Supporting research and innovation in SMEs through Horizon 2020
Innovation in SMEs is essential for supporting economic recovery, job creation and the development of sustainable business models.
However, limited resources, lack of information or other barriers often prevent SMEs from participating in EU research and innovation programmes.
The €70bn Horizon 2020 EU investment programme in research and innovation should increase SMEs involvement and participation at all levels and provide them with the type of support they need, including simple procedures, access to seed funding for start-up companies, access to bank loans or private equity investments, mentoring and coaching services, and access to R&D networks and clusters (interconnected businesses, research organisations and academia active in a particular field)
What was the Greens' position?
The Greens supported a target of at least 20% of the Horizon 2020 overall budget going to SMEs through increased participation in large collaborative research projects, stronger involvement in European joint technology initiatives, but also by allocating half of this amount to a dedicated SME Instrument for projects where SME are in the driving seat. This SME Instrument would build on the success of the previous Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (2007-2013) in particular the eco-innovation programme.
Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?
The Greens have been the leading force driving a majority in the European Parliament and fight in the Council to ensure that €2.7bn are earmarked for a dedicated SME Instrument, beyond a generic target for increasing SMEs participation in the programme.
Which points did the Greens lose?
The Greens wanted a larger budget for the SME Instrument. The €2.7bn allocated correspond to what was allocated in previous programmes (2006-2013) and had to be ripped from the hands of the European Commission and the Council, who were willing to reduce it. This demonstrates the enormous gap that exists between the discourse of these two institutions - supposedly in favour of SMEs - and their policy decisions, generally much more in favour of larger firms.
Procedure:Ordinary legislative procedure
Lead MEP:Teresa Riera Madurell (S&D)
Green MEP responsible:Philippe Lamberts
Staff contact:Camilla Bursi (Email)
Outcome of the vote
Below you find the results of the final vote in plenary. How did the political groups vote? What about national delegations? And what was the position of your MEP?