SMEs are increasingly being awarded funds from the European Union's Framework Programme 7 R&D budget. Image courtesy of: sxc.hu
The European Commission
has increased the amount of funding from its Framework Programme 7
R&D budget going to SMEs.
SMEs are in line to receive 15.3 percent of the total allocation of €16.3bn from the FP7 programme. This is well ahead of the original €2.4bn pledge made by the EC, which was allocated to almost 8,900 SMEs by January 2 2012.
The European Commission has delivered on its promise to increase the share of the Framework Programme 7 R&D budget going to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), according to figures released last week.
SME funding is likely to remain above 15 percent for the rest of this period of FP7, thereby meeting the European Commission’s commitment.
"The commitment to the 15 percent budget target for SMEs is a commitment to growth and jobs,” said Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. “We have now reached that target and will remain committed to it.”
As part of its commitment to SMEs, the EC has introduced key measures to encourage smaller firms to apply for FP7 funding, including ring-fenced budgets for SMEs and research topics that are relevant for SME markets.
In response to the increased funding available to SMEs, the EC has said it will strengthen these measures in order to further bolster uptake of FP7 funds by SMEs.
A report published by the European Commission, the 8th SME Progress Report
, found that 17.6 percent of participants in FP7 projects are from SMEs, while a further 10 percent of projects are coordinated by an SME.
On average, each SME taking FP7 funding participates in 1.6 different research projects, while € 774m and €167m goes directly to SMEs under the Capacities and People programme respectively.