The European Commission has published an independent report on the final evaluation of the SPRINT programme (strategic programme for innovation and technology transfer, 1989-1994). The SPRINT programme's objectives were as follows: - To strengthen the innovative capacity of European producers; - To promote rapid penetration by new technologies and the dissemination of innovation throughout the Community; - To enhance the effectiveness and coherence of existing instruments and policies in the field of innovation and technology transfer. With an overall budget of ECU 113 million for the five-year period, SPRINT activities were concentrated in three main areas: - Development of innovation support services, and the corresponding European infrastructure; - Demonstration of intra-Community technology transfer and technology acquisition; - Improvement of knowledge on the innovation process. The evaluation panel gave a positive report on the SPRINT programme. They felt that, given the limited resources, the programme had pursued the objectives effectively, and that the programme corresponded well to the needs of an innovation programme. The panel underlined the importance of innovation in future Community policies, and the value to SMEs in particular of European initiatives in the innovation and technology transfer process.