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Review of 2008:

Encouraging competition

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Currently in the outsourcing schemes, the funding success rate is running at one in six but, according to Reichert, success is not being measured solely against the number of the proposals: 'This is very important because it shows were operating a highly competitive programme which is what it should be. Im much more interested in increasing quality rather than hitting numbers. We want to make sure that the proposals were getting make a real impact for the SMEs and the SME Associations. I want to see how we have helped SMEs succeed in new markets,' he says.

Reichert is expecting to see significant economic data to support this in the programmes' assessments to be published in 2009. These should reveal the true picture of the progress the SME unit has made so far. 'We are going to use the results of this report to make a critical evaluation of what weve been doing,' he says.