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Turning knowledge
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In our Review of 2008, head of the Directorate’s T.4 SME unit – Dr Bernd Reichert - reviews the progress that has been made to fund SMEs under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). Taking part in FP7 opens the door for an SME to become involved in ambitious, leading-edge projects.

The first source of funding for transnational research projects is offered through the Community FP7. However, our Actions section reports on how the information exchange and collaboration network - CORNET - and EraSME projects represent an alternative funding route, increasing the opportunities for SMEs to enter into transnational R&D cooperation with other organisations via their national and regional funding programmes.

The new Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) is made up from a collection of professional business support organisations. As well as promoting entrepreneurship, it can also provide an array of services to SMEs throughout Europe via 500-plus contact points. Points of View talks to one of the first business support organisations to sign up to the EEN - the Dijon, France-based CRCI Bourgogne.

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In Success Story, Marie Curie Industry and Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP) funding is helping research fellows from Trinity College Dublin’s Sigmedia Group and staff from London-based SME, The Foundry, to extend their collaborative research into image processing processes and applications used for special effects in Hollywood.

National Contact Points have always played a central role in helping SMEs take part in European R&D Framework Programmes, acting as a liaison between the European Commission and SMEs at a national and regional level, therefore facilitating access to EU-funded RTD programmes. In Policy Update, the European Commission’s new TransCoSME project should improve the way high quality research activities are coordinated for SMEs.

For Events, we’ve put together details of a range of research conferences and seminars, all of which are geared towards valuable networking, information gathering and getting support for your projects.

And in Facts & Figures, 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 FP6.

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Calls for Proposals

Title  Specific calls for SMEs
Title  General open calls
  • Review of 2008:

    SME funding focuses on quality rather than hitting numbers

    New client-oriented network could boost local support

  • Actions:

    Transnational opportunities for SMEs

    CORNET II and EraSME² move ahead

  • Points of View:

    New one-stop support service for Europe’s SMEs

    554 host companies and even more contact points sign up to Enterprise
    Europe Network

  • Success Story:

    Marie Curie funds Academy Award-winning duo

    IAPP supports Hollywood special effects company and its academic partner

  • Policy Update:

    NCP network gets a facelift

    Big improvements planned to help SMEs

  • Events:

    Conferences, exhibitions and seminars for SMEs

    BrainNet Europe and NTTS, among others

  • Facts & Figures:

    Research highlights

    Second report confirms popularity of FP7

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This online newsletter includes news, results, policy and points of view covering all areas of European research for SMEs. If there is anything in it you'd like more information about, then do let us know. Because we want to see what you have to say on each issue, and on research for SMEs in general, a web forum is available to register your comments and ideas for future topics to be covered.