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Fueling SME’s (small medium enterprises) has topped the European Commission’s R&D agenda recently. This month, the Commission adopted EUROSTARS, a new joint programme to finance R&D-performing SMEs across the EU 27. Through this programme, European countries will pool national programmes for research funding of SMEs, encouraging scientific integration, financial integration, and ultimately better decision making and management in research output.
This effort has received some serious financial backing, with the European Commission investing 100 million Euro and the FP7 countries contributing and extra 400 million over 6 years. Private funds may pump the budget of the project to 800 million Euro.
EUROSTARS will invite multi-partner multinational projects, led by SMEs but also engaging universities, research organisations and larger companies. It will be managed by the EUREKA secretariat in Brussels, a decentralised network that supports market-oriented R&D and innovation across 38 countries.