Future economic growth in Europe is dependent on developing conditions in which small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can flourish. In June 2000, the General Affairs Council adopted a European Charter for SMEs, setting out the actions necessary to allow them to succeed.
The Joint Research Centre's Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) has found that corporate spin-off companies are more likely to succeed than university-based start-ups. This assessment provides valuable pointers for policy-makers wishing to improve universities' spin-off performance.
Research is vital as a source of innovation, but depends on sufficient numbers of both scientists and teachers. Events held throughout Europe during European Science and Technology Week were designed to raise public awareness of the contribution science is making to society.