The VALUE Relay Service is a dedicated network of 27 advisory centres (VRCs) throughout the Member States, bringing Community research and development activities closer to its clients. Now fully operational, its objective is to ensure that the Community RTD programmes (ESPRIT, BRITE/EURAM, BRIDGE, etc) are used more effectively to make European companies and research institutions more competitive. The VALUE Relay Service does this by promoting the dissemination and exploitation of results generated by EC research programmes, and by facilitating participation in the programmes themselves. VALUE Relay Centres are hosted by a national organization expert in the dissemination and exploitation of research results and in Community RTD activities. VRCs across Europe work closely together to provide an up-to-date, specialist information and advisory service which is not easily obtainable through other public channels. This service is available prior to participation in specific programmes, throughout the duration of an EC research project, and for the subsequent exploitation period. VRCs also work closely with other RTD support organizations in their region, for example industrial federations, innovation centres, licensing organizations, technology marketing agencies, venture capital companies and technology transfer brokers. Operating at the interface of all Community RTD programmes, this VALUE service is well placed to ensure the flow of information between the Commission and those who wish to benefit from Community research. Since the beginning of 1993, thirteen of the 27 VRCs have been officially launched while the remainder have scheduled official opening events for summer and autumn this year. The inaugurations have seen the participation of top representatives from National Governments and the Commission, including National Ministers for RTD and Industry, the Presidents of national RTD networks, the Commissioner for RTD, Mr A. Ruberti, the Deputy Director General of DG XIII, Mr. V. Parajon-Collada, and the Director of DG XIII, Unit D, Dr. A. Strub, together with key decision makers from local and regional industry. The launchings of the VRCs have also attracted a remarkable affluence of SMEs expressing keen interest in the initiative.