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Boost AUTOmotive SMEs participation IN FP7

Final Report Summary - AUTO-IN (Boost AUTOmotive SMEs participation IN FP7)

The AUTO-IN project was a Specific Support Action (SSA) funded by the European Commission within the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). This initiative, implemented within a time scale of 14 months, from May 2006 until June 2007, aimed to increment the research and innovation potential in automotive SMEs, by providing instruments to the SMEs to take advantage of the European research opportunities to carry on their research and innovation projects.

To successfully achieve the AUTO-IN overall goal, the following support activities have been performed:
- 30 innovation audits have been performed to European SMEs, mostly in New member States and Candidate Countries in order to assess its innovation and research needs and provide specific assistance in their potential participation in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
- AUTO-IN has promoted the organisation of five international and technological clusters within the automotive sector and has supported them in preparing proposals to be submitted in the first calls of FP7.
- The several dissemination activities done within the project have allowed disseminating information about FP7 and AUTO-IN to more than 6 000 entities.
- An initial kick-off meeting, three workshops, four national seminar and one international event have been organised in the five participating countries and have counted with more than 300 attendants. Those activities have provided practical information in how to participate in FP7 and how to prepare a successful proposal besides disseminating overall information about FP7 and its advantages in supporting the research within the automotive industry to a broad audience beyond the participating organisations.
- During the whole project several public documents have been elaborated and published to assist the companies and the intermediaries in helping SMEs in their participation in FP7.
- The 'Manual to assist SMEs in FP7 participation' included the information more relevant for the SMEs to assist in the proposal elaboration. It has been based in the different AUTO-IN public deliverables elaborated within the project to help the SMEs and the partners in their assistance for the participation in FP7.
- The final report summarised the AUTO-IN methodology and describes the 10 main lessons learned within this initiative concerning the approach to the SMEs and the main obstacles for their participation in FP7.

More than 60 European entities, including 30 SMEs, have been involved in the FP7 projects elaborated within the AUTO-IN project. Most of those SMEs had no information about FP7 or the EU opportunities to fund research and Innovation ideas prior being contacted by the AUTO-IN consortium. The fact that those SMEs have agreed to cooperate at international level to develop their innovation and research projects is one of the main results of the AUTO-IN project.

The AUTO-IN activities have stimulated the generation of several innovative projects in the field of surface transport and have contributed to the competitiveness of the SMEs of the sector by assisting them in being more innovative.

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