Minutes of the European Parliament recently published in the Official Journal (sitting of 24.5.1993) include a written question on "Centres for the promotion of Community RTD" followed by a reply given on behalf of the Commission by Mr. Bangemann, Vice-President of the European Commission whose portfolios include Directorates-General III and XIII. Question No 164/93, published in Official Journal No C 264 of 29.9.1993 states firstly that there is a wide ignorance about the Commission's activities in the area of dissemination and exploitation of the results of Community research, technological development and demonstration. It goes on to ask what general information and guidelines can the Commission provide in order to publicize these activities and the facilities for access by small and medium-sized enterprises (SME's)? In reply, Mr. Bangemann points out that measures to disseminate and exploit the results of Community research concerning the Third Framework Programme of Community activities are implemented through the specific programmes and by means of centralized action: - The specific programmes ensure that knowledge gained is disseminated among their contractors and organize a variety of activities including specialist conferences which are attended by large numbers of participants; - The centralized action (VALUE) is chiefly concerned with setting up a European infrastrucure for disseminating knowledge and research results. This comprises an electronic information service (CORDIS) consisting of eight databases and, since the start of 1993, a network of 27 Relay Centres throughout the Member States; - The centralized action is also concerned with providing specialized services including the publication of scientific reports and literature (about 800 publications a year) and helping protect and exploit the results of Community research, which primarily benefits SMEs; - Besides using the infrastructure set up for publicizing Community RTD activities and results, firms (particularly SMEs) can have access to the information provided by the network of 210 Euro Info Centres throughout the Community. This includes a sub-network specializing in matters relating to research and innovation; In order to publicise its activities, the Commission takes part in specialist exhibitions, organizes conferences, seminars and other events designed to raise public awareness, distributes brochures, leaflets, etc. and regularly publishes a bulletin entitled "Innovation and Technology Transfer". Mr. Bangemann concluded that the Commission intends to step up its publicity campaigns in the future. It also considers that the effectiveness of its action would be multiplied if there were a network of relay centres made up of national bodies responsible for dissemination and exploiting results. SMEs in particular would thus have easier access to the benefits of Community RTD.
Policy making and guidelines
15 September 1993