The project PARTNERS FOR LIFE will substantially contribute to increase the successful participation of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SME) in the 1st Thematic Programme "Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources". Particular attention will be devoted to the SME Specific Measures to strengthening competitiveness of SMEs through utilising synergies with external research providers. The PARTNERS FOR LIFE consortium, including partners from 18 states, from an efficient platform of know-how, as well as experience in the SME Specific Measures. The main objectives of the project are assistance of relevant SMEs, screening of project ideas and technological needs, partner search, and detailed proposal preparation. Significant added value is expected in developing best practice procedures in "how to best approach SMEs", and in training activities targeted especially to partners in the Central and Eastern European states.