About the initiative

LIGHTer SME aims to develop small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into highly specialised providers of lightweight technology for Swedish industry. The goal is for smaller companies to receive funding, quickly and without big administrative burdens, in order to develop their ideas in short-term projects. Two calls for funding each year are planned, worth approximately SEK 1.3 million each.

Who is the project targeted to?

We aim to support Swedish SMEs within lightweight technology. We are especially eager to support smaller companies that have not previously received major public research funding. Companies that have not previously received major funding grants for research will be given priority in the assessment. Furthermore, we want to encourage small businesses that are more established in the Swedish innovation system to take the leap into European research programmes. 
The initiative aims to develop SMEs into highly specialised providers that help Swedish industry become more competitive within lightweighting. All technology areas that address lightweighting in some way are welcome to apply. 

The Lightweight strategic innovation programme and Vinnova pursue equal opportunity throughout society. This means that applicants should take gender equality and equal opportunity into account in areas like project manager selection, the composition of their project team/project participants, division of labour, power and influence in the project, target group involvement, and the development of ideas and solutions.

SME project, Level 1

Level 1 projects will provide greater opportunities for SMEs without their own R&D resources to participate in research and innovation programmes. Level 1 projects are short demonstration and validation projects done in collaboration with relevant actors.
Examples of activities that can qualify for funding under Level 1 projects:

•    Short demonstration and validation projects that finance operators and researchers from, for example, research institutes and higher education institutions, or resources at a company needed for implementation.
•    Short-term projects in lightweight materials, manufacturing and construction, for example by linking SMEs with suppliers of equipment, tools, measurement systems, etc. in order to solve a company’s problems and ultimately create business opportunities.

A maximum of SEK 125,000 can be awarded as a grant, and the typical project duration is one month. In order for SMEs to actively participate in the work, at least SEK 25,000 of the SME grant is reserved for actual costs, such as expenses for staff, materials and travel. Level 1 projects do not have any co-funding requirements. 

SME project, Level 2 

Level 2 projects are designed individually according to the nature of the project and include, for example, validation projects in which a SME, in collaboration with relevant actors, develops a prototype or demonstrates a manufacturing technique either independently or together with an industrial company. 
A maximum of SEK 325,000 can be awarded as a grant, and a typical project duration is 3-6 months. In order for SMEs to actively participate in the work, at least SEK 25,000 of the SME grant is reserved for actual costs, such as expenses for staff, materials and travel. Funding of up to 50% of the project costs can be given. Example: To apply for SEK 325,000, the total project cost must be at least SEK 650,000.