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European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA)
News article22 February 2022European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency2 min read

UFO: emerging indUstries new value chains boosted by small Flying Objects

The Horizon 2020 INNOSUP funded UFO project supports 65 European SMEs in the development of innovative products and services by integrating new technology solutions in Small Flying Objects (SFOs).

Project UFO

The UFO project is providing €3 million in the form of cascade funding to support 65 European SMEs participating in 25 innovation projects for feasibility and demonstration activities to develop innovative products and services. The projects integrate new technological solutions and know-how in provided by the combination of Small Flying Objects (SFOs: drones, high attitude platform systems and small satellites), embedded nano and digital technologies, Key Enabling Technologies (KETs), data analysis and exploitation solutions, addressing challenges in 6 Emerging Industries, namely, blue growth, digital creative & gaming, mobility, climate, environment and finance & insurance.

In 2021, UFO project held two open calls. The first open call closed on 18 February and the second open call closed on 7 October 2021. More than 90 eligible project proposals were submitted in both calls, in which applicants applied for one of two types of vouchers: feasibility and demonstration activities. The applications came from the five UFO partners’ countries – Bulgaria, France, Greece, Romania and the United Kingdom. Cross-border collaborations were particularly encouraged.

In total, out of all the eligible project proposals submitted into the first and second open call, 25 were selected: 21 demonstration projects and 4 feasibility studies. The successful projects will receive financial support of up to €60 000 for each feasibility study and up to €150 000 for each demonstration voucher.

In addition to direct funding, each of the 25 awarded projects, are receiving additional individual coaching and support by the UFO Consortium in an acceleration programme. These further activities include support to access public funding from regional, national and European funding sources for their innovation projects, access private funding for their business development, support for exploitation and scale-up, wide dissemination on European level, networking and market realisation.

The UFO project is funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Commission. The project’s main goal is to stimulate innovation in European SMEs through direct financial support and services provided by the UFO partners. Present in five different countries (Bulgaria, France, Greece, Romania and the United Kingdom), UFO aims to finance up to 75 SMEs offering new products and services in the targeted emerging industries.   


Find the project winners of the first call, and the second call, or join us on 17 November 2022, in London, for the Final Showcase Event. Will be presented all the new funded products and services developed by the SMEs.


Publication date
22 February 2022
European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency