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Facts & Figures:

More to be done to encourage SME participation

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SMEs are coming in higher numbers to FP7 than to any of the previous Framework Programmes. There is an overall increase in SME-relevant research topics, especially in the Life Sciences. The 75% funding rate available to SMEs and the overall simplification of FP7 itself are certainly contributing to attract more SMEs. Nevertheless, more can and should be done, since the budgetary target of 15% has not been reached yet.

Our first report on small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) participation in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) revealed that increasing numbers of SMEs were taking part in the programme's various themes compared with its immediate predecessor, FP6. The second report supported this, and showed that SMEs in FP7 were also receiving increased financial support for their participation versus those in FP6.

Now our third progress report on SME participation in FP7 reveals more information about the funding process to date, and the type of SME applying for Framework Programme funding.

Covering the Cooperation Programme, the Capacities Programme (with Research for the Benefit of SMEs), and the People Programme, the report has analysed more than 300 technical annexes from grant agreements. Sixty per cent of these signed agreements contain at least one SME participant.

The report shows that SMEs have already participated more than 6 000 times in projects financed during the first 2 years of FP7. Over 1 500 grant agreements have been signed to date. These SMEs will receive an estimated EUR 300 000 to EUR 350 000 each in funding for their participation.

Overview of adjusted SME participation and requested EU contribution

Research Projects SME Participations SME Requested EU Contribution
Grant agreements 14.7% 12.6%

The type of SME applying for funding