The aim Research for the benefit of SMEs is to strengthen the 'innovation capacity' of small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe and their contribution to the development of new technology based products and markets.
The programme will help them outsource research, increase their research efforts, extend their networks, better exploit research results and acquire technological know-how, bridging the gap between research and innovation.
To achieve the objectives of 'Research for the benefit of SMEs', the following three groups of indirect actions will be implemented:
- Supporting SMEs outsourcing research activities
- Developing and coordinating support to SMEs at national level
- Support measures
The EU Member States have earmarked a total of € 1336 million for funding SME research support over the duration of FP7.
The call for aplications has not been published yet, but it will most propably be open from the 30th of July to the 3rd of December.