Commission discusses COSME programme with ITRE
On Monday, 17 November 2014, the European Commission discussed the implementation of the COSME programme with ITRE, the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. COSME stands for Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. It has a €2.3 billion budget for 2014-2020, of which €246 million have already been spent. COSME provides support to small and medium-sized enterprises which otherwise would not receive funding from banks, as well as information portals and a help desk.
SMEs make up more than 99% of the total of EU businesses and provide two thirds of EU private sector jobs. Thus the European Commission has launched the COSME programme to facilitate SME access to finance and markets and improve their competitiveness and entrepreneurial spirit.
During the discussion at the ITRE meeting, MEPs welcomed the COSME programme, for instance as a means of helping SMEs to become more international. However, MEPs also raised some questions and concerns, stressing, for example, the paramount importance of job creation, or the importance of having equivalent programmes at national level in the member states.
Support for high-potential SME research and innovation is also provided under the dedicated Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. It offers business innovation support within the Societal Challenges pillar and the specific part Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies (LEITs), and provides about € 3 billion of funding over the period 2014-2020..
For more information see
Horizon 2020 SME Instrument: http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/h2020-section/sme-instrumentTOP