Reblogged from Science on the Net
As part of the European programme Horizon 2020, which has allocated € 70 billion for research and innovation, Sapienza Innovazione, a promoter of high tech companies born in 2006, and Management Innovation, a society founded in 2008 that works in innovation consulting, have recently set up a SME (Small and Medium Sizes Enterprises) help desk in support of SMEs that want to innovate. This help desk is called Sportello PMI, and it accepts the European definition of SME: it must be independent, engaged into economic activities, it must have less than 250 employees and have an annual turnover less than 50 million Euro or a balance sheet total under 43 million Euro.
Unlike previous programming, the European Commission has sought to promote Small and Medium Enterprises reserving these for as much as 20% of the total budget. Actually, there are two main sources of funding for SMEs. The first consists in a specific budget for all projects involved in Horizon 2020. SMEs can participate in collaborative projects with Corporations, Research Centers or Italian and European universities and Europe gives them the 13% of the budget. A second opportunity is given by the so-called SMEs Instrument, which allocates 7% of the entire budget of H2020 only to SMEs. It consists of 2.8 billion euros for SMEs in the 2014-20 programming, and enterprises can also submit proposals on their own and not necessarily in cooperation with other European SMEs.
However, even if European Commission encouraged SMEs innovators, a good idea is not enough. Projects, not ideas, make the difference. This is the reason why SMEs help desk was born: to led companies that want to innovate towards the realization of their project.