• Published on 08 Apr 2016
  • External News

The H2020 SME Innovation Associate: matching SMEs up with talented researchers

The H2020 SME Innovation Associate is a new pilot action under the EU Research and Innovation Framework Programme 'Horizon 2020' supporting European SMEs and Start-ups to recruit post-doctoral research associates from other countries to explore an innovation business idea.

The action aims at overcoming barriers for EU SMEs and Start-ups to the recruitment of highly qualified specialists (PhD or equivalent) that are not available on the national job market (either because the required skills are not available or because they are not affordable), but whose knowledge would be crucial to open up opportunities for innovation and significant growth for the enterprise.

Innovation in SMEs is often hampered by a lack of access to specialised skills and knowledge. At the same time, many companies find it difficult to manage innovation processes effectively and struggle to recruit specialised knowledge as they don't tend to have extensive international Networks or the well-known brand names of large enterprises.
The H2020 SME Innovation Associate Programme is a first step to change this and to develop an enterprise-led mobility programme in the EU, helping European SMEs recruit expertise and get better access to scientific excellence. This call is an experiment to test the feasibility of an European measure to increase access to talent for SMEs and Start-ups by encouraging mobility. Because of this experimental nature it applies a fixed period for the recruitment of the researcher aligned to Academic year in most European countries. This allows the European Commission to organise training in industrial innovation management to the group of innovation associates and to monitor better recruitment success, employment conditions and impact. These feed the evaluation and eventual scale-up of the action.

 Key points

  • EU Grant covering the salary of the researcher for a period of one year
  • Early stage support
  • Training Package for Enterprises and Researchers
  • "Light" application
  • Internationalisation, mobility, innovation, excellence.

Get more information via https://ec.europa.eu/easme/en/h2020-sme-innovation-associate