Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Commission seeks to renew Innovation Relay Centres network

The European Commission, DG XIII, has launched a call for proposals for members of the Innovation Relay Centres network throughout the EU and the countries associated to the Fifth Framework Programme. The IRCs network is part of the 'Innovation and participation of SMEs' programme under the Fifth RTD Framework Programme and exists to promote trans-national technology transfer, promote exploitation of Community research and to stimulate the capacity of firms to adopt new technologies.

Under this call, the Commission is seeking organisations or consortia who are able to carry out these activities in a specific geographical area proposed by themselves. Individual IRCs selected following this call will be expected to contribute to the activities of the overall IRCs network and to cooperate with other networks, in particular the network of National Contact Points which exists to promote FP5 in general. The Commission envisages supporting around 65 to 70 IRCs covering up to 30 countries in the EU and among the associated states.

The scope of the IRCs is to:

- Promote the trans-national technology transfer of technologies, whatever their origin, in accordance with the needs of the local industrial, economic and social fabric;
- Promote the trans-national dissemination and exploitation of the results of Community research, including notably those identified by the innovation units of the thematic programmes as suitable for third party exploitation and for Eureka;
- Stimulate the capacity of firms to adopt new technologies by establishing their needs and ability for trans-national cooperation and partnerships between them;
- Promote common trans-national innovation initiatives of European regions as well as support schemes in priority areas of the Innovation-SMEs programme i.e. innovation finance, start-up companies, etc.
- Provide information on the innovation actions of FP5.

Initially contracts will be concluded with IRCs for two years, with a target launch date of 1 April 2000. Following a mid-term review, contracts could be extended for a further two years. The Commission has allocated a budget of 30 million euro for the first two years of IRC operations.

An information day for potential respondents to this call will be held in Luxembourg, on 2 July 1999. Further information may be found on the CORDIS Web service, at:

http://cordis.europa.eu/innovation-smes/src/info-day.htm

All the information necessary to respond to this call may be obtained from the CORDIS Web server, at:

http://cordis.europa.eu/innovation-smes/calls/199903.htm

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