Abstract: 

The open, inclusive and bottom-up approach of science and technology (S&T) networking can be beneficial to SMEs and favour their participation in pan-European research networks. 

Networking is all about sharing, and thus extending, knowledge, which in turn maximises the outcomes for all the participants of these networks. Networking helps SMEs optimise their products and enhance their economic performance. In addition, SME participation in European programmes accelerates the achievement of the Innovation Union goals by tackling research fragmentation and encouraging cooperation between the science and technology community and industry. 

This debate aims at opening a forum where the SME voice and interest in joining European programmes are heard, promoting SMEs participation in European S&T networking, and devising opportunities for simplified access of SMEs to participate in European research programmes. 

This event will identify opportunities and benefits for SMEs to be involved in S&T networks. In this context, COST Actions – S&T networks supported by COST - provide opportunities for SMEs to engage in science and technology cooperation with representatives of universities and other research institutions. 

Issues 

The dinner debate will focus on the following issues: 

  • How to promote the role that SMEs can play in Science and Technology innovations? 
  • How to involve SMEs from all European countries? 
  • Can fewer administrative constraints motivate SMEs to participate in European programmes? 
  • How participation of European SMEs in EU-funded research networking programmes can be enhanced? 

Objectives 

  • Open a forum where the SME voice and interest in joining European programmes is heard 
  • Promote SMEs participation in European science and technology networking 
  • Devise opportunities for simplified access of SMEs to participate in European research programmes.