EU funding

  • 08 Apr
    HyperMemo successful with EIC Accelerator funding

    HyperMemo successful with EIC Accelerator funding

    Karostech’s customer HyperMemo Oy successfully attracted EIC funding in the last cut-off, which was exceptionally competitive with just 2.4% success rate. The funding was issued through the blended finance scheme and includes a €2.1 million grant part, which is already confirmed, and an additional equity part, which is currently under negotiation with the European Investment Bank.

    HyperMemo is a Finnish SME developing innovative laser based glass processing technology. The solution will disrupt the very traditional branch of industry making it cleaner and more sustainable. EIC funding will help HyperMemo to industrialize the technology, setup production facilities, and run trials with leading global glass and glass processing equipment manufacturers.

    We in Karostech are proud to be supporting the commercialization of such an impactful innovation.

  • 27 Jun

    Karostech selected by Miksei to provide SME Instrument related consultancy

    Karostech was recently selected by the Mikkeli Region Development Company Miksei as an authorized service provider regarding EU funding related consultancy. Our company won the tendering procedure organized by Miksei within its initiative to support local SMEs with relevant knowledge related to the EU funding available for SMEs, particularly the SME Instrument.

    Within the agreed scope of services, Karostech will conduct several coaching sessions for local entrepreneurs interested in EU funding.

  • 07 May

    Everfill successful with SME Instrument funding

    Karostech’s customer Everfill Oy was granted SME Instrument Phase 1 funding by the European Commission. Everfill’s proposal Improving the Quality of Life of Millions through the Revolutionary Approach in Dermal Regeneration Care was selected among 274 companies from around Europe to receive this very much wanted funding out of 2822 proposals received by The European Commission in February 2019.

    The SME Instrument is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot that supports top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with funding opportunities and acceleration services. Companies can apply for two distinct phases under the SME Instrument, depending on the maturity of their innovation. Under Phase 1 of SME Instrument, each project will receive a lump-sum of €50.000 to carry out a feasibility study. Under Phase 2, each project will receive from €0.5 to €2.5 million to finance innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, piloting and scaling up. In addition, companies under both phases can benefit from free coaching and business acceleration services.


  • 07 Nov

    Erik Raita to provide innovation expertise for European Commission Research Executive Agency

    European Commission Research Executive Agency REA invited Karostech’s Senior Consultant Erik Raita to participate the evaluation of two EU funded research projects in Innovation Expert role. Project meetings took place in Paris and Brussels and the task of Innovation Expert is to assess project outcomes from the innovation potential perspective. Both projects were funded under Horizon 2020 Fostering Novel Ideas: FET-Open program and involved multiple participants from the leading European research organizations and universities, including Oxford University and Sorbonne University.

  • 15 Nov

    Karostech invites top European H2020 SME Instrument experts to Helsinki

    Karostech and the leading European SME Instrument fundraiser Inspiralia (Spain) invite you to the Horizon 2020 – SME Instrument event that will take place on Tuesday Nov. 29 at 18:00–21:00 in the Radisson Blue Royal Hotel, Runeberginkatu 2, Helsinki downtown.

    Registration to the event:

    The SME Instrument is a funding tool under the Horizon 2020 program from the European Commission. Its main target is to make the European Union more competitive and innovative by funding European Innovative SMEs with grants from 0,5 M€ up to 2,5 M€ to help them developing new products and launching them successfully to the market. See more detailed information:

    In this informative workshop experts from Inspiralia will introduce the funding opportunities from the EC to Finnish Innovative SMEs. The event is co-organized by: Oy Karostech Ltd, Lähienergialiitto (Finnish Clean Energy Association), Urban Mill, ReWork of Work Facebook community, and Kasvusaari Oy. There will be also an opportunity to have a face to face meeting with Inspiralia’s SME Instrument experts on 30.11. at the same venue. Optionally, tue 29.11. before the event is also possible to meet Inspiralia’s expert Guillermo Palacios. Contact Ilkka Kakko ilkka.kakko (at) to book your time.

    The Agenda:

    • Welcome and introduction
      • Ilkka Kakko, Karostech
      • Pilar Cocera, Inspiralia
    • Inspiralia : What we do?
    • What is the SME Instrument?
      • Structure Phase1-Phase2
      • Topics and typical funded projects
      • Next opportunity and timeline
    • How to know if you are a winner?
      • Excellence in the technology
      • Market impact
      • Implementation
    • Inspiralia’s Key Differentiator
      • Validation
      • Rigorous Process
      • Dedicated teams of experts
    • Q&As
    • Coctails and snacks


    About Inspiralia

    Inspiralia is an international New Product Development Company which helps SMEs bring their innovative products and solutions to the market. Inspiralia offers a 360º innovative development process from validating the idea, finding financing, developing the project into a product within our technical facilities and laboratories as well as launching it to the market. You can have an overview of what we do best in the attached video link: Clip Inspiralia.

    At Inspiralia, we are always on the search for innovative ideas that will change tomorrow´s society and the necessary funding to bring these to market.  Our results have enabled us to become European Leaders within Horizon 2020’s SME Instrument funding programme:

    • Inspiralia has an accumulated success rate for Phase 1 financed proposals of 80%, compared with a 6% European average. Currently we are supporting 182 happy clients with their applications for Phase 2.
    • Inspiralia won the 10% of all available SME Instrument Phase 2 funding EU wide for their clients so far, with 33 delighted clients currently executing Phase 2 projects.


  • 06 Oct

    Two new customers to cooperate with us regarding their Horizon 2020 SME Instrument applications

    We have signed cooperation agreements with two new customers regarding the advisory services. Erik Raita and Ilkka Kakko will be assisting Solixi Oy and Coctio Oy with their Horizon 2020 SME Instrument applications.

