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European Flag    Europa The European Commission Research 1999 Annual Report
  Annual Report 1999Contents
  2. Community RTD in 1998
   
 

Participation by firms

 

Involvement of firms in Community research is essential not only to make sure that the results of the Community research are applied but also, more broadly, to strengthen the mutually beneficial cooperation between the private sector and public-sector research. In 1998 participation by firms in the EC Framework Programme remained high, accounting for a total of 38% of participations in the new RTD projects.

Although still relatively low, industrial participation in the Training and Mobility of Researchers programme, in particular, has grown steadily over the life of the 4th Framework Programme. As a result, 70% of the networks selected in 1998 in response to the latest call for proposals include links with industry. In the 5th Framework Programme the "Marie Curie Industry Host Fellowships" specially designed for firms will ensure even greater participation by them.

Large enterprises remained heavily involved in the EC Framework Programme in 1998, with almost 14% of the participations and 19% of the financial contributions received, particularly in the field of technological research: information technologies (40% of participations), communications (35%), transport (24%) and industrial and materials technologies (20%).

Small and medium-sized enterprises made further progress compared with the 3rd Framework Programme, in which SMEs accounted for only 18% of participations. With 25% of participations, their access to research in 1998 remained at a similar level to 1997.


ACCESS TO THE EC FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME IN 1998
(Shared-cost actions - contracts signed in 1998)


In all, 14 500 SMEs took part in the 4th Framework Programme between 1995 and 1998. Around 20% of them received the exploratory awards granted to help SMEs prepare their RTD proposals, while 35% opted for the CRAFT cooperative research scheme in which SMEs with insufficient research capacity join forces to entrust a third party with the RTD project. An independent study in 1998 confirmed the efficiency of the exploratory awards for opening up access to Community research to SMEs.11


PARTICIPATION BY SMEs IN THE EC FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME
(Shared-cost actions - contracts signed in 1998)


11- Evaluation of the efficiency and outcome of the Exploratory Awards scheme in FP4, Segal Quince and Wicksteed for the European Commission, April 1999.

   
     
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