Over 800 industrialists, scientists and policy makers were present at the inauguration by Vice President Pandolfi (CEC) of the BRITE/EURAM Conference and Exhibition in Seville on 25 May 1992. VP Pandolfi stressed the mastery of innovation as the key to European industrial competitiveness, underlining the special importance of the Conference in terms of evolution of the BRITE/EURAM programme and Community response to the needs and challenges of industrial research in Europe. He expressed pleasure at results obtained in encouraging the practical development of advanced techniques of manufacturing and processing, and emphasised the need for an integrated approach in industrial research, taking account of the whole cycle of innovation, as the bringing together of technology producers and users is vital to productivity improvement. He pointed out that the first ESPRIT projects have now reached the stage of exploitation of results, and that BRITE/EURAM is without doubt the best tool for their application to the needs of European manufacturing industries. Vice President Pandolfi also emphasized BRITE/EURAM's real and potential impact on the role in innovation played by SMEs, and proposed the creation of a European Fund to help SMEs through the stage separating research from the market.