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AeroSME V
Support for European Aeronautical SMEs

Background

The project addresses the needs of aeronautical SMEs, which showed a low participation in previous framework programmes. At the instigation of the industry and with the active support of the EC, the AeroSME project was started to address this issue. AeroSME informs and supports SMEs interested in joining European technology projects. It is in the interest of SMEs, the Aeronautics industry and the EU to support smaller enterprises since their economic and strategic importance is well recognised.

Project objectives

1. To support aeronautical SMEs in advancing their technology base and their competitiveness through participation in European R&T projects to improve and maintain the competitiveness of the European aeronautical supply chain.

2. To promote SME participation in the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) calls by providing the necessary supporting and information services.

3. To stimulate international co-operation by supporting and coordinating a reliable network between SMEs, industry, research institutes, universities and other entities.

4. To support the aerospace sector of the new Member States in joining the European aerospace community.

5. To stimulate the exchange of information and views among the various tiers of the supply chain by providing a communication platform, not only for SMEs but also for large enterprises and research organisations which usually have little direct access to the SME community. This will facilitate the dissemination and exploitation of the project results.



Description of the work

AeroSME is coordinated by ASD, the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (formerly AECMA), which represents the aerospace industry in Europe in all matters of common interest. Due to the privileged communication channels with large companies (represented in the Industrial Management Groups – IMG4), research establishments, universities, national and regional associations, AeroSME provides a proactive interface between SMEs and aeronautics-related bodies and represents a point of reference for SME issues. The coverage of all 32 countries associated with FP6 ensures a truly pan-European approach.

Through tailored services such as the helpdesk, the website, the SME database and the newsletters, the project improves the communication within the aerospace industry and provides SMEs with the information and individual consulting support that is required. Specific actions are undertaken in co-operation with IMG4 to facilitate the integration of SMEs in IPs and the set up of SME-led STREPs. Workshops for aeronautic SMEs are organised to raise awareness on European research issues and the industry’s future needs, as well as facilitating contacts with large companies in the supply chain. A very pro-active approach is applied in the new Member States and Candidate Countries. Finally, AeroSME, based on an analysis of the SME role in FP6 projects, provides an overview of SME research needs and an evaluation of the FP6 instruments in order to propose recommendations and guidelines for future actions.

Expected results

Along with other EC supporting actions, AeroSME will aim to increase the percentage participation of SMEs in FP6. It will provide a ‘one stop shop’ for inquiries on both EU research and supply chain issues, also ensuring an impartial approach that is not linked to national or commercial interests. The relationship with IMG4 will facilitate the access of SMEs to information on research strategies and proposal preparation activities, which are not usually available to smaller companies.

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