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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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Latest Publications

(for previous publications on FP6 and SME update, see the publications archive) | More Research Publications at EU BOOKSHOP

Publication cover

Internationalisation of innovation in SMEs

The study features twelve case studies of innovative SMEs with insightful international activity and a comprehensive analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of European policy measures and infrastructure seeking to enhance such internationalisation.

It is the first study exploring explicitly and exclusively international cooperation in the field of innovation from a European SME perspective.

Final Evaluation of the Eurostars Joint Programme  PDF icon 3.7 MB

The results of the final evaluation of the first Eurostars Joint Programme (2008-2013) – a European funding and support scheme for R&D-performing SMEs wishing to exploit the benefits that come with international collaboration – show the initiative’s relevance for growth, employment and innovation in R&D-performing SMEs in Europe. The evaluation report also contains a series of recommendations on how to improve the governance and the managerial implementation of this Article 185 initiative.

Performance of SMEs within FP7 - An Interim Evaluation of FP7 Components  PDF icon 1.2 MB

The overall objective of this interim evaluation is to assess the relevance, efficiency and effectiveness of two FP7 initiatives (the Cooperation Programme and RSME) and their impacts on the participating SMEs and on society. This includes impacts on economic performance and innovation, European Added Value (EAV) and behavioural additionality.

Small and medium-sized enterprises

Between 2007 and 2013, more than 500 small- and medium-sized companies (SMEs) participated in EU-funded projects within the FP7 Activity 'Biotechnologies'. The successful results show that the European Commission’s efforts to provide the most favourable conditions possible to encourage SME involvement have paid off.

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Investing in European Success  PDF icon 2.1 MB

Empowering European SMEs to Innovate and Grow

To compete in the global economy of the 21st century the European Union is investing in research and innovation to boost jobs and growth.  Research and innovation contributes to making Europe a better place to live and work, improving Europe's competitiveness, future growth and ultimately job creation while tackling the main current and future societal challenges. The importance of SMEs both for the economy and society in this respect is illustrated by a sample of success stories that came out of past EU support programs for Research, Innovation and Technological Development, and is a source of inspiration for companies seeking EU support for Research and Innovation activities under Horizon 2020.

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SME Participation in FP7 (Updated figures June 2013)  PDF icon 1.2 MB

10th Progress Report on SME participation in the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) - June 2013

This present report is the tenth in a series of reports whose primary aim is to monitor the implementation of the target of 15% of EU Contribution in the Cooperation Programme to go to SMEs.

In addition to reporting on the 15% target of the Cooperation Programme, the report provides detailed data on SME participation across FP7.
The report shows that currently 16.9% of EU contribution in the Cooperation Programme goes to SMEs, way above the 15% target.

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SME Participation in FP7 (2007-2012)  PDF icon 1.6 MB

9th Progress Report on SME participation in the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) / 2007 - 30 September 2012
EU research funding for SMEs under FP7's Cooperation Programme beyond target and still on the rise

The report demonstrates that over 16,000 unique SMEs have benefited from various specific FP7 programmes.
The Commission up to September 30, 2012, registered over 11,000 SME participations to the Cooperation Programme alone.
SMEs have now received 16.3% of the Cooperation Programme's budget so far; this amounts to €2.9 billion of the total €18.6 billion spent.

The Parliament's and the Council's goal when establishing FP7 (2007-2013) was to allocate at least 15% of the budget of the Cooperation Programme to SMEs.

Executive summary  PDF icon 742 KB Full report  PDF icon 1.6 MB

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Research for SMEs: demonstration activity

Demonstration projects are aimed to prove (demonstrate) the viability of a new solution (itself a successful outcome of a Research for the Benefit of SMEs project) that offers a potential economic advantage but which cannot be directly commercialised as further technological or other developments are required. This leaflet gives an overview of the Demonstration Activity grants funded under the Research for the Benefit of SMEs scheme.

Leaflet  PDF icon 1.0 MB

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SME Participation in FP7 (2007-2011)  PDF icon 608 KB

EU research funding reaches 15% target for SMEs

The latest progress report by the Commission's DG Research & Innovation reveals that the budget target of 15% for funding to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) within the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7) has been reached.