    Solixi develops innovative solutions in the area of renewable energy, see

    Coctio is a global pioneer in the industrial bone broth and sauce manufacturing equipment, see


  • 11 Sep

    Horizon 2020 SME Instrument funding – the way to Champions League of SME’s

    New qualification round of SME “Champions League” was closed September 7. Karostech  has been assisting four companies to apply for Phase 1 funding by the last cut-off date. In this blog we share some cumulative experience and observations from the recent SME Instrument journeys with our customers.

    Horizon 2020 SME Instrument funding is generally considered very beneficial for companies. Indeed, 50 KEUR grant is issued by the European Commission in Phase 1 just for the feasibility assessment and business planning. Furthermore, up to 2.5 MEUR is available in Phase 2 for SME’s with disruptive business ideas having the potential to become global market leaders.

    In terms of volume and impact this grant is comparable to venture capital investment, still not diluting the ownership and decision making power of current shareholders.

    Sounds like any entrepreneur’s dream! However, since the launch of SME Instrument program, only 328 out of 5388 applications have been approved to Phase 2 funding (after Feb. 2016 cut-off). These figures clarify why the European Commission calls SME Instrument beneficiaries champions playing in the Champions League for European SME’s. So is applying worth of effort, if only 6% of applications get funded?

    It’s quite common nowadays that informal application is enough to attract funding. Both public and private investors often make their decisions mainly based on pitching performance. Formal business planning quickly becomes legacy, especially within the agile and hyperdynamic start-up culture. Following very strict and formal requirements of SME Instrument make the application procedure time consuming, which might be mission impossible for many companies due to many practical reasons. First, very few SME’s are so structured in their business planning that filling the application with up-to-date data could be done by copy-pasting from the existing documents. Second, very few entrepreneurs are able to realistically evaluate the business potential of their companies. Typical problems here are either the excessive optimism (“we have unique technology and no competitors”) or too narrow local focus with no clue of global markets. Finally, for most of entrepreneurs spending a month of their time to the application with such a low success expectations feels just unreasonable. There are more important things like, for instance, sales which have direct impact on company’s business. And delegating the responsibility to lower level simply doesn’t work in case of SME Instrument application process.

    The founders and management team have to be personally involved in order to make a successful application.

    One of our recent customers wondered “how can it be so formal, no entrepreneur has time for this!”. Yep, that’s an opportunity for an external expert to step in and guide the company through the process. Well, it takes the consultant’s time too, but company’s own resources can be used for those “more important” things, in other words for everyday business operations. An effective external expert is able to put together a high quality application after having 3-4 intensive face-to-face meetings with the entrepreneur. All other information can be gathered from public sources, material provided by the company and his own business experience. And yes, it takes at least four weeks time to do it properly from the start to the final submission. Usually, the customer wants the consultant to do the writing. It’s just fine for us, we know how to do it. However, in order to ensure company’s engagement with project’s objectives it’s important to dedicate at least one person in the company, who’s closely involved in the process.

    Another important thing to remember is that each application is evaluated by four independent evaluators possibly having very different backgrounds. Some may have academic or technical background, while others may come from finances or business development. The applicant has no chance to make personal impact on evaluators, the evaluation happens based on the written application only. So it has to be well balanced to satisfy evaluators with diverse backgrounds.

    A good application can be well compared with the business plan.

    In fact, not many start-up or growth companies have such a detailed business plan. Why don’t you get one as an extra bonus!

    So is it worth of trouble afterall? NO, if you’re personally not so structured, but still not ready to outsource the process to the external expert.

    YES, if A) you feel having real potential to reach Phase 2 funding, B) you consider the point of view of experienced external consultant worth of small investment.

    Some of our customers especially appreciated the impact the application process had to streamlining company’s marketing communication. For instance, companies start using parts of application text and figures produced for the application in their marketing. The core message becomes clear and that immediately affects sales. One of the customers said that the company has benefited from the application process no matter what the final result is. However, the positive funding decision will definitely be a nice bonus both for us and the customer. The best thing a consultant can hear after the process is the question whether his services can be further used in the project implementation phase. We hear it each time after the submission is done. Hopefully, in October we’ll face a positive problem, when multiple applications get positive funding decisions.

    So far Karostech has made seven applications for five customers, four from Finland and one from The Netherlands. Two out of three have already passed the evaluation and been approved.

    Our customers have so far received 2.1 MEUR from the European Commission.

    See you in the Champions League!

  • 08 Sep

    Four H2020 SME Instrument applications submitted by our customers to Sep. 7 cut-off

    We have been again actively helping SME’s to attract Horizon 2020 SME Instrument funding from European Commission. Four applications, three from Finland and one from The Netherlands, have been submitted by our customers to the recent Phase 1 cut-off date. Two of them belong to Accelerating market introduction of ICT solutions for Health, Well-Being and Ageing Well topic (SMEInst-06) and two were submitted to Open Disruptive Innovation Scheme topic (SMEInst-01). All four applicants have very good potential to get approved to Phase 1. We’ll publish results by the end of October, so stay tuned!

  • 05 May

    Our customer Polarsol Oy approved for Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2 funding

    Erik Raita and Ilkka Kakko have helped a customer company Polarsol Oy to get Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2 funding. After signing the Grant Agreement with the European Commission Polarsol will receive 2+ MEUR grant for implementation of the development project aiming at commercialization of its disruptive heat management concept based on the efficient use of the renewable energy.

    Polarsol is among five Finnish SME’s approved to Phase 2 during the last application round and still the only one in the North-Karelia region to get H2020 SME Instrument funding. See the full list of beneficiaries here.