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MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Improving noise reduction

The Silentwood project has developed sophisticated noise-reducing wall panels and doors. In addition to spurring growth and jobs in the doors/panels application sector, Silentwood will provide direct economic and health benefits to the EU.
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EuResist - Enhancing HIV treatment with more precise patient modeling

HIV is not curable but it is treatable, states Dr Francesca Incardona, CEO of EuResist Network GEIE and research area manager at Informa Srl, the SME responsible for coordinating the EuResist project.
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SILCO - Doing away with bacteria in water systems

The SILCO project has developed an innovative monitoring device that senses the elimination process of complex bacterial communities known as biofilm and unsafe bacteria from drinking water systems. The prototype successfully killed legionella bacteria at a natural source spa in Slovakia
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FIRELI - New hose equipment to increase safety of firemen

Every year, fires affect large areas of forest in Europe - mostly in the Mediterranean countries, where an average of around 500,000 hectares are destroyed annually. That is the equivalent of 50 times the land area of Paris. The economic cost is estimated at between €600 and €800 million per year.
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Smart irrigation technology set to reduce costs and save water

Due in large part to inefficient water irrigation systems, the agriculture industry wastes 60% of the water it uses each year, or 70% of the world's freshwater. WaterBee has developed a smart irrigation system to reduce this wastage, thereby saving money and increasing both crop quality and yield.
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NANORAY - A portable x-ray machine

X-ray technology has existed for more than 100 years, but in spite of repeated efforts no one has found a way of solving the problems involved in making X-ray machines portable. Now, thanks to an innovative European Union (EU) funded multinational research project, that breakthrough has at last been achieved.
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CleanHatch - New high-tech solution to clean fish hatcheries

Due to increased market pressure to produce high quality and low cost fish, the aquaculture industry has been forced to develop technologies that reduce the level of risk to investors yet maintain reliable production output.
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Let there be sight

Transplanting the human cornea (1) can enable a blind person to see. But it requires the perfect human donor match and there are no guarantees of success. A group of EU-funded SMEs and researchers, however, has developed an artificial cornea that offers failed transplant patients a potentially life-changing alternative.
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News from 2008

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19 December 2008
SME Associations in Europe getting to grips with research.

The second call for Research for SME Associations, with an indicative budget of € 78.550.000 has just closed and the number of proposals received is more than double that of the first call. At the call closure the final count was 383 proposals compared to 167 in the first call.

"This is a clear indication that SME Associations are getting to grips with the Research for SME Assocations scheme," said Bernd Reichert, Head of the SME Unit today.

This scheme, under Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), allows SME Associations /Groupings to develop technical solutions to problems common to a large number of SMEs in a specific industrial sector or segments of the value chain, through research that could not be address by the Research for SMEs scheme.

Project can for example aim to develop or conform to European norms and standards and to meet regulatory requirements in areas such as health, safety and environmental protection. The SME Associations can outsource (subcontract) the research to an RTD performer in order to acquire the necessary technological knowledge for their members. Projects must render a clear exploitation potential and economic benefits for the SME members of the associations involved.

The dissemination and use of the results achieved will ensure that large communities of SMEs will indeed benefit economically, something which in today's economic crisis is a very positive move in the right direction.

The new YOUR EUROPE - BUSINESS portal is online

See link for details

SMEs and research programmes: helping small businesses think big, turning knowledge into profit

Getting involved in research projects can help SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises) to develop new products and services and improve existing ones. It also provides a useful network of contacts in business and academia. In an interview with CORDIS News, members of the Research and SMEs unit at the European Commission's Research Directorate General explained how the role of SMEs in the framework programmes has evolved over the years, and how they believe access to all kinds of research funding for SMEs could be facilitated.

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1st European SME Week,"Small business, big ideas", 6-14 May 2009

The Commission is organising the 1st European SME Week from 6 to 14 May 2009. The SME week is an umbrella campaign aiming to promote entrepreneurship and inform entrepreneurs about support that is available to them at European, national and local level. The SME week is coordinated by the European Commission’s Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General and will be launched in Brussels on the 6th of May next year. The opening will be followed by an array of events organised by public administrations, business organisations and SME support providers at the national and local level throughout Europe.
34 countries and hundreds of events.

All EU Member States and 7 non-EU countries are committed to mark the 1st European SME Week. National and regional authorities, business organisations, business support providers and education institutions will brand their events under the umbrella of the Week in an effort to bring entrepreneurship in the spotlight.

Hundreds of events will take place throughout Europe and beyond. Events range from fairs to conferences, online events, art & performance, to networking events, company open days and competitions. Topics such as entrepreneurship, innovation, research, environment, growth, business support, business strategy, creative thinking, etc. will be covered.

Who can take part?
Business organisations, support providers, public authorities, educational institutions, etc. can organise events under the SME week umbrella. Each potential event organiser is free to choose the type of event to organise as long as it fits the objectives of SME Week.
See: More about the SME week and the events taking place in participating countries

Workshop: Environmental Research for SMEs Technology Challenges and Market Opportunities in Sustainable Energy Production and Consumption

The aim of the event is to address future trends and needs in key technologies and research in the area of sustainable energy production and consumption. It will focus on the dissemination of knowledge, technology uptake in traditional SME sectors as well as business opportunities.

The European Commission, DG Research - Unit T4 "SME" - will, in the framework of the EU sustainable energy week in February 2009, hold a half-day dissemination workshop. Results from EU funded research projects will be presented by project participants. The event is targeted towards SMEs, SME associations, research organisations, public authorities and other actors. It will provide an opportunity to disseminate RTD results for a selection of projects and facilitate networking opportunities.

SCOPE:
This half-day workshop will give an overview of objectives, challenges and results from ongoing projects funded under the 6th Framework Programme (FP6) and recently started projects under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7), in both cases under the SME specific measures.

The development of both sustainable energy production as well as more energy efficient industry process will be presented.

DATE:
Wednesday, 11th February, 2009, from 9.00 to 12.45.

VENUE:
European Commission, Charlemagne Building
Address: 170 Rue de la Loi (Wetstraat)

HOW TO REGISTER:
The registration is done directly via the Energy Sustainable Energy week web page - http://www.eusew.eu/ - where it is possible to register for specific events.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
Energy policy plays a central role in the European Union's efforts to address the Lisbon agenda, to achieve the Kyoto Protocol target for 2008-2012 and to guarantee energy security for the citizens. Within this framework, energy supply, environmental sustainability and competitiveness are key to EU energy policy. In the EU-25, renewable energy corresponds to 6.0% of total energy consumption and EU indicative target for renewable energies by 2010 is 12%. Worldwide in 2007, more than €50 billion was invested in new renewable energy power and heating capacity. Many new companies, often SMEs, entered in the renewable energy industry, and some companies broadened expansion into emerging markets. Worldwide there has been an increase to 2.4 million in jobs related to renewable energies in 2006.

In this respect, producing and consuming energy in a more sustainable way has been identified as a major challenge both for strengthening the competitiveness of European industries and improving the environmental quality. The European industry has built a strong position in this field and the actors in Europe will continue to be innovative and strong, preparing society in general and industry in particular for necessary changes ahead.

Innovation relies on research and, thus, strong RTD efforts are crucial for the European industry, including SMEs, to meet the challenges ahead in an increasingly globalised economy. There is a range of research activities among European SMEs in order to find new innovative solutions in the energy area, not only to improve energy efficiency of processes in traditional industries but also to develop more efficient and sustainable forms of producing energy. There were two research schemes in the 6th Framework Programme (FP6) and there are equally two schemes in the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) specifically for the benefit of SMEs and SME associations. A growing number of projects in these SME programmes is conducted in the area of sustainable energy production and consumption.

The workshop will present objectives, challenges and results from ongoing projects funded under the 6th Framework Programme (FP6) and recently started projects under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7), in both cases under the SME specific measures.

Maltese SME contributes towards research and innovation.

FLUID-WIN enables direct co-ordination between manufacturers, logistic service providers and financial service providers through an interface on an internet platform. This project in which AcrossLimits was one of the main partners formed part of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).

Further information

New call under the Research for the benefit of SMEs Calls: FP7-SME-2009-1 now published

Topic: Studies on regional, national, European SME research support programmes and actions Funding scheme: Coordination and Support Action (Supporting Action).
CSA-SA “Support actions” aim at contributing to the implementation of the Framework Programmes and the preparation of future Community research and technological development policy or the development of synergies with other policies, or to stimulate, encourage and facilitate the participation of SMEs, civil society organisations and their networks, small research teams and newly developed or remote research centres in the activities of the thematic areas of the Cooperation programme, or for setting up of research-intensive clusters across the EU regions.
Indicative budget: EUR 4 million
Information Day related to this call: 14/10/2008 at 10.00 a.m. in Centre Albert Borchette, Rue Froissart 36, Brussels (metro: Schuman)

QUESTIONS concerning the call content are welcome in advance.Registration for the event is requested on CORDIS

[Contact for more information: Andrea.Erdei@ec.europa.eu]

New call under the Research for the benefit of SMEs Calls: FP7-SME-2008-2 now published.

Call Title: Research for SME Associations Call 2
Callidentifier: FP7-SME-2008-2
Dateof publication: 3rd September 2008
Deadline: 18 December 2008 (first stage) at 17.00.00 h (Brussels local time)
Indicativebudget: EUR 78.55 million1
Topicscalled: call is open to all research fields

EU wants regional policy to become 'launch-pad' for SMEs

Published: Thursday 10 July 2008
The Commission boosted its focus on SMEs by presenting a new initiative aimed at helping EU cohesion policy to better assist small businesses. The move comes just a day after it pledged to cut tax and make state aid rules more flexible to boost their growth.
Link

Boosting Small and Medium Enterprises' investment in research: European Commission welcomes the Council agreement on the "Eurostars" Programme

On Monday 23rd of June, the Council of Ministers agreed to provide EUR 100 million from the EU's 7th Framework Programme (FP7) budget to Eurostars, a Research and Development (R&D) programme jointly set up by 31 countries[1] to boost research capacities of Small and Medium-Sized companies (SMEs) in Europe. The EUR 100 million from FP7 will leverage at least EUR 300 million in public funding from the participating countries, resulting in a package of EUR 400 million for financing trans-national research partnerships driven research-performing SMEs in Europe.
Link

"Think Small First": A Small Business Act for Europe

Most jobs in the EU are provided for by Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), companies of 250 employees or less. They have a crucial importance for the future development, but very often face enormous bureaucratic hurdles and obstacles. European SMEs deserve to be better assisted to fully unlock their potential of long term sustainable growth and of more job creation. To achieve this goal, the European Commission has unveiled the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA), based on ten guiding principles and proposes policy actions to be undertaken by both the Commission and Member States.
Link

Call postponed

Research for SME Associations: next call deadline 18 December 2008 see update of work programme to be published 3 September 2008
Link

Ringing the changes in cultural heritage

Bells are among the oldest of musical instruments and are of deep founded cultural and spiritual significance to European societies. An effort is now under way, using modern technical techniques, to preserve, restore, and improve the continent's bells, including some over 800 years old.
Link to the page where the video is visible.

New Unique Registration Facility launched
[Date: 2008-04-29]

A new service called Unique Registration Facility (URF) has been launched on CORDIS to facilitate the preparation of grant agreements between participants and the European Commission.
Thanks to the new service, participants in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and other programmes managed by the Research Directorate General will no longer have to submit their legal and financial information each time a new grant agreement is in the pipeline.
Once participants have been validated by the European Commission's central validation team for their existence as legal entities and their legal status, they will only have to submit their Participant Identification Code (PIC).
Link

Open tender

Please note that the Open tender (OJ No.2008/S 78 - 104903) has been published on-line today.Subject: Impact assessment of the participation of SMEs in the THEMATIC programmes of FP5 and FP6Estimated value: 1 million euro The deadline for submission is: 02/06/2008.
Link

Mix and match: new EU guide to encourage combining research funding sources

The EU supports research and innovation activities through a range of programmes, including the Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) and Structural Funds. Now the European Commission is developing a guide to help researchers select the right programme for their activities and even combine funds from different sources. A draft version of the guide is now ready and the Commission is keen to receive feedback on the document from the research community.
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EU finance day for SMEs
Series of one-day events in 2008-2009

EU Finance Day for SMEs is a series of events in the Member States that the European Commission is organising to inform about the EU financial instruments for SMEs together with the national financial intermediaries that implement these instruments locally. The aim is to raise awareness about different sources of finance and provide a forum for sharing good practices in helping innovative SMEs get easier access to finance.
One-day events will be organised in all Member State capitals in 2008-2009. The launching event will take place in Ljubljana on Friday, 28 March 2008 under the auspices of the Slovenian Presidency .
A list of dates will be provided regularly on this site.