This 15% goal had been set by the Parliament and Council when establishing FP7. Its implementation across the Themes of the Cooperation Programme of FP7 (2007-2013) is regularly monitored by DG Research & Innovation in the form of "SME Progress Reports in FP7". The eighth report, which has just been released, shows that during the first five years of FP7, the budget granted so far to SMEs in the Thematic priorities represents 15.3% of the Cooperation Programme budget. This equals € 2.4 billion allocated to almost 8.900 SME participations by 1 January 2012.

Executive summary  PDF icon 300 KB Full report  PDF icon 608 KB

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SME Participation in FP7 – Report Spring 2011  PDF icon 1.9 MB

This "Spring 2011" report analyses the situation of the FP7 Grant Agreements signed as of the 1st of April 2011.

Focusing on the SME participation in the Thematic Priorities, 1.779,7 M€, or 14,4% of the Cooperation budget, is going to SMEs.

For the 6.544 SME participations in Thematic Research Projects so far, the average EU contribution is 272.000€.
Over the full FP7 programme, including Research for the Benefit of SMEs and the Marie-Curie Actions, 10.127 of the participations are by SMEs, receiving an average EU contribution of 249.000€.

The Cooperation Programme still has 19.893 M€ available to spend (61,7% of the total budget in the remaining years of the Framework Programme, until 2013). From this remaining budget, 15,4% should go to SMEs in order to reach the 15% target for the whole period.

The SME strengthening measures for the Work Programmes 2011 are not yet visible in this report. The budgetary share of SMEs is forecasted to grow from the current 14,4 % to 15,7 % of the Cooperation Programme, slightly above the 15% target in the Framework Programme legislation.

As a specific feature, this report provides a more detailed analysis of the SME support by some of the Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs). Overall, 21% of the EU contribution to the JTIs goes to SMEs.

This report also includes maps with a regional analysis of the 15% target in signed Grant Agreements within the Cooperation Programme.  Tables with the core data per call and on regional participation are enclosed in the annexes of the full report. 

Executive summary  PDF icon 269 KB Full report  PDF icon 1.9 MB

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Eurostars Programme Interim Evaluation Report

The Interim Evaluation of the Eurostars Joint Programme was carried out by a Group of Independent Experts between July and December 2010 chaired by Anne Laperrouze, former Member of the European Parliament and Vice-Chair of the ITRE Committee. Eurostars is a partnership between the European Union with 27 Member States and 6 countries associated with the European Framework Programme for R&D.

The objective of the Eurostars programme is to support European R&D performing SMEs by:

  • Creating a sustainable European R&D support mechanism for R&D performing SMEs
  • Encouraging participating SMEs to create new economic activities based on R&D outcomes and bring new products, processes and services to the market faster than would be possible otherwise
  • Harmonising national R&D support programmes

The Programme is managed by the EUREKA Secretariat (ESE). The EU supports the Programme financially with an overall total of 100 Million Euros, which represents 25% of the overall contributions of the participating countries.

Eurostars Interim Evaluation  PDF icon 1.2 MB Commission communication  PDF icon 89 KB

  PDF icon 85 KB

SME participation in FP7 – Report Autumn 2010  PDF icon 3.5 MB

The primary aim of the report is to monitor the EU-contribution granted to SMEs in FP7 projects. This report examines the SME participation in the Seventh Framework Programme up to 1 October 2010.

Within the Cooperation Programme as a whole, 15% of the total budget should go to SMEs.
So far, 14.5% of the budget has been granted to SMEs.
In order to reach the 15% target, from now until the end of FP7 in 2013, on average 15.3% of the budget should go to SMEs.

Specific key figures for the ten Thematic Priorities of the Cooperation Programme:

  • 3 000 Grant Agreements for research projects within the FP7-Cooperation programme are signed
  • 33 000 participations, out of which 5 500 SMEs (16.7%)
  • €10 477 million EU contribution to the projects, 1 544 million for SMEs
  • Size of average consortium: 11 partners, including 1.8 SMEs


  • €6 billion is the expected EU-contribution for SMEs in FP7 (overall: "Cooperation", "Capacities" and "People")
  • At least 20 000 SMEs will benefit from FP7

The report highlights the SME participation per theme and per country for the Cooperation Programme, and the SME participation in the Capacities and the People Programmes. It also includes a regional analysis of the SME participation per region.

For the first time, the report includes a comprehensive analysis of the activity sectors represented in the Themes. All activity sectors are represented in all Themes. For instance, ICT companies play an important role in Themes such as TPT, NMP and SEC, as well as in the ICT Theme itself.

Executive summary  PDF icon 85 KB Full report  PDF icon 3.5 MB

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Impact assessment of the participation of SMEs in the "Themes" of FP5 and FP6, 2009
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The EU is fully aware of the importance of research to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and since the 1980's have encouraged them to participate in the "thematic" part of the EU's research framework programmes, offering them an excellent way to participate in research projects that lead to the development of new products or services. Projects funded under these parts of the programme address specific research priorities in fields such as health, environment and information and communications technology (ICT) for example. SMEs can take part in such "themes" if relevant to their area of expertise. This study focuses on SMEs that participate under the "thematic" programmes of FP5 and the "thematic" areas of FP6. It sheds new light on the role SMEs play in such projects and what social and economic impacts project participation has on the SMEs themselves. It reveals the reasons why SMEs embark on EU-funded projects, the skills they bring and the factors influencing the extent to which SMEs benefit from the projects. Crucially it highlights the need for the creation of an integrated SME strategy covering the entire framework programme.

English   PDF icon 3.4 MB
Full report  PDF icon 2.9 MB   English   PDF icon 2.9 MB

  PDF icon 2.7 MB

SME Participation in FP7 - Report Spring 2010   PDF icon 2.5 MB

The primary aim of the report is to monitor the EU-contribution granted to SMEs in FP7 projects. With the contracts signed before the 1 April, 14% goes to SMEs.
Further key figures as of the 1 April 2010:

• 2 500 Grant Agreements for research projects within the FP7-Cooperation programme are signed
• 28 100 participations, out of which 4 500 SMEs (16%)
• 8 800 million Euro EU contribution to the projects, 1.260 million for SMEs
• Size of average consortium: 11 partners, including 1.8 SMEs
• €80 000: Average EU-contribution per SME participation

Extrapolations show that:

• €5 billion is the expected EU-contribution for SMEs in FP7 Cooperation Programme
• 20 000 SMEs will benefit from FP7

The report highlights the SME participation per theme and per country for the Cooperation Programme, and the SME participation in the Capacities and the People Programmes. It also includes - for the first time - a regional analysis of the SME participation per region. 

English   PDF icon 2.7 MB
Full report  PDF icon 2.5 MB   English   PDF icon 2.5 MB

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Impact assessment of the SME-specific Measures FP5 and FP6, 2009  PDF icon 2.6 MB

Since the mid 1990s, the EU has run research programmes specifically designed for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), offering them an excellent way to participate in research projects that lead to the development of new products or services. Although the overarching aim of the SME-specific measures is to boost the companies' competitiveness, until now no one has assessed the social and economic impacts of project participation on the SMEs involved. This report summarises the findings of a major study of the social and economic impacts of the SME-specific measures under FP5 and FP6 on SMEs themselves. It reveals for the first time the long-term economic impacts of these programmes on the SMEs involved, and also sets out recommendations for the programmes' improvement: the overall aim is to better meet the needs of Europe's growing SME community.
This study focuses exclusively on the SME-specific measures. A second study, due to be released later in 2010, investigates the impacts on participating SMEs of involvement in projects supported under other parts of the EU's research framework programmes.

English   PDF icon 2.6 MB Full report  PDF icon 1.0 MB   English   PDF icon 1.0 MB

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Guide to the Successful Use & Dissemination of Research Results   PDF icon 2.4 MB

USEandDIFFUSE is co-financed by the European Commission DG Research under the 7-th Framework Programme. The Strategic Objective of the USEandDIFFUSE project is to enhance the dissemination and exploitation of research results and facilitate the exchange of best practices in this area. They have produced a guide packed with helpful information advice, quotes and real-life examples from SMEs that participated in 24 Best Practice projects. You should find this useful during your own project when you start planning for the use and dissemination of the results.

