` Europe's New Horizon - Olive Oil Times

Europe's New Horizon

Nov. 26, 2013
Vincenza Ferrara

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Extra vir­gin olive oil pro­duc­ers and other related SMEs have help imple­ment­ing a wide set of activ­i­ties and prod­ucts thanks to a new European Union pro­gram Horizon 2020” cur­rently on its way through var­i­ous leg­isla­tive approvals.

Horizon, which fol­lows the 7th Framework Program and merges it with the pre­vi­ous Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Program (CIP) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), is the new €70 bil­lion EU Program for research and inno­va­tion.

Built on three mutu­ally rein­forc­ing pil­lars — Societal Challenges, Industrial Leadership and Excellent Science — Horizon 2020 will be the finan­cial instru­ment to sup­port the whole chain from lab research to the devel­op­ment of inno­v­a­tive prod­ucts, bring­ing the ideas not only into prac­tice but all the way to the mar­ket.

The role of SMEs as main dri­vers of inno­va­tion and com­pet­i­tive­ness is cru­cial for the European Union. Their small size let them focus on niche mar­kets, bring­ing cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy, inno­v­a­tive trends and inspir­ing new ideas. Horizon 2020 will pro­vide grants for actions in the field of applied research for SMEs: test­ing, pro­to­typ­ing, demon­stra­tion and pilot actions to cre­ate inno­v­a­tive prod­ucts and ser­vices. Furthermore, it will give finan­cial aid to the pro­mo­tion of entre­pre­neur­ship and risk-tak­ing.

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As the gen­eral direc­tor of the European Commission Research and Innovation Directorate, Clara de la Torre, recently said R&D is mak­ing ideas with money; inno­va­tion is mak­ing money with ideas,” and Horizon 2020 is there to help the busi­ness sec­tor be more com­pet­i­tive through the real­iza­tion of their inno­v­a­tive ideas.

Horizon 2020 is open to all Member States, inter­na­tional orga­ni­za­tions and legal enti­ties in third coun­tries (accord­ing to the spe­cific con­di­tions laid down in the rules for par­tic­i­pa­tion).

The adop­tion of the work pro­gram by the European Commission and the pub­li­ca­tion of the first calls for pro­pos­als will be December 11, 2013.

Another finan­cial instru­ment devoted to SMEs is the Eurostars Programme,” strength­ened by the EU for the sec­ond pro­gram­ming period 2014 – 2020.

Eurostars is a joint pro­gram ini­tia­tive, sup­ported by 33 EUREKA Member States and the EU, aim­ing at pro­mot­ing mar­ket- ori­ented transna­tional research activ­i­ties for SMEs and, at the same time, syn­chro­niz­ing the national research pro­grams.

Eurostars pro­vides sup­port above all to R&D- per­form­ing SMEs, which will have a lead­ing posi­tion under the pro­gram.

The first call for pro­pos­als has already been pub­lished and the next dead line will be March, the 13th, 2014.



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