Vice President Verheugen launches Enterprise Europe Network, European business support at your doorstep

On the 7th of February European Commission Vice President Günter Verheugen launched Enterprise Europe Network, a new and powerful European support network for enterprises. All major players of the business support community in Europe have united to offer a one-stop service to assist especially small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop their full potential and innovative capacity. The Enterprise Europe Network includes more than 500 contact points for entrepreneurs in Europe. They provide a full range of support services in close proximity to SMEs covering the whole EU territory and going even beyond. Participants at the launch event included Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for Science and Research, Slovenian Minister of Economy Andrej Vizjak, the President of the Committee of Regions Luc Van den Brande and the President of the Group of Employers of the EESC Henri Malosse, Presidents of business organisations and representatives of SMEs.
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TUBITAK SME event

A conference entitled 'EU Research and Technology Development Programmes for SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises]' will take place in Istanbul, Turkey, on 14 and 15 February.
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EPSS is now open on CORDIS for FP7-SME-2008-1

Proposals for this call can now be submitted via EPSS
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Baltic Sea Region targets strong SME activity

The promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Baltic Sea Region has gained strength over the years. Getting in on this action is the EU, which recently inked a deal with ScanBalt — an instrumental network of networks seeking to put the ScanBalt BioRegion on the global meta-bioregion map — to spearhead the project Bridging Life Science Research and SMEs in the Baltic Sea Region – Putting Cluster Policies into Practise for the Benefit of SMEs (Bridge-BSR).
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European Commission promotes exchanges between industry and academia

Researchers gathered in Brussels on the 14 th of January to learn more about an FP7 Marie Curie scheme providing € 400 million between now and 2013 for staff exchanges between businesses and universities. The "Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways" scheme is particularly designed to involve small businesses, which make up the bulk of European companies, as it opens doors to using research results that can help them develop. The conference will showcase past successes of such industry/academia partnerships, examine the barriers that currently exist to such movement between public and private sectors and offer workshops to help participants design top quality research partnerships and make the most of any future contract under the scheme.
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EU research funding for industry

The Malta Federation of Industry (FOI) and the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST) held the 8th of January a well-attended seminar on EU Research Funding for Industry.Framework Programme 7 (FP7) is the key financial tool for supporting research and innovation at the European level to integrate Europe's research capacities, creating jobs and improving competitiveness in line with the Lisbon Agenda. The seminar aimed to promote more qualitative and effective participation in FP7 on industry's behalf.
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Slovenian Presidency wants further progress on Lisbon strategy

Efforts will be made to increase research and development (R&D), support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and create flexible labour markets.
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Two new executive agencies to manage European research

Two new agencies to manage projects funded under the EU's research framework programmes were created on 14 December. The European Research Council Executive Agency will help to manage the projects funded by the European Research Council (ERC), established under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). It will be responsible for around € 7 billion over the course of FP7 (2007 to 2013).
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The renewed Lisbon Growth and Jobs Strategy is working

The renewed Lisbon Growth and Jobs Strategy is working, but the EU must reform further to succeed in a globalised age, says key Commission Report Three years after it was relaunched in 2005, the Lisbon Growth and Jobs Strategy is working. That is the main conclusion of the Commission's Strategic Report on economic reform across Europe published in December 2007. The report demonstrates that the Lisbon Strategy is contributing to the recent much improved performance of the EU economy.

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Marie Curie plays fairy godmother to seal partnership

European funding has created an environment for the successful alliance of academia and industry. Unlike marriages, partnerships between academic institutions and IT companies are never made in heaven but some of the most successful are made in Brussels these days.
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€ 45 million for second Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways Call.

Conference 14 January 2008

The second call for proposals for the Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways funding programme has been published with a budget of € 45 million.
A one day conference is being held in Brussels on 14 January 2008. This conference is designed to enable applicants get the maximum benefit from their industry-academia collaboration and to help potential applicants understand the scheme better and prepare a high quality IAPP proposal.
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