top of page

Seal of Excellence


The action concerns the financing of proposals that passed the scoring threshold of the EU SME Instrument. (Horizon 2020), ie they received the "Seal of Excellence" (seal of excellence) as highly innovative but were not funded. It is aimed only at existing small and medium-sized enterprises, which show extremely innovative activity and are sustainable and for-profit with strong internationalization characteristics.
Funded innovation projects are expected to lead to high value-added products, services and processes with significant chances of success in the international market, since the goal of the SME Instrument is their commercial use. It is noted that basic research is not funded. Proposed projects must be distinguished by a high level of technological maturity (TRL between 6 and 9).
In order to prevent the above-mentioned proposals from being untapped, the EU has taken the Seal of Excellence initiative, awarding certificates of excellence to SMEs whose proposals have been positively evaluated, and urging Member States to fund companies that have received certificates of excellence from European Structural and Investment Funds (GRNET).
The action includes three distinct and independent phases with the possibility of submitting proposals and funding only in the first and second phase. The third phase concerns, mainly, SME support services, such as, for example, services for the promotion of the final product in the international market and the facilitation of access to public and private funds.


In the 1st Phase , a 10-page business plan is submitted that documents the remarkably innovative character of the idea, the technological, practical and financial viability of its implementation. Phase 1 is optional.

Funding amount / proposal : 50,000 Euros

Indicative implementation time : 6 months


In the 2nd Phase , the Business Plan and aid application are submitted for actions related to the design and development of innovative products / services at the level required for their marketing. Emphasis is placed on the development, standardization, control, pilot implementation of innovative processes, products and services, product / service design, design and development - escalation of the idea (market segments, processes, etc.)

Funding amount / proposal : 500,000 - 2,500,000 Euros

Indicative implementation time : 12-24 months
The submission of proposals in the SME Instrument action of Horizon 2020 is continuous but with specific intermediate submission dates per year. So far, very valuable proposals have been submitted by SMEs from all Member States (MS) which, although evaluated positively with a score higher than the threshold (the threshold for Phase 1 is 13 and for Phase 2 12), were ultimately not funded due to depletion of EU funds
Prerequisite for the financing of the proposals is the relevance to the Smart Specialization Strategy.

Potential beneficiaries

  • Businesses that have already received the EU Seal of Excellence

  • Compatible with the Smart Specialization Strategy - RIS3


The indicative budget of the action amounts to € 50,000,000 (public expenditure). The total budget of the action amounts to € 65.8 million.

Estimated date of issue of the invitation : First semester  2017

Program implementation time: 6 - 24 months .

THE  Ependysis Business Consultants , with executives who have previously evaluated and not only submitted NSRF investment proposals, can successfully undertake the submission as well as the monitoring of your investment plan.


For more information call the company phones at: 2112155988 or email  .

bottom of page