On 13 April 1994, the Commission adopted a proposal for a new four-year programme (1995-1998) of support for projects demonstrating and disseminating information about new, clean and efficient ways of using and producing energy (THERMIE II). This new programme proposed by Mr. Abel Matutes, Commissioner responsible for Energy and Transport, will run in parallel to the energy-specific programme within the Fourth Framework Programme for RTD and will support the initial research, development and demonstration of new energy-related technologies. The proposed new programme will help ensure that new energy-related technologies developed across Europe can be given a real chance of penetrating the market both in the European Union and in third countries. It will improve the dissemination of information about new technologies, whether developed by EU Member States or by Industry. Commissioner Matutes stressed that the new programme would help bridge the crucial gap between the initial development and demonstration of a new process or equipment and its wider acceptance and eventual commercial use. This will benefit not only the Union's energy objectives, but also the competitiveness of European industry, particularly small and medium sized companies (SMEs) and the environment. The Commission proposes to allocate for the first year (1995) ECU 30 million to such activities. Funding for each subsequent year will be decided later. This will complete the funding of energy demonstration activities already covered by the Fourth Framework Programme RTD. The first call for tender for companies applying for support under the programme will take place before the end of 1994.