Incentive measures for SME (KIC 2020-2023)

A high co-funding requirement can hamper the involvement of SMEs in research. In order to stimulate a strong contribution from small and medium-sized enterprises, NWO makes the set of instruments and preconditions inviting for SMEs.

For research funded under the Knowledge and Innovation Covenant (KIC), NWO has implemented the following measures to involve SMEs more effectively:

  1. In main line 1 (mission-driven calls) the co-funding requirements will be made more supple for consortia with SME partners.

  2. In main line 2 (partnerships) a consortium or cluster of several SME parties can initiate a partnership against more favourable co-funding conditions. 

  3.  For SME parties it will be easier to join and leave NWO projects, for example through a shorter participation or a later entry. 

  4.  If researchers include an Industrial Doctorate in the research proposal, then the co-funding requirement will be lower if the private party involved is an SME party. 

In the first quarter of 2020, the incentives for SMEs to participate in research are further elaborated.

Active involvement of SMEs

In addition to these measures, NWO is more active in involving and connecting with SMEs through communication, meetings and matchmaking. These activities are carried out in consultation and coordination with other stakeholders such as top sectors, sector organisations, knowledge transfer offices and regional development organisations.