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).