On the first of June the European parliament adopted the first Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP). For the period from 2007 to 2013 financials aids of 3.6 billion Euros will be made available to about 350.000 small and medium-sized entities (SMEs) by the EU. The programme is to enhance competitiveness of SMEs, to promote all kinds of, including ecological, innovations, to accelerate the development of the information society as well as to increase the efficiency and attractiveness of new and renewable sources of energy. These objectives will be put into practice by the implementation of three specific programmes:
- A programme called »Entrepreneurial initiative and innovation« with a budget of 2.17 billion Euros is to facilitate the access of SMEs to financial means. More than one billion Euros are meant for the promotion of the financial instruments managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF).
- A programme for the »support of information and communication technology (ICT) policies« with a budget of 730 million Euros is meant to sponsor in particular pilot projects for the implementation of innovative services based on ICT especially in areas of public interest, development of digital contents as well as security of ICTapplications.
- A programme called »Intelligent energy – Europe« with a budget of 730 million Euros is to foster energy efficiency, the development of new and renewable sources of energy as well as the development of new technologies for the reduction of green house gases.
Additional information is available on the European Commission´s website.