30 January 2013 | General
How can EU programmes help unlock SMEs’ innovation potential?

This is the question that COST, in collaboration with Knowledge4Innovation, sought to answer during a successful debate in the European Parliament on 29 January 2012.

With the aim of promoting SME participation in COST Actions and EU programmes, this event was set to launch a debate to ensure that SMEs are kept at heart EU R&D and innovation.

Prof. Ioannis Tsoukalas MEP hosted the debate and guided participants through a lively and informed discussion on the role of SMEs in EU-funded programmes in the run-up towards Horizon 2020. 

Opportunities provided to SMEs by EU funding, the vital role of networking, the need for knowledge exchange and transfer, and the key position of SMEs in Horizon 2020 were among the most significant points raised.

Speakers included:

  • Prof. Ioannis Tsoukalas MEP, European Parliament
  • Mr Jürgen Creutzmann MEP, European Parliament
  • Dr Ángeles Rodríguez-Peña, President of the COST Committee of Senior Officials
  • Ms Clara De La Torre, Director, Research and Innovation, European Commission
  • Dr Marta Martínez Vázquez, Chair of COST Action IC1102, IMST GmbH
  • Dr Antonis Toumazis, Member of COST Action ES0901, Toumazis & Associates.

The debate brought together representatives of European SMEs - including those participating in COST Actions - Members of the European Parliament, European Commission experts, as well as organisations and stakeholders in R&D.

The speakers' presentations are available for download.