SME still demonstrate a low rate of participation in EU RTD programmes. European Business and Innovation Centres (BICs) can play a significant role to alleviate this issue. Their core mission is to support the creation and development of innovative enterprises through the provision of support services to coach the innovation process of existing firms and develop new innovative activities. This proposal aims to rely on BICs to foster SME participation in FP5. Results and lessons drawn from this project will be reported and diffused to a large range of SME support instruments. Given the high number of BICs involved in this project (34), the number of SMEs involved will be high: 2,550 SMEs informed and trained; 680 innovative projects identified, evaluated and/or audited; 85 project proposals submitted in FP5.