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New EU Research programme supports SMEs, Introduction

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The EU’s 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7) came into force on 1 January 2007. The programme’s budget over the next seven years (2007 to 2013) is 50.521 billionEuros. Under the Cooperation programme small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will benefit from around 15% of that budget. The programme is attractive for SMEs, as funding can cover up to 75% of the basic research costs and up to 100% of some other types of expenditure, for instance training. In addition 1.336 billion is allocated specifically to SMEs who need to acquire new knowledge from research service providers. SMEs represent more than 99% of European enterprises and employ 75 million people. They play a decisive role when it comes to Europe’s economic growth and competitiveness. They comprise all types of firms ranging from one-person businesses to cooperatives. Whilst some SMEs offer very traditional services or craft products, many others are fast growing high-tech companies. As any other type of company, SMEs and SMEs’ associations face increasing competition, both within the internal market and globally. In order to innovate, solve problems and grow, research must be a major component in any business strategy. The European Commission is working together with the Member States to improve the framework conditions in which SMEs operate. It has integrated the "Think Small First" principle into all policy-making and is reviewing all EU legislation to ensure it is SME friendly.

Type: Documentary   Reference: I-053259   Date: 01/01/2007   Duration: 04:15
Languages: ORIGINAL, ENGLISH

Tags: Framework programme for research and technical development | New information and communication technologies | Research and development | SME
© European Communities, 2007   /   Source: EC - Audiovisual Service
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