Technology Stimulation Measures for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises


  • assistance in solving technological problems concerning product and process development

  • access to foreign partners and markets

  • help in sharing the risks and costs of research

  • creation of new contacts and networks

  • experience of European research and development?

    • SMEs are faced with an increasing global market. To remain competitive they need to acquire new technologies. Through participating in the Research and Technological Development (RTD) projects of the European Union (EU) SMEs can establish international contacts and at the same time improve their technological base.

    • To facilitate SMEs' participation in such projects, the European Commission offers the following possibilities:

  • Cooperative Research (CRAFT) projects. These projects are intended for groups of SMEs with a common interest in developing or using new products, processes and technologies. The SMEs in question have no external resources (financing and competence) to find technological solutions themselves and therefore need help from others. The project work is carried out in the form of a consortium of at least three SMEs and of organisations whose role is to help the SMEs to carry out the research (RTD Performers).

    The total budget of a project can amount to 0.3 - 2 million euro. The European Commission will finance the CRAFT project with up to 50 % of the total costs. RTD Performers are fully paid for their work by the EU, and. SMEs performing part of the research or co-ordination themselves can receive direct funding up to 10% of the total project cost. The results of the research are owned by the SMEs.

SMEs can also receive financial support in preparing a CRAFT project:

  • Exploratory Awards give SMEs funding to prepare a project proposal. This preparation can include searching for partners, carrying out a market analysis, verifying the novelty of the technology etc. Selected proposals will receive up to 75 % of the total costs, up to a maximum of 22 500 euro.

Are your company and your project idea suitable for CRAFT?

Use the following checklist to see if your project idea is suitable for CRAFT.

Does the market lack the technological solution you need?
Contact your local IRC for assistance in finding the technology


The intention is to develop new, innovative products and processes which do not exist.

The technology we need exists but needs adaptations NO Contact your local IRC for assistance in finding the technology


This is acceptable as long as product or process development and research is needed to reach the results

Finding the technological solution is a part of our long-term strategy.
Consider using your own funds or taking a bank loan


With the CRAFT scheme it takes about 2-4 years from the start of a project to the introduction of a product on the market or implementation of a technology.

Our company and the project itself will benefit from international co-operation NO Apply for regional or national funding schemes.


The CRAFT projects include participants from at least two countries an thus give opportunities for international collaboration.

The intended project fits on all the eligibility criteria into the information package? NO Try other schemes such as EUREKA or EC shared cost projects


Consider all your possibilities with CRAFT and start preparing the proposal!