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The European Commission has decided on the 13th of June to dedicate 77million euros more to help SME innovation. The initiative, called I4MS -Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs, will stand as a pilot project for Horizon 2020 and is expected to encourage European companies to integrate ICTs in their production processes. It is also meant to support them in the launching of related innovation projects.
The European Commission's objective is to 'translate research leadership into productivity gains and increased competitiveness of the EU’s products and industrial actors.' According to the Commission’s Vice President Neelie Kroes. The decision follows a recent agenda shift that set the investment in new technologies and innovation as 'the top priority in the EU's industrial policy strategy.' The projects will start in July and will benefit over 200 European SMEs and back up around 150 innovative projects.
The European Commission reiterates the vital role of Pan European networks such as EUREKA in the running of the programme, as those provide knowledge and support for partnering beyond national borders. SMEs are encouraged to send their application for funding as soon as the call for experiments is opened by these centers.