25.01.2011 | Brussels, Belgium

Conference on the future of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme

The Conference on the future of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) „Ready to grow? Shaping future EU support for business” took place in Brussels, on 25th January 2010. As a part of public consultation process, the aim of the conference was to collect opinions of the future shape and perspective of the instruments supporting SMEs and Innovation.
The panelists of the Conference were: 

Mr. Heinz Zourek, Director General of Enterprise and Industry DG,
who underlined that the CIP as an EU instrument with its main achievements as Enterprise Europe Network, eco-innovation pilot and market replication projects, financial instruments, ICT-PSP and IEE has a significant role in that process. However, some improvements can be made, e.g. with regard to increasing the role of financial instruments, supporting services for SMEs going outside the European market and protecting the IPR rights. Additionally, in order to develop synergies between European programmes the Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI) should manage the part of the Framework Programme “Research for the benefits of SMEs”.

Dr. Paul Rübig, Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy in the European Parliament,
who pointed out several aspects as improvement of the financial infrastructure for SMEs including reduction of administrative burdens, constant development of new products and services, supporting research and market analysis as well as construction of friendly taxation system.

Dr. Anastasia Constantinou, Praxi/ Help-Forward Network,
who stressed the role of the Enterprise Europe Network as an essential tool for supporting SMEs The Network should be further develop in the direction of new services as e.g. supporting SMEs. going abroad, bringing new companies to Europe, simplifying procedures and burdens on main clients – small and medium seized enterprises. However, as long as third countries are not associated with the Programme, their companies cannot be considered as main partners for European SMEs.

Dr. Mark Rahn, UMIP Premier Fund,
who added that Europe needs increasing of commercial projects and support for high-tech companies. Public sector should be more included in the scheme of supporting the SMEs

Mr. Mark Schublin, Director of Mandate Management, European Investment Fund,
who highlighted the role of CIP financial instruments and its positive impact on the European SMEs. Especially, the guarantee schemes appeared to be successful. Additionally, complementarity between national public and private as well as European funds should be protected in order to avoid competition among the structural funds and framework programmes. To other fields of relevant importance belong: eco-innovation, energy efficiency, flexibility of investments guidelines, technology transfer as well as IPR protection.

During the debate on the podium, the panelists agreed on the following issues as potential significant elements of the future Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme:

  • support services for companies going outside the European market
  • reduction of administrative burdens on SMEs;
  • better IPR protection and fostering the implementation of the European Patent;
  • attracting foreign investments to Europe;
  • working on open innovation and supporting the technology transfer.

The audience rose following issues of the most importance:

  • The financial resources of the CIP are too limited. In order to increase
    the impact of the Programme on the European market, the future budget should be increased.
  • The mutual support of European programmes should be developed, e.g. if an excellent project falls under the CIP, the support from structural funds should be possible.
  • The future Programme should include more actions dedicated directly for SMEs; actions involving participation of consultants should be limited.
  • Brokerage events for companies taking part in the eco-innovation initiative are of an essential importance.
  • Financial instruments shall be more flexible and participation rules should be simplified.
  • The current ICT-PSP Programme is well structured, addresses the main problems and issues on the European market and should be maintained as an integral part of the CIP.
  • The eco-innovation scheme should be maintained and the budget should be increased.
  • European SMEs should have the opportunity to cooperate with entities from third countries.

The conference was concluded by Antonjo Tajani, Vice President of the European Commission, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, by underling the role of the CIP and its compliance with the priorities of the Strategy “Europe 2020”.

The Commissioner pointed out the areas to be improved in the future Programme:

  • better access to finance for SMEs
  • activities of the Enterprise Europe Network should be improved in the fields of providing innovative solutions and information on public tenders;
  • improvement services to protect IPR;
  • acceleration of market recovery and developing innovation.

The Commissioner mentioned selected activities already implemented and contributing to support of the SMEs and the European market, such as SME Financial Forum, involving stock exchanges into facilitation of access to finance as well as Directive on late payments.

In the conference participated the representatives of the IPPT PAN involved in the INCO NET EECA project: Zygmunt Krasiński and Katarzyna Walczyk-Matuszyk. On the occasion of the conference, the IPPT PAN had a meeting with a representative of the European Commission (DG Enterprise and Industry, Unit A1) and discussed the issues on further perspective of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) in the context of the EECA countries.

Further information: http://ec.europa.eu/cip/cip_conference/index_en.htm
Source: IPPT-PAN