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Facts & Figures:

More measures needed to reach SME grants target in FP7

Facts & Figures

The 5th Progress Report on small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) participation in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) reveals that within the Cooperation Programme as a whole, 14.1% of the budget (EUR 1.2 billion) has been granted to SMEs - the EU's overall target is 15%. Securing the 15% can be achieved but only if additional measures are taken. One way of doing this is by launching further SME dedicated calls. Such measures are predicted to increase the SME share of the budget for the projects in the calls for 2011, and would bring us closer to the EU target of 15%.

'This report is highly encouraging and shows that SMEs across Europe are receiving more funding than ever,' says Dr Bernd Reichert, head of the SME unit. 'But we can always do more and to reach the 15% we must take action. So, we are putting in place further SME dedicated calls for 2011 and working on new draft programmes that put emphasis on SME targeted actions in work programmes. In this way, we aim to attract a higher proportion of SME participation and provide the most amount of funding to SMEs yet.'

Here's a look at some of the key figures and findings from the report:

EU contribution by theme

This progress report includes an analysis of SME participation rates across each of the 10 themes within the Cooperation Programme. The report found that themes vary greatly in terms of participation by SMEs - see Graph 1.

Graph 1: The share of the EU Contribution going to SMEs, for each theme within the Cooperation Programme


  • 2 526 signed grant agreements;
  • 28 079 participants;
  • 4 497 SME participants;
  • 3 675 unique SME participants;
  • 16% of all participants are SMEs;
  • 70% of the Signed Grant Agreements has at least 1 SME participant;
  • 17%: average success rate from application to funding for SMEs;
  • 10.4% of all coordinators are SMEs - see Graph 2.
  • 1.8: the average number of SMEs in consortia - see Graph 3.

Graph 2: SME Coordinators of projects, per theme

Graph 3: Average number of participants per project per theme


  • EUR 32.2 billion: total foreseen budget for FP7;
  • EUR 8.7 billion: EU contribution to all participants;
  • EUR 1.262 billion: EU contribution to SMEs;
  • 14.1% of EU contribution granted to SMEs ;
  • EUR 314 117: average EU contribution per participant;
  • EUR 274 847: average EU contribution per SME participant.

SME participation by theme

The progress report found that themes vary greatly in terms of budget dedicated to SMEs - see Graph 4 - and participating SMEs per country - see Graph 5.

Graph 4: Average EU contribution, per participation

Graph 5: Participating SMEs per country - Top 10 of Third Countries. Distribution over the themes

Regional Analysis

For the first time ever, the 5th SME Progress Report includes a regional analysis of the 15% target in signed Grant Agreements within the Cooperation Programme, as well as a detailed analysis of the participation of SMEs per region in the main programmes of FP7 i.e. Capacities and People.

A key finding is that participating SMEs are concentrated in certain regions; around 30% of participating SMEs are based in 15 of the 305 regions. Furthermore, half of the 305 Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS)-level 2 Regions in the Member States and Associated Countries reach the 15% target - see Map 1.

Map 1: Cooperation Programme - FP7. Regional analysis of the 15% target in signed contracts as of 31 March 2010