Funding Opportunities


Start-ups, SMEs, digital innovation hubs and research organisations within manufacturing or manufacturing solutions in the field of robotics can apply for funding from the European Commission’s DIH² Project, part of the Horizon 2020 programme. DIH² is a pan-European network of 26 Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) for flexible manufacturing, which started this past summer and will invest nearly BGN 3 million in the next 8 months. 

In its first call, the program will allocate up to EUR 248,000 to selected 13 consortia of technology vendors and manufacturing companies for the implementation of robotics-related technologies. The deadline for applying for the first stage is 31 October. 

Ten local companies will be selected for each category (technology providers and SMEs / Mid-Cap companies). Thus, a total of 520 companies from different countries will be allocated to a total of 26 events in the network of innovation hubs across Europe. The participants will receive EUR 1,000 each and will have the opportunity to form a consortium with other companies. They will also be able to continue their participation with guaranteed assistance from a DIH in the application process for the second stage of the competition until the final selection of 13 consortia. 

The coordinator of DIH² is the Finnish research centre Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT.

More information is available on the website of Sofia Tech Park (in Bulgarian), as well as on the website of the programme itself:

The DIH2 Open Call Website

The Guide for Applicants



Another program funded under Horizon 2020 has an open application window as well. Applications for the accelerator Block.IS are accepted until 6 November. The programme aims to build an open international cross-sectoral innovation ecosystem that promotes the use of blockchain technology in three vital sectors for the European economy: agrifood, logistics and finance.

Block.IS will support SMEs and start-ups in the ICT sector all the way from idea to commercialisation with personalised business and technical support as well as direct funding. The program will invest a total of EUR 2.8 million in the current call and in another open call in the autumn of 2020. 

Those accepted in the Block.IS accelerator will go through three stages in the program: Innovate – Experiment – Commercialise. At each stage, the companies will work closely with clusters and industry experts. Funding is provided for each phase as follows:

  • – EUR 3,000 for each of the 90 best projects selected in the Innovate phase
  • – In Experiment phase, the best 45 best projects from Phase I will receive EUR 50,000 each and an 8-month validation period.
  • – The 10 projects that showed the best potential in the Experiment phase will receive EUR 7,000 each for the two-month third phase – Commercialise.

For more information and to apply, visit