Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
To aid small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) wishing to apply for IMI funding, this page provides a summary of information on SME involvement in IMI projects as well as advice for applicants. This SME portal will be further developed and expanded in the coming months.
- SMEs in IMI projects
- SMEs and IMI funding eligibility
- Apply for IMI funding
- Help and advice
- Useful links
SMEs are a key feature of the European pharmaceutical research and development landscape, and IMI strongly encourages SMEs to get involved in its projects.
- 109 teams from 94 SMEs are involved in IMI’s 40 ongoing projects from the first 6 Calls for proposals
- The majority of these SMEs are biotech companies; of the rest, most are IT / data management companies, and a few work in project management.
- SMEs account for 15% of IMI funding beneficiaries and receive 19% of IMI’s budget under the first 6 Calls.
To be eligible for IMI funding, SMEs must meet the EU’s official definition of an SME, which can be summarised as follows:
- has fewer than 250 employees;
- has an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million, and/or;
- has an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million.
Under IMI’s rules, SMEs that meet the EU definition when the project starts remain eligible for IMI funding throughout the project, even if they lose their SME status during the project. IMI provides funding to eligible organisations as follows:
- Direct eligible costs (personnel, consumables, equipment, etc.)
- Research activities: a maximum of 75% of total eligible costs
- Other activities, including management and training activities: a maximum of 100% of total eligible costs
- Indirect eligible costs (=overheads): EITHER calculated according a flat-rate of 20% of direct eligible costs OR actual indirect costs (organisations may choose the method that suits them best)
- SME owners who do not receive a formal salary may use a flat rate similar to the one used in the EU’s FP7 People programme.
IMI now publishes a number of Calls for proposals throughout the year.
- Learn about the application procedure and find out about the latest Call for proposals here
- Check out the indicative subjects of future Calls for proposals
- Stay up to date – sign up to the monthly IMI Newsletter
- For immediate notifications of IMI news, join the IMI LinkedIn group
- Questions about our Calls for proposals, application procedures, and funding rules: e-mail Hugh Laverty
- Questions about intellectual property:
- Visit the intellectual property (IP) web page
- E-mail the IMI IP Helpdesk
- Find project partners through our Partner Search Tool
- Get local advice and help finding partners through your national IMI States Representatives Group member
- European Commission’s SME site
- Enterprise Europe Network (EEN)
- European Investment Bank SME pages
- Eurostars programme