Agreement on new € 3.6 billion "competitiveness and innovation programme"

The European Parliament has adopted the first "Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme" (CIP). Between 2007 and 2013, some 350,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will receive € 3.6 billion in EU support to invest in all forms of innovation and growth. The new programme will support actions to help enterprises and industry to innovate. It will also boost energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, environmental technologies and a better use of information and communication technology (ICT). The final adoption in Council will follow in the coming weeks.

Jorgo Chatzimarkis, Rapporteur for the CIP of the EP committee on Industry, Research and Energy, said: "Bringing CIP to take-off in a first reading agreement is the sunrise for innovation in Europe. CIP includes new ideas, less administrative burden, a broader scope of innovation and meanwhile manages to include the existing and well running programme parts."

Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen, responsible for enterprise and industry policy, said: "The CIP brings together a range of European actions into a single comprehensive programme. The programme has a clear objective: increasing European competitiveness and innovation. This is a direct response to the call of the Lisbon mid-term review for simpler, more visible and more targeted EU action to boost growth and jobs."

The CIP has the following objectives:

  • to foster the competitiveness of enterprises, in particular SMEs;
  • to promote all forms of innovation including eco-innovation;
  • to accelerate the development of a sustainable, competitive, innovative and inclusive Information Society;
  • to promote energy efficiency and new and renewable energy sources in all sectors including transport.

Whilst eco-innovation will be a transversal theme of the whole programme, CIP is composed of three specific programmes:

  • (1) Start up and growth of SMEs: the "Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme" with a budget of € 2.17 billion including € 430 million to promote eco-innovation, will facilitate SMEs access to finance, better integrate the existing networks of business support services (EuroInfoCentres and Innovation Relay Centres) and support innovation activities (INNOVA, Pro-Inno etc). More than € 1 billion will be devoted to boosting the highly successful financial instruments managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF), which co-invest in venture capital funds (covering early stage and expansion stage), and provide co-guarantees on loans.
  • (2) Information and communication technologies: the "ICT Policy Support Programme", with a budget of € 730 million, will contribute to competitiveness, growth and jobs through stimulating a wider adoption and more efficient take up and better use of ICT. In particular, it will include support for pilot actions using innovative ICT-based services of public interest; for the development of digital content and for enhancing the security of, and trust and confidence in, ICT and its applications.
  • (3) Increased use of renewable energy and reduced energy consumption the "Intelligent Energy-Europe Programme" with a budget of € 730 million will support energy efficiency, new and renewable energy sources, and technological solution to reduce greenhouse gas emission cause by the transport sector.

Studies have shown the high added value in EU support for loan guarantees, with each euro from the EU budget resulting in a loan volume of € 72. In average every Venture Capital backed company maintains or creates more than 50 jobs. Success stories such as Skype Technologies SA have drawn attention to the impact of EU support for venture capital.

For further information, please visit:
Competitiveness and Innovation framework Programme web pages.

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