The SME instrument budget for 2017 has been increased by EUR 51.6 million following updates to the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2016-2017, thus reaching a total budget of EUR 437.5 million. The following SME Instrument topics have benefited from the increase:
- Healthcare and biotechnology: EUR 35 million
- Sustainable agriculture, forestry: EUR 5.68 million
- Blue growth: EUR 2.42 million
- Climate action, environment, raw materials, resource efficiency: EUR 8.5 million
A further modification, that concerns Phase 2 projects, is that open research data will be the default option, with the aim of boosting competitiveness and transparency, and avoiding the duplication of efforts. However, participants can still opt out if they wish for their research data to not be open. This will fortunately not affect potential participants and their projects, since this option will not be considered during the evaluation phase.
Furthermore, the following SME Instrument topics have been modified:
- Healthcare and biotechnology: Phase 1 will close off in 2017 for cell technologies, and will continue for all Phase 1 projects from 2016 and for all Phase 2 projects from 2016-2017. The projects can also now be up to 36 months, rather than the usual 12-14 months for other topics.
- Blue growth: There will be more focus on marine litter prevention.
- Security: Projects in 2017 aimed at improving cybersecurity will be encouraged to include the objectives of the contractual Public-Private Partnership (cPPP) on cybersecurity and the corresponding Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda.