The purpose of Horizon 2020s SME Instrument Schemes Phase 1 is a feasibility study for the project (lasting around 6 months depending on the specific topic) and is financed with a flat rate of €50,000.
The feasibility study entails the development of a business plan and assesses the viability of the project. The EC also offers coaching services such as:
Optional Innovation and Business Development Coaching is offered in parallel throughout phases 1 and 2 to help SMEs: enhance the company’s innovation capacity align the project to the identified business development strategy develop the commercial/economic impact and long term sustainability. Coaching is provided by experienced business coaches, selected through the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN).
The result of the study will be a feasibility report (an example can be found here). This report will contain:
1. Technical report (1a. Publishable Summary; 1b. Feasibility Study)
2. the answer to a questionnaire on socio-economic implications
3. a financial report including the request for payment of the balance
The feasibility study is optional but greatly increases the chances for Phase 2 of the project and is highly recommended.
A more detailed description by the European Commission can be found here and here.