The target for research funding to SMEs set by the beginning of FP7 programme has been reached

According to Commission's ninth report on SME participation in FP7, the target initially set by the European Parliament and the Council on research funding granted to European SMEs has been reached. The report highlights that SMEs have received around €2.9 billion from Cooperation Program.

By the end of September 2012 there were already more than 11000 SMEs that have benefited from funding projects through the Cooperation Specific Programme of the Seventh Framework Programme. This success is largely due to the increase and improvement of actions taken in favour of SMEs under the two most recent work programs.

Among the specific actions which are behind this success are measure such as the selection of topics with particular interest for SMEs or the creating of budgets reserved for SMEs within some calls for proposals. The sectors where this success has been particularly relevant include health, environment, agriculture and fisheries as well as biotechnology and socio-economic sciences and humanities.

According to the results put forward by the report, there was a higher participation by SMEs coming from newer member states. These data also show that there is a direct relationship between the actions implemented and a successful SME participation in research projects. The report of SME participation in the Seventh Framework Programme confirms that the 15% target originally set by the European Parliament and the Council has been already fulfilled.