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Evaluation of SME Brokerage event

A total of 87 European SMEs, research institutes and universities were represented at a recent brokerage event focused on the EU's Agriculture and Fisheries research (FAIR) programme, held in Brussels, on 6 February 1998. The event, organized by the European Commission and the...

A total of 87 European SMEs, research institutes and universities were represented at a recent brokerage event focused on the EU's Agriculture and Fisheries research (FAIR) programme, held in Brussels, on 6 February 1998. The event, organized by the European Commission and the SME Focal Points network, with BIT-Austria as coordinator, aimed to provide SMEs with an opportunity to meet with potential project partners, in particular with a view to submitting proposals for CRAFT Cooperative Research actions within the FAIR programme. As with many brokerage events, meetings between prospective partners were pre-arranged on the basis of a participants' catalogue circulated to all registered participants in advance of the meeting. Over 300 meetings were held between participants in the afternoon session, which followed a number of presentations during the morning. These presentations included an outline of the Technology Stimulation Measures for SMEs within the Fourth RTD Framework Programme, and the work of the SME Focal Points network, as well as the experience of a successful applicant. As part of the follow-up to the event, the organizers distributed a questionnaire to all participants, of which 62 were returned. The overall response to the event was positive, with only three participants stating that they had definitely not found a partner. Sixteen participants (approximately 26%) had found a partner and were planning further meetings and/or the submission of a project. Of the remaining 43 participants who had not definitely found a partner, more than half (22) have already planned further meetings and/or the submission of a project. In view of the success of this event, similar events, in particular in the food sector, are planned in autumn 1998. These will introduce the plans for SME support in the field under the new Fifth RTD Framework Programme.

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6 February 1998
Belgium

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