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Rapport - Building Rapport between Small and Medium Sized Enterprises and Public or Private Research Capabilities
EU - FP7;
SMEs' strengths lie in their agility, imagination and customer interaction. However capitalizing on these strengths requires focused policy action to overcome the significant barriers they face either from inside or from outside. To be effective, these policies should be able to reach a large proportion of SMEs and tailor their actions to the various types of SMEs and their particular needs. This project aspires to advance this cause by fulfilling the following objectives:
  • To develop a reference guide of good practices including benchmarks for strengthening the knowledge exchange and knowledge transfer between research organizations and various kinds of SMEs; under the term good practices, the reference guide will refer to the specific services offered and the deployed programmes as well as the relevant policies.
  • To develop a blueprint paper on new emerging forms of SMEs support for research backed by large corporations in a context where open innovation and public-private partnerships have increasingly gained importance; the paper will include benchmarks for private initiatives and public private partnerships of different kinds to support research activities within small businesses in different industries (e.g. consumer goods, IT, pharmaceuticals).
  • To initiate the engagement of policy-makers and other relevant stakeholders (see Table 16) into a dialogue and ensure the 'translation' of the reference guide and the blueprint paper into a roadmap for embedding the more suitable practices and policies into the European Research Area and the policy making at both regional and national levels.
The project considers not only the engagement of SMEs into the research process but also enabling SMEs to access developed knowledge and competencies of the research community. In addition to the science-push programmes, it looks into the demand-pull initiatives where the focal SME drives the process. The work puts a strong emphasis on the SMEs of lower absorptive capacity and how to open up their horizons to external research capabilities. Our hypothesis is that if Europe manages to upgrade a significant part of those SMEs, the economic and social benefits will be enormous. www.rapport-project.eu


SMEs, benchmarking, good practice, innnovation, knowledge and technology transfer, support measure

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