English   PDF icon 2.4 MB

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SME Participation in FP7 Report - Autumn 2009  PDF icon 903 KB

The aim of this report is to monitor the participation of SMEs in the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7). The Commission is required to pay special attention to the funding for SMEs under the Cooperation Programme. "The aim will be to enable at least 15% of the funding available under the "Cooperation" part of the programme to go to SMEs."
This Report includes an analysis of SME participation rates across the themes of the Cooperation Programme and of the EC contribution to SMEs in FP7 Grant Agreements (GAs) signed before 1 October 2009.
In addition it includes key figures from the Capacities Programme: Research for the benefit of SMEs and from the PEOPLE Programme: Marie Curie Industry Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP) and the Marie Curie Initial Training Networks (ITN).

English   PDF icon 903 KB Full report  PDF icon 1.8 MB   English   PDF icon 1.8 MB

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SME Participation in FP7 Report - Spring 2009  PDF icon 4.6 MB

Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) are important contributors to the successful implementation of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) of the European Commission. SMEs collaborate with universities, research institutes and large enterprises as part of their innovation strategy. This leaflet provides some key figures which illustrate the overall achievements of SMEs two and a half years into FP7. It shows that SMEs are rightfully claiming a share of the benefits offered by FP7 but that there is still potential for further engagement.

English   PDF icon 4.6 MB Full report  PDF icon 835 KB   English   PDF icon 835 KB


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Research can help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop new products and services or improve existing ones, yet few SMEs have the funds or manpower to carry out research themselves. The European Union is encouraging SMEs to participate in the Framework Programme for Research to help them meet their research needs. Projects financed under this research outsourcing scheme provide the SMEs involved with an excellent opportunity to improve their competitiveness by developing innovative products and services that put them at the cutting edge of their respective sectors.
This folder features the results of 20 successful projects from the Co-operative Research scheme for SMEs that were funded by the EU under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), which ran from 2002 to 2006. They cover fields as diverse as energy, agriculture, communications, the environment, medicine and music.
In addition to new products and increased sales, the SMEs involved in these projects report that participating in an EU-funded research project enhanced their reputation, opened up new markets and provided them with strong links with both research institutes and companies across Europe. This programme has been continued under FP7 and is now called "Research for the benefit of SMEs".

English   PDF icon 7.9 MB

Innovation in motion
Paris - Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th September 2008

In the context of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, OSEO and the French Ministry for the Economy, Industry and Employment are jointly organising a two-day debate on how to consolidate the role of SMEs in European research, development and innovation programmes.
A catalogue was produced to highlight a selection of successful European SMEs whose innovation projects have had a considerable economic impact due to Europe-oriented corporate strategies and to the various European support mechanisms these companies have benefited from.
It contains 30 company presentations of research and innovation Projects, the European programmes in which they have participated, together with the financial and technical support mechanisms that they have benefited from, at regional, national or European level.

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Practical guide to EU funding opportunities for research and innovation
• Are you a researcher with an idea for a research or innovation project?
• Do you need to upgrade the skills or the capacity of your research organisation?
• Are you an entrepreneur who would like to undertake research and innovation activities?
• Are you already engaged in commercial innovation activities whether or not arising from
research and development?
• Are you a cluster manager who seeks to internationalise a cluster and make it more
• Are you a regional innovation policy-maker, information officer or research programme
manager and want to exchange good practices with your peers from other EU Member
There may well be funding opportunities available at EU level that can help you implement
your plans. The objective of this guide is to explain how to get to relevant information on
funding opportunities ("getting through the maze") and make the best use of the possibilities
offered by individual instruments or their combination.

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The Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) which ran from 2002 to 2006
offered innovative small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with good research ideas but no research facilities the possibility to outsource their research to research performers via two specific schemes devoted exclusively to the needs of SMEs: Co-operative Research and Collective Research. This catalogue contains all 473 projects funded under both schemes.

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SMEs keep local -go international. Opportunities for transnational research
The first source of funding for transnational research projects is offered through the Community Seventh Framework Programme for research (FP7). New additional opportunities are now being developed through the coordination of national and regional funding programmes, with the support of FP7 funding. This will mutually reinforce these Programmes and help SMEs to access transnational research via their established national and regional partner agencies. Some of the most important initiatives are presented in this publication.

