Brussels, 16 Feb 2005
The competitiveness of companies and access to finance for innovative enterprises were highlighted as the two most important aspects of the proposed future framework programme for competitiveness and innovation by respondents to the Commission's consultation on the programme.
The programme would streamline and bring together actions in various policy fields - including the innovation aspects of the framework programmes for research - to create a more comprehensive and coherent approach, according to the Commission.
Alongside instruments to encourage innovation, including in the field of environmental technologies, energy efficiency and renewable energies, the programme would aim increase the uptake and mastery of information and communication technologies (ICTs), enhance access to finance for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and stimulate better framework conditions for businesses.
The Commission received 186 responses, nearly half of which came from individuals, business associations and public administrations.
Of the programme's four objectives, most importance was awarded to encouraging innovation and the sustainable use of resources, followed by improving SMEs' access to finance, then fostering reforms for a better business environment, and finally ensuring the best use of ICT. The majority of respondents indicated their belief that there is a clear or significant need for intervention at European level.
Asked whether other measures are needed in order to complement the programme and ensure the achievement of its objectives, 56.5 per cent of participants highlighted the need for measures undertaken by national authorities. Measures undertaken by regional authorities and at European level also scored highly.
In addition to boosting competitiveness and facilitating access to finance, respondents also rated the encouragement of technology transfer and the improvement of business support services for SMEs as very important.
Some 30 per cent of participants indicated that they would be providing the Commission with further, detailed comments on the consultation document.
For further information on the proposal and the consultation, please visit: