H2020 SME instrument Phase 2 – Helbio SA among the winners

Helbio S.A. is one of the 58 highly innovative SMEs which have been selected in the latest round under phase 2 SME instrument. The participation of Helbio in the specific call made through PROMETHEUS-5 proposal (Energy efficient and environmentally friendly multi-fuel power system with CHP capability, for stand-alone applications), for commercialing and launching to market a 5kW Combined Heat and Power (CHP) production system operating with intermidiate hydrogen production (steam fuel reforming) and fuel cells. The specific product will have high efficiency (twice than that of conventional gensets) and nearly zero pollutant emissions.

 Prometheus-5 project

PROMETHEUS-5 project proposes a highly innovative, environmentally friendly and efficient solution for power and heat generation, using hydrogen and fuel cells. Currently, the market of remote or back-up power generation is served by diesel or gasoline generators which rely on mature and relatively low cost technology. However, they offer about half of the electrical efficiency, as compared to that of the proposed system and present other drawbacks such as high operational and maintenance costs, large amounts of pollutant emissions, vibration, noise, etc. Commercialization of Helbio’s system will result in power generators having electrical efficiency twice that of the conventional ones, leading to proportionally reduced fuel consumption and proportionally reduced GHG emissions. Also, the use of alternative fuels like propane, LPG, NG and, especially, biogas, a renewable source of energy, will be introduced.


The call: SME instrument

Horizon 2020 supports Innovative Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) through a new dedicated SME instrument. The SME Instrument is divided into 3 phases covering different stages of the innovation cycle. Phase 1 aims to cover the assessment of technical feasibility and market potential of new ideas. The project will be supported by an investment of € 50,000 and the typical duration should be no longer than 6 months.

Phase 2 aims to cover R&I activities with a particular focus on demonstration activities (testing, prototype, scale-up studies, design, piloting innovative processes, products and services, validation, performance verification etc.) and market replication encouraging the involvement of end users or potential clients. Project funding should amount to no more than € 2,500,000 and the typical duration of this phase should range from 12 to 24 months.


The statistics

€77.7 million for innovation activities and business plans (Phase 2)

Out of the €86 million, €77.7 million will be given to 58 highly innovative SMEs from 16 countries under Phase 2 of the scheme – in which SMEs will further develop their submitted proposal in Phase 1 of the scheme through innovation activities. Each project, 48 in total, will receive between €0.5 and €2.5 million (€5 million for health projects) to bring their product from pilot-phase to the market. They can also ask for up to 12 days of free business coaching.The European Commission received 961 proposals under Phase 2 by the cut-off date of 14 April 2016. UK companies have been particularly successful in this call with 13 projects. They are closely followed by Spain (11), and Italy (9). Most of the projects funded will be in the area of ICT (9) and transport (9) followed by low-carbon energy systems (8).

Since the launch of the programme on 1st January 2014, 373 projects involving 464 SMEs have been selected for EU grants under Phase 2 of the SME Instrument, totalling more than €619.5 million.


Useful links

EC official press release:


The map of the winners: