SME participation in EU-funded research

On 16 Nov 2010, DG RTD published the 6th progress report on SME participation in FP7. The full report is available here.

According to this report there is hope that the 15% target of SME participation will be met before the end of FP7 in 2013: The EU contribution to SMEs in the Cooperation scheme sees a positive trend (15.4 % in 2010 as compared to 14.7% for the whole duration of FP7 so far). SMEs represent 35,4% of the participating entities in FP7 so far, which is the "highest single group participating in FP7".

The report of the recent FP7 interim evaluation (see for example the related SCIPROM news below), however, states that SMEs have a "success rate of only 17% compared to 20% for all applicants". "Most important, the participation rate of SMEs does not reflect the actual exploitation of results nor the global competitiveness of SMEs". And: “More attention should be paid to the quality and constructive engagement of SME participation rather than just widening it. In this way, the key role of SMEs as the bridge from pre-competitive research to innovation could be enhanced.”