European Union supports research activities of RTD performers who carry research for the benefit of SMEs even though the SMEs themselves do not have a research potential. The European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme provides funding for SMEs and also SME associations representing the interests of SMEs to participate in research projects along with other stakeholders making research for the benefit of SMEs in order to strengthen the innovation capacity of the SMEs, and paved the way for technological development by outsourcing research in the first hand. Currently the EC calls for research projects for the benefit of SME associations and groupings. The deadline for first stage project submission is 18th December, 2008.
The European Union puts special emphasis on the SMEs. Therefore, it supports the actions to increase their access to technological know-how and develop their research potential. To this end the European Commission has opened the FP7-SME-2008-2 call for proposals for ‘Research for SME Association’ on the3rd of September, 2008. The call is open to all research fields that will be carried out for SME associations representing the SMEs. The budget of the fund is 78.55 million €. The initial project proposals which include the essential aspects of the project will be submitted to the European Commission on 18thDecember, 2008 at the latest. In case of success, a detailed proposal document will be submitted by May, 2009 for the second stage.
Who can Benefit from the Funds?
In order to present a project, you should form a consortium of partners consisting of at least 3 SME association/grouping established in 3 member states or associate countries, or 1 European SME association/grouping established in a member state or an associate country. This association/grouping must be made up of a minimum of 3 independent legal entities established in 3 member states or associate countries. Besides the SME associations there should be at least 2 participants who must be RTD performers (having the capacity to carry out research at the request of the association/grouping such as universities, research centers or research performing SMEs). Moreover, at least 2 participants must be SMEs (other enterprises or end-users) established in 2 member states or associate countries.
Support to Studies on European SME Research Actions
The Commission has also opened another call for proposals which will support studies on regional, national, European SME research support programmes and actions. The Commission will fund the studies which aim to have comprehensive insight in the programmes and initiatives supporting the research of or for SMEs. The projects submitted will address the current research implementation modalities used by national, regional or local initiatives. The budget for this call, FP7-SME-2009-1, is 4 million €. At least one legal entity in member states or associated countries will apply for funding under this area until 27thJanuary, 2009.
You can follow the details of the calls from: