Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP5

Framework Programme V, SME Participation, April 1999-April 2001

Funded under: FP5

Abstract

SMEs are the cornerstone of Europe's competitive position and job creation. They form a dynamic and heterogeneous community which is confronted by many challenges. These include increased competition resulting from the completion of the European internal market and the growing demands of larger companies for which they often work as subcontractors.
To meet these challenges and to remain competitive, SMEs need constantly to innovate. Among other things, this means developing new technologies in-house or gaining access to them. Besides this, many SMEs both need and want to internationalize in search of new markets and business opportunities. The EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development is an excellent instrument to realize both objectives at the same time. SMEs are increasingly realizing this, and more than 9,000 of them participated in the first two years of the Fifth Framework Programme (1998-2002). They received a financial EU support of 1,2 billion ¿. As such, the objective of Framework Programme V to spend at least 10% of the budget on SMEs has been reached at midterm. The high level of SME participation is largely due to the SME Specific Measures which the EU has set up to facilitate SME participation

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