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Facts & Figures:

More SMEs sign up for FP7.

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The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is designed to support a wide range of participants. Our second research report provides a breakdown of SME participants.

The second progress report on SME participation in FP7, with its primary focus on the Cooperation Programme, supports the initial findings of the first progress report that increasing numbers of SMEs are participating in the various themes of FP7 compared to FP6. In addition, SMEs in FP7 receive increased financial support for their participation versus those in FP6.

The Cooperation programme is that part of FP7 containing the themes, which are strategic areas for ongoing European research and development initiatives. In fact high research performing SMEs are particularly welcomed and to this end a target of 15 per cent of the overall Cooperation budget (worth EUR 32.29 billion) is being made available to SME participants.

As many of the themes have lengthy title descriptions, the more normal course of action is to refer to the various themes by their acronyms which are outlined in Figure 1 below.

Theme acronym Theme description
KBBE Food, agriculture, fisheries and biotechnology
ICT Information and communication technologies
NMP Nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials and production technologies
ENV Environment (including climate change)
TPT Transport (including aeronautics)
SSH Socio-economic sciences and the humanities
SPA Space
SEC Security
GA General activities annex iv

Figure 1: Acronym and description of the Cooperation programme themes

A breakdown of SMEs in evaluated proposals in the first calendar year of FP7 (2007) considered for contract negotiation (ie. main-listed proposals) indicates that SME participants by size category are to be found in the various themes of the Cooperation Programme as outlined in Figure 2 below. The SME definition categorises SMEs as: Micro <10 employees; Small <50 employees, and Medium <250 employees.

Figure 2: SMEs in Main-listed proposals

An examination of the first 732 signed contracts in the Cooperation programme indicates that SMEs received 13.2 per cent of the requested EU contribution. By taking the overall EU requested contribution by SMEs in main-listed proposals and breaking this figure down into its component parts, the themes in which SMEs are making the greatest breakthrough in terms of EU requested contribution are easy to determine from Figure 3 below.

Figure 3: EU requested contribution by SMEs