European Mechanical Engineering’s Experiences with the 6th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development

Published: 30 July 2003

Policies & Issues: R&D and Innovation

This position paper comments on the European mechanical engineering’s experience with the 6th Framework Programme for RTD and also provides recommendations for the future.

Mechanical engineering, as provider of capital goods, is the industry that supplies enabling technology to all parts of the European economy. As such, it is one of the most important industrial sectors with a major impact on the competitiveness of all other sectors of the EU economy. Notwithstanding the role it plays in the economy, mechanical engineering is not sufficiently addressed in the 6th Framework Programme, whether in terms of funding or of visibility.

In our position paper we suggest how specific instruments of the 6th and future Framework Programmes could be better adjusted to the main drivers of innovation in this industry sector, namely 'mid-range' companies with 250-1000 employees.  We explain in detail the concerns of these companies with the Networks of Excellence, which we feel will be driven more by research institutes than by SMEs, and we encourage the Commission to better promote Integrated Projects and the SME-specific measure of 'Collective research'.

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