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What is the Innovation Relay Centre (IRC) Network?

The Network of IRCs (Innovation Relay Centres) has been set up by the European Commission's INNOVATION/SMEs Programme - DGXIII/D - to promote Innovation and Technology transfer.

Each IRC is its region's window on European innovation, helping companies and research organisations transfer technologies and access the EU's research programmes in a transnational framework.

What are the benefits to SMEs?

Each Innovation Relay Centre is staffed by professionals with experience in business and technology. They can help SMEs:

  • Because they have in-depth knowledge of the technology needs of local industry - especially Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.

  • Because they have been evaluated as the best resource for advising organisations on technology transfer, innovation and related business questions.

  • Because they have in-depth knowledge of the European Union Research and Technology Programmes.

  • Consequently, the main benefit to SMEs is improved information flow.

  • Moreover, network of IRCs helps information and contacts flow in two directions. Outward - from your organisation to interested partners of buyers for your technologies; and inward-toward you from the Centres in other European regions.

What are the benefits to financiers?

Financiers often have questions they must answer before they invest in a project. For example:

  • Are there organisations in Europe interested in purchasing or licensing technologies that my project has developed?

  • Have interesting technologies been developed in countries that my project can license for use in our markets?

  • What EU Research Programmes exist and how can my project participate in them?

Therefore, by improving the flow of information and understanding to financiers the likelihood of them investing is greater.

More information:

See: the IRC homepage on CORDIS.


Back to top Last Updated: 09-01-2002
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