3.2.2012 klo 12:47

EU Research and Innovation Framework Programme 2014-2020 (Horizon 2020)


UEAPME has asked its members views on the new Framework Program

General remarks

It’s a clear strength that Horizon 2020 is a new kind of framework program, not a copy of the past. Naturally, our primary interest is how the program can serve
micro- and small enterprises (companies with less than 20-persons).

Horizon 2020 covers the whole research and innovation funding. It replaces the
previous programs, such as FP 7 and CIP. The Commission has identified six
key knowledge-intensive technologies, called KET. The challenge is to find ways
to keep the jobs in EU. To succeed a strong involvement of SMEs is needed.

Horizon 2020 is aimed to simplify the financial systems and to reduce
bureaucracy. This is a significant challenge, in light of how much criticism there
has been concerning bureaucracy in the previous program.

– In these programs the EU’s bureaucracy in not the only challenge. Also the domestic bureaucracy is a huge problem for the companies. Both should be reduced.

– The program focused on bio-and nanotechnology and the ITC. The development of services is a horizontal theme and should be fully recognized in the Horizon 2020.

SMEs in their own program

The SBIR (Small Business Innovation and Research) is the part of the program
that is dedicated for smaller companies. The Commission’s proposal does not
show very clearly how the SBIR is going to be implemented.

– The SBIR’s will cover the entire chain of innovation in product or service development funding and marketing.

Attention should be played to the following things concerning SMEs.

– The Commission considers the ’European Enterprise Network ”(EEN), to be a key pillar in the implementation process (as well as in the Cosme-program). We consider that this network still remains unknown and must be created a lot to be able to fulfill the mission given by the Commission. A close cooperation with the enterprise and business organizations is required.
– There should be a target for business involvement. Quantitative and qualitative evaluation is needed as part of the monitoring arrangements. The follow-up should pay attention to micro and small business participation.

– Research projects are typically long-lasting. Short-term participation should be possible for SMEs.

Horizon program management

Program management between the DG Enterprise and DG Research must be
clearer. Innovation and practical research in SMEs should be managed by DG
Enterprise.The situation now, between these two DG’s, causes confusion.

– The research projects in small companies are very result-orientated. The result is required as quickly as possible. There is a huge difference in attitude between the research world and enterprises. The terminology is also very different.

– Intermediaries are needed for small enterprises to take part in research projects.

SMEs on financing

– It remains unclear how the proposed risk-sharing financial instruments works.

– The financing to enterprises from the projects is very post-oriented.

– Coordination with Cosme is essential. Clear rules how to participate in Horizon and in Cosme are needed.

– Cross boarder financing is required.

Federation of Finnish Enterprises

Thomas Palmgren
International affairs