SME's are a major customer of the Taftie Member organistaions and Members have experience of assisting companies to participate in Craft projects. This experience, developed over the year in assisting the SME's partcipate in Craft projects, resulted in the Commission (DGxII SME unit) awarding a contract to Taftie to develop a toolbox, suitable for SME's and intermediates on how to get involved in a Craft project. In its meeting of 8th November 1997 the Board established a task force on CRAFTIE to deal with the execution of the contract. In 1998 the task force held four meetings in Brussels (at either thye premises of tecnopoolor IWT) on 9th of January , 3rd of February, 22nd of April, and 10th of July.
In the meetings the comprehensicve work was devided among the taskforce members makng each organisation responsible for one of the eighth chapters while NUTEK took care of the overall secetarial tasks. The result is a detailed guide for an SME/intermediate on how to participate in a CRAFT project. Consisting of eight chapters the toolbox covers the important topics such as preperation of the proposal, financial conditions, co-operation agreements, contact negotiations, project management and exploitation of results. For the convenience of he reader, each chapter starts with a short summary .The many examples and several checklists make the toolbox an easy guide to use.
The TAFTIE members have included many tips from their own experience in assisting SME's in CRAFT projects which will help SME's avoid pitfalls and save time and money in participating in a CRAFT project. The toolbox was written based on the criteria off and experience with the still running Fourth Framework Programme will bring some new criteria to CRAFT. Reason for the commission to ask the task force to revise the toolbox according to these new criteria. The toolbox will be presented at a SME seminar in Vienna on 3rd and 4th of December. Publication and ditribution of the toolbox all over Europe is expected by the end of the year.
In the future training courses making use of the CRAFTIE toolbox are envisaged by the commision. TAFTIE could play a role in the setup and execution of those trainings. What will be the exact role, depends on negotiations with commision. Since programmes tend to be revised as a consequence of new insights and experience, regular updates of the toolbox are forseen. Here the role of TAFTIE is obvious.