The European Parliament has adopted the first “Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme” (CIP). Between 2007 and 2013, some 350,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will receive € 3.6 billion in EU support to invest in all forms of innovation and growth.
The new programme will support actions to help enterprises and industry to innovate. It will also boost energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, environmental technologies and a better use of information and communication technology (ICT). The final adoption in Council will follow in the coming weeks.
The CIP has the following objectives:
- to foster the competitiveness of enterprises, in particular SMEs;
- to promote all forms of innovation including eco-innovation;
- to accelerate the development of a sustainable, competitive, innovative and inclusive Information Society;
- to promote energy efficiency and new and renewable energy sources in all sectors including transport
Whilst eco-innovation will be a transversal theme of the whole programme, CIP is composed of three specific programmes:
- Start up and growth of SMEs: the “Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme” with a budget of € 2.17 billion including € 430 million to promote eco-innovation, will facilitate SMEs access to finance, better integrate the existing networks of business support services (EuroInfoCentres and Innovation Relay Centres) and support innovation activities (INNOVA, Pro-Inno etc). More than € 1 billion will be devoted to boosting the highly successful financial instruments managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF), which co-invest in venture capital funds (covering early stage and expansion stage), and provide co-guarantees on loans.
- Information and communication technologies: the “ICT Policy Support Programme”, with a budget of € 730 million, will contribute to competitiveness, growth and jobs through stimulating a wider adoption and more efficient take up and better use of ICT. In particular, it will include support for pilot actions using innovative ICT-based services of public interest; for the development of digital content and for enhancing the security of, and trust and confidence in, ICT and its applications.
- Increased use of renewable energy and reduced energy consumption the “Intelligent Energy-Europe Programme” with a budget of € 730 million will support energy efficiency, new and renewable energy sources, and technological solution to reduce greenhouse gas emission cause by the transport sector.