 1 month.
  2. The company will receive an invitation to submit a Full application if the Short application is successful. n.b. The cut-off dates stated below are for the Full application.
  3. If the Full application is successful, you will be invited to a live pitch in front of an international jury that will decide whether to award the requested grant and/or equity financing.

Short application

  • Completed AI self-diagnosis of the innovation
  • A video presentation of up to 3 minutes in which the team pitch their application
  • A pitch deck of up to 10 slides in pdf

Full application

  • Written and submitted via the portal after the Short application is approved
  • A pitch presentation in pdf. The pitch must be a maximum of 10 minutes and contain approximately 10 slides.
  • Number of calls per year: 3–4.
  • A decision is taken within 3–4 months. Successful applicants shall receive an advance payment of 1/3 of the grant amount within 7–8 months.

Live Pitch for the Jury

  • The project management shall present a live digital pitch of maximum 10 minutes in front of the EIC Jury and then receive questions during a 35-minute interview. The Jury then comes to a decision in private afterwards.
  • The pdf pitch presentation is the one submitted in the complete application.

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

Jan 11 2023 (Open)

Mar 22 2023 (Open & Challenges)

June 7 2023 (Open & Challenges) 

Oct 19 2023 (Open & Challenges) 

EIC Transition

Apr 12 2023 (Open & Challenges)

Sep 27 2023 (Open & Challenges) 

EIC Pathfinder

Mar 7 2023 (Open) 

Oct 18 2023 (Challenges)


Spring 2023 – Swedish partners participate without funding from Vinnova, which has not allocated a national budget for this cut-off.

Sep 14 2023 

Innovation fund

Mar 16 2023 (Large scal projects)

Sep 2023 (Small scale) (TBC)

* 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.

© 2021 EU SME Support