"This is a clear indication that SME Associations are getting to grips with the Research for SME Assocations scheme," said Bernd Reichert, Head of the SME Unit today. This scheme, under Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), allows SME Associations /Groupings to develop technical solutions to problems common to a large number of SMEs in a specific industrial sector or segments of the value chain, through research that could not be address by the Research for SMEs scheme. Project can for example aim to develop or conform to European norms and standards and to meet regulatory requirements in areas such as health, safety and environmental protection. The SME Associations can outsource (subcontract) the research to an RTD performer in order to acquire the necessary technological knowledge for their members. Projects must render a clear exploitation potential and economic benefits for the SME members of the associations involved. The dissemination and use of the results achieved will ensure that large communities of SMEs will indeed benefit economically, something which in today's economic crisis is a very positive move in the right direction.
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