CENTRIM was a partner in this project, which aimed to promote awareness and participation in European Union (EU) research amongst small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the biomedical engineering sector.
Many SMEs have found it difficult to exploit the EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) projects, even when aware of their existence. Our researchers developed ways in which SMEs could realise their innovation and collaboration opportunities with more ease.
Although SMEs were keen to become involved in FP7 projects, the main barriers were perceived to be the: administrative burden, challenge of finding partners, lack of funding for initiating and building consortia and adversely long cycles causing negative impacts on cash flow.
The research team endeavoured to address these concerns and tailor solutions to meet the needs of SMEs, achieving greater participation. The SM-BIO-POWER approach centred on raising the appropriate awareness well in advance of submission deadlines for research proposals and on providing specific guidance in tackling the EU projects’ jargon.
In order to achieve greater participation, SM-BIO-POWER envisioned:
the mobilisation of several hundreds of European SMEs in the health domains of medical technology and biomedical engineering through regional awareness activities and by involving them in specific interest groups built around their innovation themes and interests
a self-sustained Europe-wide learning community of SME mobilisers sharing best practice and facilitating project development.
The SM-BIO-POWER consortium of ten partners helped biomedical SMEs gain international visibility for their companies. The team provided complementary knowledge on Framework Programmes, managerial issues, financial markets and awareness of the challenges and obstacles that SMEs faced, as well as sharing specific medical technology/biomedical engineering domain expertise.
Dr George Tsekouras, Principal Research Fellow
Shaun Gannon, Research Fellow
APRE — Agency for the Promotion of European Research
Beacon Tech Ltd — Innovation Management
Fraunhofer IFF — Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation
ISPIM — International Society for Professional Innovation Management
Kaunas University of Technology
Lithuanian Innovation Centre
NatSynDrugs — European Research Centre for Drug Discovery and Development