Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Research Results for SMEs - IV

Funded under: FP5-INNOVATION-SME


Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are recognised as playing a crucial role for European competitiveness. They are very dynamic, and also very varied. This allows them to respond rapidly to the opportunities of changing markets, but they do not have an easy time.
The European single market has opened up new markets for all firms, which means that competition is becoming increasingly stiff. In a globalising world, innovation has become the fastest way to conquer new markets, and to maintain existing ones. Also, the knowledge base required for any single business is increasing rapidly: marble producers require expertise in new cutting techniques, whilst bicycle manufacturers need specialist knowledge in material science and solder technologies. As a result SMEs increasingly need to acquire new knowledge, to innovate and to internationalise their network of business partners.
Yet in today's world, these activities are becoming increasingly specialised and costly. That is why the European Union is encouraging SMEs to participate in its Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (RTD), which is an excellent instrument to realise all these objectives at the same time.

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