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SMEs in Marie Curie
Transferring cutting-edge Science and Technology from creative Academic groups to SMEs is a key element for successful business. Well trained, entrepreneurial-minded and mobile researchers are key to this successful collaboration. This is why the two Marie Curie actions (IAPP and ITN) are promoting SME-Academic collaborations focusing on giving researchers the adequate skills and opportunities to contribute to SME growth. This brochure explains how SMEs can exploit this research potential.
Available in 6 languages:
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Research for SMEs and Research for SME Associations at a glance
These are two dedicated initiatives to strengthen the innovation capacities of SMEs by providing the support they need to outsource research critical to their core business. This brochure conveniently spells out how these initiatives are designed and explains in plain terms how the funding model works in practice. If you are an SME, this publication will aid you in your proposal preparation as you submit your application for funding. In addition to this guide, the European Commission’s SME TechWeb hosts a user friendly spreadsheet that instantly calculates the EC’s estimated contribution to your project.
Available in 6 languages:
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SMEs in FP7: A Hands-on Guide
FP7 provides financial support for transnational research for and by SMEs wishing to innovate and improve their competitiveness, by enhancing their investment in research activities to acquire new knowledge for growth in Europe’s knowledge-based economy. Four specific Programmes comprise the major building blocks of FP7, three of which have direct relevance for SMEs. These are: the Cooperation Programme which will promote collaborative research; the People Programme which will develop human potential; and the Capacities Programme which will strengthen research capacity.
This publication is designed as a step-by-step guide showing SMEs exactly where and how they can obtain funding to help their businesses grow.
Available in 6 languages:
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Supporting SME - Participation in Research Framework Programmes
While the architects of the EU´s Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) were firmly committed to large-scale research collaboration as the means to achieve breakthrough results, they also retained a strong awareness of the need to support the involvement of SMEs. As well as allocating substantial funds for SME-specific measures, the European Commission made a considerable effort to encourage across-the-board participation of the smaller enterprises that are seen as dynamic drivers of competitiveness and job creation in Europe. Despite this, some problems still remained unresolved. These were addressed by special actions introduced during the lifetime of FP6, resulting in an increase in SME requests for funding. The experience gained offered some useful lessons, which have been applied to good effect in making FP7 even more SME friendly.
Available in 6 languages:
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Special FP7 edition
including: European Union - USA - China - Japan - Russia - Enterprise -Research Centre.
Special feature under Enterprise on SMEs in European funded projects see "Right on track" and "Oceans: the final frontier"


The SineQuaNet project, through the combined efforts of ESA (European Space Agency) and the European Commission, specifically addresses often prohibitive factors that discourage SMEs' full participation in the space sector. It connects engineering firms with the necessary experts who can help them succeed in tapping the potential of the space sector.
Available in English  PDF icon 379 KB only

"FP6 Horizontal Activities involving SMEs. Final summary". This booklet is designed to provide a statistical overview of FP6 Co-operative and Collective Research Projects
Available in English  PDF icon 2.5 MB only

The European Commission places great importance on the continued success and vitality of SMEs. Under FP6, three funding schemes were tailored to fit their needs: Co-operative Research (CRAFT), Collective Research and Economic and Technological Intelligence (ETI). To gain insight into the effects these schemes have upon SMEs and research institutions, the Research DG commissioned an impact assessment spanning several Framework Programmes. This is the first time such an appraisal of SME specific schemes has been conducted, giving us the opportunity to examine in detail the benefits SMEs derive from the funding models, as well as those areas requiring improvement, ensuring that SMEs needs are being duly met at European level.
Available in English  PDF icon 1.5 MB only

FP7 provides financial support to innovative SMEs investing in the acquisition of new knowledge from RTD providers to improve their competitiveness.  This leaflet gives a short overview of the Research for SMEs scheme

Available in 6 languages:
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FP7 provides financial support to innovative SMEs, via Associations or groups of SMEs acting on their behalf, investing in the acquisition of new knowledge from RTD providers to improve their competitiveness. This leaflet gives a short overview of the Research for SME Association scheme

Available in 6 languages:
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