Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


SMEs in FP6 Sharing in Europe's future

Funded under: FP6


EU Framework Programmes for research offer SMEs a fast track towards the knowledge economy by expanding their international networks and their ability to respond effectively to market developments and increasing global competition. Enterprise per se but especially SMEs must become more flexible in the manner in which they respond to paradigm shifts in technology and demand. They must be able to innovate constantly in order to remain competitive.
SMEs represent more than 99% of Europe's 25 million private businesses, ranging from specialist high-technology companies to conventional firms in traditional sectors. They account for two-thirds of the EU's GDP and two-thirds of its employment, generating half of all its new jobs. Among them are the nimble, innovative and entrepreneurial firms that have the greatest potential for rapid growth and knowledge transfer between sectors and regions.
SMEs are therefore primary targets of, and essential partners in the EU's current strategy for knowledge creation and growth as outlined in the Lisbon agenda. A central component of this strategy is the Sixth Research Framework Programme (FP6), and the many opportunities it offers SMEs are presented herein.
This brochure explains how SMEs can become involved in research initiatives, describes the dedicated assistance available to help them do so, and provides examples of the variety of ways in which SMEs and their trade associations are already benefiting from their participation.

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