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Services for CollaboRative SMEs Aerospace Technical research


Since early 99, aeronautical SMEs beneficiate from the free support of the SCRATCH methodology through successive stimulation actions funded by the EC. Since then, 5000 SMEs have been directly contacted, 450 have been audited and 160 research expressed interests have been collected. SCRATCH has serviced 64 SME proposals submitted to FP5 and FP6 aeronautics calls, out of which 28 have led to funded projects, demonstrating the efficiency of the SCRATCH approach to the benefit of SMEs technological acquisition in Aeronautics.

Project objectives

  • Inform the widest possible number of European SMEs within the aeronautics supply chain about the research funding mechanisms offered by the EC Framework Programme (FP) and provide these SMEs with new opportunities of Technology Acquisition through the submission of STREP proposals to FP6 aeronautics calls.
  • Audit candidate SMEs, in order to help them structuring their corporate research plan and identifying jointly the technology acquisition themes able to be acquired through a collaborative RTD project (STREP) within the FP6 Aerospace Programme.
  • Set up a list of short-term, product oriented, research needs expressed by Aerospace SMEs and identify possible STREP proposals to be submitted to forthcoming FP6 Aeronautics calls.
  • Service at least 15 aeronautics SME-led STREP proposals, helping the initial consortium in the definition, preparation and submission of its proposal.
  • Enrich the European Aerospace SMEs data base, in cooperation with ASD and the AeroSME project.
  • To undertake investigations dealing with aerospace SMEs needs and capabilities in view of the Framework Programme 7 preparation.

Description of the work

SCRATCH approach focuses on 4 main activities:

  • Awareness Campaign: Through a wide information action, a large number of Aerospace SMEs within 20 European countries (Member States or Associated Countries) will be informed about:
    • the opportunities offered by the 6th FP to fund collaborative research activities and
    • about the service offered by SCRATCH to help SMEs to express their technology acquisition needs and prepare a STREP proposal when appropriate.
  • Audit of European Aerospace SMEs: Companies having expressed their interest during the awareness campaign are audited and invited to express their technology acquisition needs.
  • SMEs expressed RTD needs: The technology acquisition needs expressed by European Aerospace SMEs are collected and analysed (taking into account the coordination capabilities of the initiating SME), in order to identify possible the aeronautics SME-led STREP proposals to be submitted to FP6 Aeronautics calls.
  • Project Proposals Servicing: SCRATCH partners will support candidate STREP proposals through all the preparation stages from project definition to proposal submission, including partners search, advice on management and work plan organisation, guidance on proposal quality improvement, support on administrative and legal issues, …)

The support offered to SMEs by SCRATCH partners build upon the already long experience of the project core team. This experience will be summarized during the current project phase in an handbook on "Implementation of quality guidelines in SME support activities". It will allow implementing in a structured way at each stage of the SCRATCH support (SMEs’ audits, candidate proposals selection, proposals servicing, …) the best practices and the quality guidelines acquired by the consortium.

Expected results

  • 4000 SMEs will be contacted by mail in the sixteen countries directly covered by the SCRATCH Partnership, forums will be organized in cooperation with AECMA AeroSME.
  • 200 SMEs will be audited.
  • 50 expressed ideas of RTD coming from SMEs must be collected.
  • 15 collaborative RTD STREPs coordinated by SMEs and serviced by SCRATCH partners will be submitted to FP6 aeronautics calls.