11 January 2013 | General
Entrepreneurship, SMEs and research: keys to Europe’s growth

The European Commission has launched an action plan to support entrepreneurs and revolutionise entrepreneurial culture in Europe. COST supports SME involvement in European programmes and will open a dialogue on this topic during a dinner debate in the European Parliament on 29 January.

Small firms depend on entrepreneurs, and Europe needs more entrepreneurs.  The European Commission is working with Member States, in particular by facilitating the sharing of experiences and fostering entrepreneurial attitudes, while looking at ways in which potential entrepreneurs may be encouraged to set up firms. 

The Entrepreneurship Action Plan is a blueprint for decisive action to unleash Europe's entrepreneurial potential, to remove existing obstacles and to revolutionise the culture of entrepreneurship in Europe.

COST is also determined to open up to SMEs and encourage entrepreneurs from small and medium enterprises to participate in European programmes. The open, inclusive and bottom-up approach of science and technology networking can be beneficial to SMEs and favour their participation in pan-European research networks.

A number of COST Actions already count among their participants representatives of European SMEs. COST Actions provide opportunities for SMEs to engage in science and technology cooperation with representatives of universities and other research institutions. 

At a dinner debate to be held in the European Parliament on 29 January, COST will aim at opening a forum where the SME voice and interest in joining European programmes is heard, to promote SME participation in European science and technology networking, and devise opportunities for simplified access of SMEs to participate in European research programmes.

This event will focus on the following issues:

  • How to promote the role that SMEs can play in Science and Technology innovations?
  • How to involve SMEs from all European countries?
  • Can fewer administrative constraints motivate SMEs to participate in European programmes?
  • How participation of European SMEs in EU-funded research networking programmes can be enhanced?

COST is committed to help SMEs meet the Innovation Union goals through multi-disciplinary, bottom-up, open and inclusive networking initiatives in science and technology.

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COST dinner debate on SMEs

European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, Responsible for Entrepreneurship and Industry

We want to make entrepreneurship an attractive and accessible prospect for European citizen. This is the key message of our action plan. If we can unleash Europe's entrepreneurial potential, we can bring back growth to Europe.