EU exceeds research funding target for SMEs
Brussels, 25 October 2012
The European Commission today announced it has exceeded the target on research funding for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). SMEs have received 16.3% (€2.9 billion) of the Cooperation Programme budget of €18.6 billion spent so far under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). This surpasses the 15% goal set by the European Parliament and Council of Ministers at the beginning of FP7. This €2.9 billion had been allocated to over 11000 SME participations by 30 September 2012. It is estimated that for all five specific programmes under FP7, SMEs have so far received just over €4 billion. It is forecast that by the end of FP7 (2007–2013) some 30,000 SMEs will have received around €7.3 billion in EU research funding.
This success can be attributed to the increase and strengthening of measures in favour of SMEs under the two most recent Work Programmes, and is particularly visible in the thematic priorities: Health, Environment, Food, Agriculture, Fisheries, Biotechnology and Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities.
SME-specific measures taken range from the selection of topics of particular relevance to SMEs to creating ring-fenced budgets for SMEs within some calls. The statistics suggest that SMEs stepped up their participation in projects as a result of these measures. The data shows that SME participation rates are particularly high in newer EU Member States.
FP7 provides financial support for transnational research, including for SMEs wishing to innovate and improve their competitiveness in Europe’s knowledge-based economy. The Cooperation programme is just one of the five specific programmes under FP7 including Cooperation, Capacities, People, Ideas and Euratom. FP7 has a total budget of over €50 billion.
DG Research & Innovation monitors SME participation in the framework programme on an annual basis. The figures released today are included in the ninth report.
Innovation Union: http://ec.europa.eu/innovation-union
SME funding guide: http://ec.europa.eu/research/sme-techweb/index_en.cfm