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Focus on Europe - CRAFT - R and D funding for small companies


Connect, no. 101, July/August 1999, p.3

A major funding programme (CRAFT) has just been announced by the European Commission (EC) for support of R&Dmp;D projects undertaken by small companies.

Overall, more than £1bn (Euro 1.5bn) is available as part of the Framework 5 Programme which covers 1999-2002. (See Nov/Dec 1998 issue of Connect for details).

The EC will cover up to 50% of project costs for 1-2 year projects of up to £1.3m (Euro 2m) total cost. The remaining 50% of the costs can be met by in-kind contributions of work or materials from the project partners.

Additionally, the EC offers Exploratory Awards of up to £23 000 (Euro 30 000) to support the costs of preparing the proposal. At least three SMEs (small or medium enterprises) must be involved in any project from at least two EU member states and the major part of the R&Dmp;D must be performed by suitable providers (R&Tmp;T organisations, universities etc).

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Projects should focus on solving particular problems requiring innovation thereby generating new products and markets for the participating SMEs. All sectors of industry are covered, including electronics, automotive, aerospace, healthcare, energy, etc. For example, TWI is currently conducting research for the following CRAFT projects:

  • Suppression and absorption of EMI in electronic packages
  • Development and validation of NDT for butt fusion joints in polyethylene pipe (water and gas
  • Performance specification for orthotic devices
  • Development of corrosion resistant coatings by High Velocity OxyFuel (HVOF) spraying
  • Pierce riveting and hybrid rivet/adhesive joining techniques for the mass production (automotive) industries
  • Control of flaws in arc and laser fusion welds using a top face sensor system

The next deadline for proposals to the EC is 15 September 1999. They then occur at 3-5 monthly intervals until 2002.

 HVOF spraying of corrosion resistant coatings for a CRAFT project. The results will benefit the petrochemical, offshore and papermaking industries.
HVOF spraying of corrosion resistant coatings for a CRAFT project. The results will benefit the petrochemical, offshore and papermaking industries.

Any company wishing to discuss the suitability of a topic for submission and details of proposal procedure and content should contact contactus@twi.co.uk.

For more information please email:


contactus@twi.co.uk