Cascade funding for innovative product development

Cascade funding is a mechanism of the European Commission of allocating funds in order to support SMEs and start-ups in developing and implementing innovative digital solutions. The main idea of cascade funding is to simplify the procedures of financing by allowing the projects, that are already financed by the EU, to run open calls for financing smaller projects. These open calls are usually competitive, have a European dimension and usually aim at:

  • supporting pilots, demonstrations, and/or experiments on a specific innovative technology or framework (usually with the participation of start-ups or SME),

  • supporting tech start-ups or scale-ups via acceleration, incubation, and mentoring programs (usually equity-free),

  • integrating more participants into the project to extend its scope or to address specific tasks.

Horizon 2020 allocates almost 800 mln EUR in cascade funding calls.



Eligible applicants: innovative SMEs and startups, industry players, R&D institutions, academia. Depending on the specific call, applicants may be requested to apply in a consortium of up to 5 partners from several European countries.

Activities funded: feasibility study, R&D, piloting, demonstrations, experiments, commercialization activities

Project size: from 20,000 EUR to 500,000 EUR

Funding rate: 50-100 %

Time to grant: ca 3 months from submission



  • R&D project excellence and quality, novelty, relevance for the target market, competitive position

  • Market creation or expansion prospects for technology or solution, demand creation, longer-term commercialization prospects

  • Appropriateness/feasibility of the proposed approach and allocated resources for the specific project funded by the grant



  • eSSIF-Lab Infrastructure-oriented Open Call for development and testing of novel scalable and interoperable applications using eSSIF-Lab infrastructure or the provision of components to this infrastructure (up to €155 000, Deadline: 30.06.2021
  • SmartEEs2 supporting Innovative Companies to digitalize their businesses and access new markets by integrating Flexible and Wearable Electronics technologies into advanced products / series of products and services (up to €100 000, Deadline: 31.08.2021

  • Block.IS Cluster Missions Open Call for clusters and their most active members working around or willing to utilize the potential of blockchain technologies to join the Block.IS Cluster Missions (up to €750 per participant, Deadline: 22.10.2021

  • DIGI-B-CUBE Continuous Open Call for Co-working Disruption Lab Vouchers supporting further advancement of a successfully completed customized solution innovation voucher project in an incubator / accelerator / co-working space of the DIGI-B-CUBE clusters’ network (or) in labs, technical and innovation facilities of other relevant SMEs (up to €10 000, Deadline: 27.10.2021

A full list of Cascade funding open calls is presented below.

Sander van der Molen

+370 613 59 730

Iurii Volodymyr Blavt

+380 964 988 191

Kadri Adrat
Partener asociat

+372 5568 7649