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Since 2014, Scotland’s most innovative SMEs have managed to secure over €13 million in grant funding through Horizon 2020’s SME Instrument funding programme.


Eight of these beneficiaries operate in the life sciences sector and together, have secured over €9 million in grant funding to undertake SME Instrument Phase 1 and 2 commercialisation projects.

Funding success and support

We are delighted to have secured EU H2020 SME Instrument support for this project. The Horizon 2020 programme receives thousands of funding applications each year, and fewer than five per cent of applicants are successful. It is a real achievement for our scientific research to be recognised in this way.

Dr David McElroy, chief business officer, Ingenza

Alongside Enterprise Europe Network Scotland, we’ve supported grant beneficiaries from concept stage to project implementations. Projects who’ve benefitted from support are Calcivis, Glycomar and Ingenza – some of Scotland’s brightest life sciences prospects.

Through initiatives like the SME Instrument fund, financial support has helped open doors to critical product development programmes for the companies involved, which may not otherwise be possible.


Securing €50,000 of SME Instrument funding will help Ingenza continue with Phase 1 of its innovative SYNBIOMAN project.

By developing a novel synthetic biology-driven biomanufacturing platform, they seek to close the gap between lab and market, building propriety industrial synthetic and systems biology tools.

And through successful completion of the Phase 1 study, they could open the door to additional funding for Phase 2 – valued at €2.5 million.


Glycomar’s eczema treatment, Fucoderm, directly tackles causes of eczema whilst avoiding the unpleasant side effects often associated with natural remedies.

Extracting a novel topical formulation for maintenance treatment, the Fucoderm product is the first commercial application of the team’s extensive biology expertise – they’ve got a century’s worth of collective expertise in marine biotechnology, drug discovery and development.

By commercialising Fucoderm, Glycomar could meet its target of reaching profitability by 2019, in turn facilitating the launch of other consumer healthcare products.


The scale of it was impressive, as was the level of contribution that they were willing to put towards R&D products...we needed money to take us to the next stage, to help develop a commercial product.

Adam Christie, chief executive, Calcivis

A dental imaging company developing a world-first biotechnology based imaging system, Calcivis are allowing dentists to visualise active decay on a tooth’s surface.

Formed in 2012, they spent two years developing their product pilots and then turning it into the thing that would cause the basis of the commercial system.

“I became aware of the SME instrument programme through EEN and Scottish Enterprise”, says Adam Christie, chief executive of Calcivis.

“The scale of it was impressive, as was the level of contribution that they were willing to put towards R&D products...we needed money to take us to the next stage, to help develop a commercial product.”

The funding has allowed Calcivis to accelerate the programme – and with the rapid growth of the company, they’re taking advantage of the coaching support to develop HR processes to deal with new staff.

The process

From application through to project completion, Enterprise Europe Network has supported companies to scale up, matching them with business innovation coaches.

An extremely competitive process, the SME Instrument is highly contested. Awards are made after extensive critical assessment and only the best applications succeed, with honours given to only one in 20 applications - demonstrating that Scotland’s beneficiaries are firmly in the Champions League of SME innovation.

Horizon 2020 funding

With a budget of nearly €80 billion over seven years, Horizon 2020 is the largest ever EU research and innovation programme.

And through the SME Instrument initative, which is worth around €3 billion, the European Union promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by enabling small innovative companies to commercialise great ideas and deliver them to market.

Apply for the Horizon 2020 fund