Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


In the European aeronautics sector, big players dominate, but alongside the well-known names are thousands of smaller companies, often at the cutting edge of innovation but facing serious problems accessing and benefiting from pan-European research programmes.
Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a central role in the European economy. They are a major source of entrepreneurial skills, innovation and employment. In the enlarged European Union of 27 countries, some 23 million SMEs provide around 75 million jobs and represent 99% of all enterprises. However, SMEs are often confronted with market imperfections. They frequently have difficulties in obtaining capital or credit, particularly in the start-up phase. Their restricted resources may also reduce access to new technologies. For all of these reasons, targeted support for SMEs has become a major EU priority.
Carrying out aerospace research is widely recognised as a difficult and high-risk endeavour, even for the sector�s biggest players. The task is even greater for small companies with only a fraction of the financial resources of the big spenders. The payoff for such research often comes only after many years of effort and expenditure. Long lead times, high costs and the preference of big companies to deal with tried and tested suppliers, all tend to work against small companies and newcomers. The marked consolidation within the sector is another factor that can squeeze out small fi rms. Yet, in spite of all this, aeronautics SMEs are getting on with their work. This brochure presents just a few of Europe�s shining examples � SMEs providing real contributions in the field of aeronautics. Make no mistake � as key partners in major research initiatives or as project leaders in their own rights, SMEs are helping Europe to define its priorities and tackle its most pressing issues, leading the way to a new and better air transport future.

Additional information

Authors: No Author stated, European Commission, DG Research, Brussels (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2007, 12 pp. free of charge
Availability: Katalogue Number: KI-77-07-147-EN-C The paper version can be ordered online and the PDF version downloaded at:
ISBN: ISBN: 978-92-79-05073-2
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