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2020 03 30

Public funding opportunities for startups and SMEs

With economic activity slowing down across the world amid the COVID-19 outbreak, many companies, including startups, are forced to look for new sources of revenue. One of the ways to stabilize revenues is to apply for grants available through public funding mechanisms. At the Startup Division, we joined forces with Civitta to collect as many opportunities for funding as we could with close upcoming deadlines (between April and September 2020). 

The grants offer to fund between EUR 20k and around EUR 500k. We’ve collected both national (Lithuanian) and international opportunities and grouped them by topics so you can skip the ones that are not relevant for your company.

The topics are the following: COVID–19; environment/climate; electronics & software; artificial intelligence; 3D printing; security & data; blockchain; robotics; legal; and calls addressing multiple topics.


COVID–19 & Health

Life saving-innovations: stop COVID-19 | Gives a priority for innovation projects related to COVID-19 virus and crisis management. Budget: ±52,000.

Deadline: April 17, 2020

Headstart | Calling digital health start-ups with valuable COVID-19 solutions. Up to €50,000 to companies with the potential to enable the community and health systems to fill in the gap until COVID-19 vaccines are ready. We are looking for products or services with technology readiness level eight. 

Deadline: April 14, 2020

For more funding opportunities for COVID-19 and coronavirus-related projects/research activities click here. Also, check out DIH-HERO under robotics below.


Projects with a wide range of topics supported

TETRAMAX Bilateral Technology Transfer Experiments (TTX) | Aims at fast‐track innovation in various ICT based application domains with European leadership and strategic importance, such as automotive electronics, cloud computing, communication technologies, cybersecurity, HW/SW codesign, low-energy computing, and medical and health applications, etc. A high variety of competence fields for TTX can be found at Guide for Applicants. Budget: €50,000 per applicant. 

Eligible participants: One academic and one industry partner from two different EU member states or countries associated with HORIZON 2020; only in well-justified cases, both partners can be SMEs.

Deadline: April 30, 2020

DigiFed | Offers grants of up to € 55k as well as technical and business support for the development of smart applications in Europe. Proposals including, but not limited to, following fields: CPS / Embedded systems; Smart applications; AI; Connectivity/IoT; Additive manufacturing; Application-specific semiconductor technologies; Heterogeneous integration and smart miniaturized systems; Micro and nano bio-systems; The energy efficiency of systems.

Deadline: June 9, 2020

Inostartas | Encourages the creation and development of new innovative SME entities, ensuring the development of innovative ideas, products and services, and promoting business autonomy in the conduct of R&D activities within the company. Supported topics: research and innovation. Budget: up to €52 173 per applicant.

Deadline: September 30, 2020

Inočekiai | Funding scheme encourages business and science to establish connections, to continue R&D activities already undertaken in the framework of science and business cooperation; Supported topics: research and innovation. Budget: up to €33,998 per applicant.

Deadline: September 30, 2020

INNOWIDE | Supports Viability Assessment Projects in international markets. Selected innovative SMEs, including young companies and start-ups from any sector, will receive a fixed grant amount of €60,000

Deadline: April 7, 2020


Environment and Climate

LIFE | Programme is divided into two sub-programmes, one for the environment (representing 75% of the overall financial envelope) and one for climate action (representing 25% of the envelope). Total budget: €3.4 billion.

  • Environment sub-programme funds nature conservation projects in particular in the areas of biodiversity, habitats and species. Deadline: Mid- June 2020 (Submission of concept notes).
  • LIFE Climate Action sub-programme supports projects in the areas of renewable energies, energy efficiency, farming, land use, and peatland management. Deadline: September 2020 (Submission of full proposals).

EIC Accelerator | Applicants will be able to apply for the Green Deal topic specifically concentrating on those innovations that fuel the societal transition towards sustainability while supporting the EU’s competitiveness and leadership in clean technologies. The topic targets high-risk, high-potential small- and medium-sized enterprises (including startups) from any sector. Projects will receive between €0.5 and €2.5 million in the form of grants.

Deadline: May 19, 2020


Electronics & Software

eSSIF-Lab | Open call for European startups and SMEs to develop generic commercial competitive SSI components and services. Up to €106,000 equity-free funding and business and technical support during the 8-month acceleration programme. 

Deadline: April 30, 2020


Artificial Intelligence

AI4EU | looking for challenges based on AI technologies to populate and promote the adoption of the AI4EU platform. The selected applicants will receive equity-free funding (up to €20k the individuals and up to €180k the startups/SMEs) and will participate in a Support Program to develop their solution(s)) backed by AI technologies to solve the challenges. 

Deadline: December 31, 2020; cut off deadlines to be determined


Also, check NGI Trust; DiGifed (in the list)


3D Printing

3DP Pan Eu | Through the open call, ten cross-regional 3D Printing industrial demonstration projects (involving one SME and facility centres registered on the platform) will be supported. Budget: up to €40,000 per project

Deadline: June 15, 2020 (to be announced on April 6)


Security and Data

NGI Trust | supports projects working on privacy and trust enhancing technologies and their application to the Next Generation Internet, namely: as sensors, objects, devices, AI-based algorithms, etc., are incorporated in our digital environment, develop robust and easy to use technologies to help users increase trust and achieve greater control when sharing their personal data, attributes and information. Budget: €75,000 – €200,000 per project. The call is open to individuals or organisations, or groupings thereof.

Deadline: May 4, 2020

NGI Dapsi | DAPSI offers up to €150,000* (€100k* at the Kick-start phase + additional €50k* for the Booster phase) to internet innovators to develop technology solutions and services in the Data Portability field. 15 projects will be funded and supported. 

Deadline: April 22, 2020



BlockStart | Supports blockchain/ DLT startups & developers with big ideas and the passion to make them happen. Up to €20,000 equity-free in cash, plus the opportunity to pilot in real life and with real users

Deadline: around June 2020 (not announced yet)

Block.IS | The acceleration programme that aims to build an open and collaborative cross-border, cross-sectoral innovation ecosystem that fosters the use of blockchain technology in three vital sectors for the European economy: agrifood, logistics and finance. Up to 60,000 EUR per applicant. 

Deadline: July 22, 2020



Agrobofood | Provides financial support to SMEs, to accelerate network expansion, driven by the robotics community and the European agri-food sector. Topics supported: robotic solutions and application areas; Food supply chain robotics; Livestock robotics

Deadline: May 31, 2020

DIH-HERO | The aim is to stimulate the transfer of technology from outside and creating new links inside the value chain. Within this call, DIH-HERO offers up to €200,000 of financial support per Technology Transfer Experiment (TTE). All proposals must include a transfer of innovative technologies from outside the robotics and healthcare domains and must contribute to solving unanswered clinical questions or solve implementation hurdles is the goal of this innovation strategy.

Deadline: June 15, 2020



H2020 Call for proposals for action grants to support national or transnational e-justice projects | Supports the implementation of e-Justice projects at the European and national level. Budget: >€60 000 

Deadline: May 7, 2020


If you notice a call we’ve missed, please let us know. We are happy to advise on applications and in some cases, we can help you apply. Contact Vytautas Černiauskas on [email protected]


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