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New initiative provides support for Life Sciences oriented Companies - "SMEs go LifeSciences" successfully started!

SMEs go LifeSciences is targeted to foster the cooperation between companies and research organisations in the area of Life Sciences. It supports the successful participation of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and SME groupings in the Life Sciences related areas of the 6th Framework Programme (FP6).

SMEs go LifeSciences´ objective is to raise the number and quality of involvement of SMEs and SME groupings in Life Sciences related projects of FP6. The initiative focuses on capacity building and training of SMEs and researchers as well as support activities for consortium building and matchmaking for SMEs and researchers preparing EU project proposals. Within the following 3 years, Europe wide 2500 Life Sciences related companies will be contacted, informed and trained on topics like IPR issues, EU project management and financial aspects of EU projects. The project addresses also researchers from universities or research organisations preparing a project proposal with SME partners or acting as project participants. Advise and training on proposal writing, identification and involvement of SMEs, financial and legal issues will be offered. 160 national training events and 6 transnational training sessions will be organised. A series of real and virtual brokerage events and the establishment of a high quality database with SME profiles will create the basis for efficient match making between SMEs and research consortia. Thus SMEs go LifeSciences will provide the main European platform both for SMEs to present their expertise as well as for research consortia to identify high quality and well trained companies ready to participate in EU research projects. Networking with incubators and biovalleys as well as close cooperation with Biotech Entrepreneurial Networks like Europabio are further major elements of the project. With the official start being 1st March 2004, SMEs go LifeSciences was launched during the kick-off meeting in Warsaw, 25th-27th March, 2004. Coordinated by the Austrian BIT, Bureau for International Research and Technology Cooperation, a unique consortium of 28 institutions from 26 countries will ensure the success of the project. SMEs go LifeSciences is the follower project of the previous Partners for Life project, which achieved highly satisfying results: 90,000 contacts to SMEs were established and 435 proposals were submitted to the 5th Framework Programme. The project is targeted on the 15% goal of SME participation in the thematic priorities of the 6th EU Framework Programme. Particular attention will be devoted to the integration of SMEs/SME groupings in Integrated Projects and Networks of Excellence. For further information please contact the coordinator:,BIT - Bureau for International Research and Technology Cooperation,Birgit Steininger (e-mail:,Sabine Herlitschka (e-mail:


SMEs, SME groupings, Biovalleys, Incubators