International networks should be planned right now

Anybody planning to establish joint research and development projects with European partners from abroad may apply for grants which are given in the context of the European „EraSME” (Era small and medium-sized entities) initiative. The right time for applying is just now given that the third EraSME invitation to tender will commence on December 15th.

EraSME is a joint initiative of 20 European project sponsors which have committed themselves to supporting research programmes by small and medium-sized entities. The objective of EraSME is to aid in the international co-operation between small and medium-sized entities, research institutions and universities. Cross-border projects are sponsored jointly by several countries with the financial means being sourced from national and regional development programmes.

From December 15th new project proposals on transnational co-operations will be taken by EraSME. Projects eligible to sponsoring are those aiming at the co-operation between small and medium-sized entities and research institutions in order to increase the international competitiveness of small and medium-sized entities. Applications are taken either by smaller consortiums (at least two SMEs and one research institution) or major consortiums (at least four SMEs and two research institutions). Projects may be related to any field of technology even though several regions or countries participating might focus on particular fields of technology.

The following countries and regions are participating in the EraSME programme: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Ireland, Iceland, Italy (Tuscany), the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Sweden, Slowenia and Spain. Eligible for sponsoring are participants from these regions only. Applications should arrive no later than February 15th 2007. Further information is available on the EraSME website. GERMAN