Catalan SMEs lead the ranking for innovation funding from the European Union

Catalan Economy

14 Dec 2020

Catalonia is the European region with the highest number of companies attracting European funding for innovation through the SME Instrument program. In total, 246 Catalan SMEs (4.5% of the total number of beneficiaries in the EU) have obtained 105 million euros in financing (3.8% of the total budget) in the 2014-2020 period.

The SME Instrument supports innovation for small and medium-sized enterprises and is part of the Horizon 2020 European program for 2014-2020. The figures obtained by Catalan companies represent a ratio far higher than their population weight within the European Union (1.5%). After Catalonia, the other main European regions in the ranking are Lombardy (Italy), Madrid (Spain), Ile-de-France (France) and Emilia-Romagna (Italy).

These 246 companies have carried out up to 271 projects. This makes Catalonia also the European region with the greatest number of projects carried out via the SME Instrument program. The 105 million euros raised by Catalan companies makes it the second region with the highest volume of financing obtained, only behind Ile-de-France (4.2% of the total budget).

As for Spain as a whole, Catalonia also tops the list in terms of number of companies (with 26.4% of the total), in the number of projects (26.6%) and in investment received (27.4%).

What is the SME Instrument program?

The SME Instrument grants represent non-repayable funding of between 50,000 and 2.5 million euros to carry out feasibility studies of its business plan for half a year or to carry out the necessary pilot tests to bring its technology in the market; in competitive calls. After 2020, the new European innovation program is EIC Accelerator.

Within the Horizon 2020 framework program as a whole, Catalonia has received 1,348.2 million euros, a figure that represents 2.58% of the funds awarded and 2.86% of the funds awarded to the EU-28. These figures represent almost double what would be expected due to its population volume (1.5% EU-28).


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