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Q: How have the current SME specific activities been taken up in Horizon 2020?
A: The new dedicated SME instrument will integrate the specific SME measures of FP7 and the SME market replication projects of the CIP in one comprehensive, simple and easily accessible scheme. It will fully cover the possibility to outsource research and development critical to the innovation projects of non-research intensive SMEs, as currently supported under the FP7 activity 'Research for the Benefit of SMEs', with demonstration and market replication projects also being eligible. The dedicated SME instrument will also facilitate the collaboration of different types of SMEs along the value-chain and will foster complex innovation processes and forms of cooperation by supporting all forms of innovation. Furthermore, it will not distinguish between the research intensity of companies. SME associations or other organisations providing services to their SME members may continue to assist and to support their member companies in a European project as part of an SME-led consortium formed under the dedicated SME instrument.
It is the Commission's intention to continue supporting the Eurostars initiative, provided it meets the criteria laid down in the Horizon 2020 Regulation and taking into account the recommendations made in its interim evaluation report.
Strengthening SMEs innovation capacity will be achieved by providing national and regional innovation support agents with room to experiment and develop new approaches and instruments for SME innovation support. In specific, well justified cases European level support services might be maintained or established. The IPR helpdesk is the most well known example of this. Also in this context the role of the Enterprise Europe Network, financed through the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs, will be strengthened.
For further information please see : Factsheet: SMEs in Horizon 2020
Category : Horizon 2020