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Report of the Belgian Presidency of EUREKA

The Belgian Presidency of EUREKA, which ran from July 1995 to June 1996, has recently published a report of its activities and achievements.

EUREKA is a European initiative which supports RTD projects in advanced technologies, with particular emphasis on projects which are cl...
The Belgian Presidency of EUREKA, which ran from July 1995 to June 1996, has recently published a report of its activities and achievements.

EUREKA is a European initiative which supports RTD projects in advanced technologies, with particular emphasis on projects which are close to the market. Launched in 1995, EUREKA membership now includes some 24 countries and the European Commission.

In addition to hosting the tenth anniversary celebrations of EUREKA, the Belgian Presidency placed particular importance during the year on the adoption of the Third Medium Term Plan. This plan, which was adopted in June 1996, defines the objectives of EUREKA up to the year 2000 and actions for strengthening the initiative.

Seven key themes are outlined in the Third Medium Term Plan:

- Increase the attraction of EUREKA for enterprises and industry, and improve the quality of EUREKA projects;
- Launch large-scale projects which will contribute to European competitiveness;
- Improve the financing possibilities of EUREKA projects;
- Increase synergies between EUREKA, EU RTD programmes and other European RTD initiatives;
- Integrate the Central and Eastern European countries more fully in EUREKA;
- Improve the opening of EUREKA to worldwide collaboration;
- Stimulate dialogue between EUREKA members, industry and scientists; and increase awareness of EUREKA.

The Belgian Presidency encouraged Ministers from the member countries to sign the "Declaration of Brussels" at the launch of the new Medium Term Plan, which will give additional political weight to the development of EUREKA.

During Belgium's Presidency, a total of 156 new projects were launched under the EUREKA umbrella. Representing a total cost of ECU 2.7 billion, these new launches show the continuing attractions of the EUREKA initiative to industry. In particular, SMEs accounted for a growing number of participants in these new EUREKA projects.

A number of new initiatives were launched during the Belgian Presidency. These included the EUREKA World Wide Web site, new methods of evaluation of projects, and new tools for assisting participants based on the experiences of participants in earlier EUREKA projects.
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