The EUREKA Network is looking forward to contributing to the new European schemes that should provide impetus to innovation throughout the EU. This will be achieved by establishing a new mechanism for financing innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with high growth potential, by streamlining and strengthening the technical support network for innovation in undertakings, and by supporting the development of regional centres and European networks for innovation.
EUREKA is an excellent example of public and private partnerships and a functioning model of research clustering in the EU, providing opportunities for SMEs to form partnerships and benefit from technology transfer. Since 1985, substantial public and private funding has been deployed through this intergovernmental network to support leading edge R&D. EUREKA also encourages SMEs and large enterprises to collaborate through strategic initiatives in a manner that promotes innovation across frontiers to support the Lisbon objectives and improve European competitiveness.
As the Council concluded, the EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for Research and Development will lend fresh impetus to a European Research Area for the benefit of all Member States by enhancing European co-operation, stimulating private investment in areas crucial to competitiveness and helping to fill the technology gap. The EUREKA Network is committed to lending its full support to the implementation of FP7 by supporting R&D awareness, technology transfer, the involvement of SMEs and technology clustering.
Given that EUREKA is established in 24 EU Member States, plus future candidates for EU accession, it is able to support the Lisbon Strategy requirement that Member States formulate and pursue national action programmes. EUREKA will also facilitate the open method of research policy coordination and implementation at Member State level, recognizing "their specific characteristics", as the Council Conclusions stipulate.