The main EU Programme known as Framework Programme 7 (FP7) is coming to an end and is to be followed by new programme known as Horizon 2020 starts in 2014, with opportunities to be announced in late 2013.
The Eurostars Programme is the first European funding and support programme to be specifically dedicated to SMEs. Eurostars is open to all sectors for funding applications on a continuous basis until 2013; in 2013 there was one Call which closed in April. The next call will be in early 2014.
EUREKA is a pan-European network for encouraging market-oriented, collaborative research and development (R&D) projects, which lead to the development of innovative products, processes or services. Projects can be in any technological area and there are no restrictions on project size, timing or length. It involves organisations from 38 European countries and the Commission of the European Union (EU). Funding for UK industry participation in EUREKA projects can either be ‘self-funded’ or through the Technology Strategy Board SMART Programme. The SMART single company scheme can be used to support UK SMEs in a EUREKA project.
The Marie Curie actions are part of the European Commission’s Framework Programme 7 (FP7) for European Research and Technological Development (2007-2013). They are implemented through the FP7 ‘People’ Programme and provide funding opportunities for international and inter-sectoral mobility and training at all stages of a researcher’s career.
While most of the Marie Curie Actions are open to organisations from all sectors, there are two schemes with open calls which particularly focus upon the involvement of commercial organisations, with the aim of encouraging inter-sectoral mobility, partnerships and knowledge transfer and broadening the skills-base and career options of researchers. These are the Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways scheme and the Initial Training Networks scheme.
Other International Programmes
The Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative [JTI] project was created by the European Commission for funding research in Europe to allow the implementation of ambitious and complex activities, including the validation of technologies at a high readiness level.
The air transport industry is paying a lot of attention to growing public concern about the environmental issues of air pollution, noise and climate change. This public-private partnership will speed up technological breakthrough developments and shorten the time to market for new solutions tested on Full Scale Demonstrators to significantly improve the impact of the air transport on the environment.
European Institute of Innovation and Technology
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology [EIT] is an initiative set up to meet the challenges of globalisation head on. The initiative, which aims to become a flagship for excellence in European innovation, will focus on strategic priority areas where the nature and scale of the innovation challenge requires action at EU level.
The EIT will effectively integrate the three sides of the ‘knowledge triangle’ – education, research and innovation – through partnerships between the private sector, research organisations and higher education institutions. These will be known as Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs).