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Access 4 SMEs

ACCESS4SMES is the network of Horizon 2020 National Contact Points (NCP) for Small Medium-sized Enterprises and Access to Risk Finance (SMEs, ARF). The overall objective is to facilitate transnational cooperation among NCPs for SMEs and ARF, upgrade their systemic knowledge and tools in order to raise their standard of support, identifying and sharing good practices across SME/Industry dedicated instruments in Horizon 2020 in close collaboration with other EU networks.

It has been funded by Horizon 2020 under Grant Agreement No 723120 with the specific objectives to:

  • Improving NCP capacities to provide systemic knowledge (NCP Curriculum) to clients across different programmes and access to finance opportunities.

  • Assessing the impact of SME Instrument on beneficiaries with a view on capturing patterns on SMEs’ growth strategy and value propositions

  • Identifying key success factors for SME competitive proposals across different H2020 project thematic areas.

  • Spreading knowledge on access to risk finance opportunities under Horizon 2020, notably InnovFin products.

  • Enhancing the outreach of the this Network through strategic communication and dissemination activities to maximize the impact of its activities, services and results.

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Food for Thought

National Contact Points (NCPs) are main actors in the European research & innovation area; experienced and better networked NCPs will ensure optimal promotion and exploitation of the opportunities offered under Horizon 2020.

That is why the European Commission wants to strengthen the capacity of Horizon 2020 National Contact Points to deliver support and advice in the cross-cutting policy domains of Innovation in SME and Access to Risk Finance.

The project will help the EU to better spread and optimise its investment into R&I-driven SMEs across Europe, with as a result a stronger bridge from idea to market for Europe’s top-notch SMEs, a Horizon 2020 policy goal since the beginning of the programme.

Throughout the ACCESS4SMEs project the European Commission will benefit from interaction and feedback from NCPs concerning various policy initiatives, which will be important input for the development of the next EU Programme supporting Research and Innovation.

Jean-David Malo, Director Directorate B – Open Innovation and Open Science