Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Previous programme


Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 109 million

Official Journal Reference

L 112 of 1989-04-25

Legislative Reference

89/286/CEE of 1989-04-17
To promote innovation and technology transfer by strengthening the innovative capacity of European producers with a view to the 1992 single market, by fostering the rapid penetration of new technologies and the dissemination of innovation throughout the Community economy, and by enhancing the effectiveness and coherence of existing instruments and policies in this field, whether regional, national or Community-derived.


The programme is not included in the Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (1987-1991), although it is closely linked with it.

Implementation of the preceding 1983-1988 SPRINT programme showed the need for additional Community measures in the field of innovation and technology transfer, particularly with a view to achieving the internal market by the end of 1992. The measures adopted are intended to stimulate the innovative capacity of companies and to promote the rapid application of new technologies as soon as they become available.

Innovation - with its main instrument, technology transfer - training, research and demonstration are all interdependent, innovation being the final stage in the technological development process. The Community has incorporated initiatives to support innovation and technology transfer as important elements in the implementation of other Community policies.


Three lines of action:

- Strengthening the European infrastructure for innovation services:
. Strengthening intra-Community networks for innovation:
The consolidation and development of existing networks, the formation of new networks, strengthening intra-Community cooperation at research/industry and university/industry interfaces and between technopoles and science parks, and the introduction of linkage mechanisms between the various networks;
. Network support measures:
Actions of information, awareness, promotion and the transfer of know-how in innovation management, specific instruments to enhance the effectiveness of networks, and the launching of innovations emerging from networks;

- Supporting specific projects for intra-Community innovation transfer:
. Transnational projects emphasizing industrial cooperation and involving the application of generic technologies;
. Accompanying measures to heighten awareness of these technologies and to train companies adopting them;
. The provision of technical support for companies, especially SMEs, able to use these technologies;
. Support for the effective execution of projects;

- Improving the innovation environment:
. European Innovation Monitoring System;
. Strengthening concertation between the Member States and the Commission.


The Commission, assisted by the Committee on Innovation and the Transfer of Technology (CIT) composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by the Commission representative, is responsible for implementing the programme. As a general rule, the Commission implements the programme by way of calls for proposals. Eligible projects, other than studies and services, must involve at least two participants from different Member States.

The Community's financial contribution is adapted to the characteristics of the specific case and may take the form of a direct or indirect subsidy, an advance on own capital or any other appropriate form.

The Commission's co-contractors must, as a general rule, except in the case of studies and services provided for by the Commission, bear the major share of financing and at least 50% of the total cost. However, in exceptional cases, a Community contribution in excess of that percentage is not excluded, particularly in order to take account of the specific difficulties of participating in transnational activities encountered by regions where development is lagging or which are in industrial decline.

The Commission ensures close coordination between the SPRINT programme and related or complementary Community initiatives, whether under way or in preparation, in order to avoid any overlapping, particularly as regards the VALUE programme. It uses instruments and bodies active within the framework of other Community policies, in particular regional policy, in order to reinforce the efficiency of the programme and overall coherence.
Finally, it disseminates information throughout the Community on action taken under the programme.

After 30 months the Commission will assess the results achieved and submit a report to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee. A final report will subsequently be submitted.
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