Connecting SMEs for a green economy

Horizon 2020 SME overview - What does the framework offer green SMEs?

The European Commission provides incentives for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to adopt green solutions through the so-called H2020 (Horizon 2020).

This overview is is also available in Greek/ελληνικά, here.

The European Commission provides incentives to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to adopt green solutions through the so-called H2020 (Horizon 2020). This Work Programme, currently active for 2016 and 2017, covers a range of topics, such as: climate action, environment, resource efficiency and law materials (Call H2020-SC5-2016-2017); secure, clean and efficient energy (Call H2020-EE-2016-2017) and also the Programme in the area of Cross-cutting activities (Call H2020-IND-CE-2016/17).

Particular attention is given to actions aimed at innovation in SMEs (Call H2020-SMEInst-2016-2017) and also a broader action to develop the ecosystem of innovation support to SMEs in Europe (Call H2020-INNOSUP-2016-2017).

The overall aim of Horizon 2020 is to ensure the protection and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems, in order to meet the needs of a growing global population within the limits of the planet's natural resources and eco-systems.

Furthermore, Horizon 2020 promotes specific action objectives such as: a reduction of emissions and a more efficient use of energy. Pioneering new production and consumption patterns and related technological and non-technological solutions will strengthen EU’s position and that of its industry in new markets.

Horizon 2020 also aims to harness the strong potential for European industry, including SMEs. The innovation actions in this part of the programme are expected to offer particular opportunities to SMEs to participate and to deliver on innovative solutions.

Ιn terms of circular economy, the main purpose of the programme is to foster economic, social and environmental prosperity, by positioning Europe as a front runner in moving to a circular economy and society. A systemic approach to eco-innovation is intended to promote new modes of production and consumption, triggering a disruptive transformation for a resource efficient society.

Τhe overall objective of the programme is “Greening the Economy”. In this context, there is increasing demand for strengthening the nascent global market. Additionally, it promotes actions that could deepen the analysis of possible and cost-effective trajectories that would enable Europe to achieve its medium and long-term climate objectives while maximizing societal benefits and economic prosperity.

The main topics of Horizon 2020 that might be relevant to green SMEs are the following:

  • SMEInst-11-2016-2017: Boosting the potential of small businesses in the areas of climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials:
    This topic is targeted to all types of eco-innovative SMEs, in order to support them to reach their full green growth potential.
  • INNOSUP-03-2017: Technology services to accelerate the uptake of advanced manufacturing technologies for clean production by manufacturing SMEs:
    This call will ensure cross-border access of manufacturing SMEs to technology services and/or facilities enabling them to integrate innovative advanced manufacturing technologies for clean production into their production process.

For further information regarding the calls of Horizon 2020, please visit the link below:

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