More R&D funding opportunities for small businesses

Substantial new research and innovation funding, especially for SMEs, is available under the Horizon 2020 programme.

With a fund of €80 billion, Horizon 2020 is the biggest ever European research and innovation programme. Many of its programmes are specially targeted at small businesses.

Fast Track to Innovation


At a recent Invest NI seminar, 120 business people heard about the latest Horizon 2020 initiative, the Fast Track to Innovation programme.

It can help businesses that have developed their idea to the stage where it’s close to market and just needs a final push towards commercialisation. The €100 million fund is particularly focused on innovative projects that can demonstrate their impact on European society and have the potential for wide and fast market take-up.

Watch the Horizon 2020 video to find out more information about the programme specifics.


The seminar was also a chance to hear details of a funding opportunity for SMEs that are keen to collaborate with businesses from other countries on innovation or research and development.

Eurostars is a transnational programme, in which projects have partners from two or more Eurostars countries. The project applications must pass through a highly competitive selection process but for those that succeed there are huge benefits from increased access to international markets.

Listen to Graham Mobbs, European Operations Manager, Innovate UK explaining the Eurostars programme.

Guest speaker presentations

View guest speaker presentations for the Innovation and R&D Escalator Workshop from the SlideShare website.

Northern Ireland Contact Point(NICP)

The NICP network is a resource available to all potential applicants from Northern Ireland who are interested in engaging with Horizon 2020. Click on the logo to view a guide to Northern Ireland support.

Urban Challenges Competition

Our cities are affected by the physical and social environment that they sit in – how can combining data about these impacts provide better solutions to the challenges that urban areas face? Read detailed information about the new Urban Challenges competition.

If you missed the seminar and want to find out more about Horizon 2020, including local support for applying for funds, contact us, Tel 0800 181 4422.