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Máire Geoghegan Quinn

SME participation 'crucial', says new commissioner


Máire Geoghegan-Quinn is the newly appointed Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science; in January 2010 the Irish-born politician faced her first parliamentary hearing. Among the many issues raised by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) was the crucial importance of increasing funding to SMEs in EU-funding research to 15%. Here we take a look at the key points raised at the hearing and learn how Ms Geoghegan-Quinn hopes to resolve them to reach this ambitious target.

The new commissioner began by explaining her main aim while in office: 'If we want to take Europe out of the economic crisis, the EU must become a true innovation union that takes research and transfers it into jobs. My task will be to put research, innovation and science at the heart of EU policies.'


Ms Geoghegan-Quinn’s focus then moved to small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the need – which she described as 'crucial' – to raise SME funding in the framework programme to 15%.

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  • Lead Story:

    SME participation 'crucial', says new commissioner

    An overview of the opinions and targets of the new Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science as she faces her first parliamentary hearing.

  • Actions:

    SME participation leads to innovation

    Encouraging SME participation leads to 61% of all KBBE projects involving SMEs – how did they do it?

  • Points of View:

    The vital ingredient

    Encouraging growth and innovation in the food industry is another essential component in building a Knowledge Based Bio-Economy in Europe. A Netherlands-based programme is promoting innovation research in the EUR 50 billion Dutch food industry.

  • Success Story:

    Perfectly preserved – naturally

    SME-led research successfully removes the health risks of using chemical preservatives in food. The project focuses on Europe's favourite meat: the sausage.

  • Policy:

    SME finance workshop: step one in commercialising research

    New finance workshop provides practical advice and direct access to key financial and Commission contacts, enabling SMEs to get closer to commercialising research.

  • Events:

    Building knowledge and networks for SMEs

    Networking and matchmaking events and workshops for the SME community across Europe.

  • Facts & Figures:

    Recent research proposal results show 65% of participants are SMEs

    Here we look at the key targets for SME-related research and the most recent call for research evaluation results, which show that SME participation accounted for 65% of all participants.

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