Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Programme funding

EUR 100 million

Official Journal Reference

C 33 of 1991-02-08

Legislative Reference

To support efforts to create or strengthen calibration and metrology services that will enable businesses and laboratories in Objective 1 regions to have access to or possess facilities and services needed to comply with technical quality standards, and to prepare small and medium-sized enterprises in these regions for the opening-up of public procurements and for the suppression of measures within the meaning of Article 115 of the EEC Treaty.


At its meeting on 25 January 1991, the Commission of the European Communities decided to establish a Community initiative (PRISMA) concerning improvements in the range of services offered to enterprises within the meaning of Article 11 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 4253/88 (Official Journal No L 374 of 31.12.1988). The main aim of PRISMA is to help enterprises in Objective 1 regions adapt to the completion of the internal market so that they can benefit fully from the opportunities which arise. An essential feature of the initiative is the promotion of a policy of quality assurance in the enterprises concerned.


Eligible measures:

- Creation and strengthening of structures for calibration and metrology and related services for the benefit of enterprises:
. Creation or modernization of installations for testing laboratories (premises and equipment);
. Expenditure related to the control, by accredited bodies, of technical equipment in testing laboratories and enterprises;
. Start-up costs for accreditation bodies for calibration and metrology laboratories;
. Consultation fees paid by businesses with a view to adjusting their production methods so that their products conform to Community policy on certification and quality assurance;

- Technical assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs):
. Operating expenditure and facilities for local bodies whose aim it is to set up or develop services relating to public procurement;
. Aids to SMEs for costs related to cooperation with other firms in the field of public tenders, registration and admission to lists of qualified tenderers, translation and other costs related to a response to public tenders outside the area where the firms are located;
. Other aids designed to improve competitivity specifically directed towards SMEs located in Objective 1 regions and in sectors for which safeguards are presently authorized under Article 115 of the EEC Treaty.


The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the initiative.

The operational programmes under this initiative are jointly financed by the Member State and the Community. Loans from the European Investment Bank may also be made available. On the basis of an initial experience, the Commission will examine at the appropriate time a possible prolongation of measures financed under this initiative in areas eligible for assistance after 1993.

The amount of the Community's contribution to the operational programmes depends on their quality and the needs of the regions taking into account the additional facilities and services needed to enable the region's industry to participate fully in the internal market. In evaluating the quality of the programmes, the Commission takes into account their contribution to the development of the region in question, the expected efficiency of the implementation, monitoring and evaluation procedures and the additionality of financial resources available compared to those presently foreseen in the Community Support Frameworks for related purposes, and other national spending in the fields concerned.

In the preparation stage, the Commission offered the necessary technical assistance to ensure that the priorities proposed in the programme reflected a proper evaluation of requirements. At the implementation stage, monitoring of the programmes involves selecting and implementing individual projects in accordance with procedures jointly agreed between the Commission and the Member State concerned. Where appropriate, funding is disbursed through a global grant to one or more intermediaries with the necessary expertise, designated for that purpose by the responsible authorities in each Member State in agreement with the Commission.
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