SMEs currently employ 55% of the EU workforce in transport, and their important role in the value chain is expected to expand. The rigid value chain of the transport sector is stifling the introduction of innovation by SMEs into new vehicles and transport-related products. SMEs (usually Tier 2 suppliers) find it difficult to interact with vehicle manufacturers, as they generally have short-term supply contracts to Tier 1 companies, who are strongly linked to specific large volume OEMs. Tier 2 SMEs have no collective voice or influence at European level and the EU is not taking advantage of or supporting directly the thriving innovative companies in this sector. ( CUE, 2015, Report on transport SMEs in regions, INTRASME project-FP7) RECREATE will address this market failure and focus on the opportunities that new markets offer to innovative and dynamic transport SMEs through adaption of regional support schemes.
RECREATE will improve the capacity and capability of regional transport SMEs to further develop and grow: this includes support for:
- Research and Development,
- Rapid development and implementation of products and services,
- Access to finance schemes,
- Internationalisation opportunities.
RECREATE adopts a holistic approach to SME support by by improving all the relevant schemes that could potentially deliver growth to the regional transport SMEs. Recognising the importance and the potential of the transport SMEs in the economies of the regions involved, RECREATE will map transport SME support measures and assess their effectiveness. The integrated approach adopted by the RECREATE project will drive the identification and development of support mechanisms in the transport SME sector and it will ultimately deliver Action Plans and policy recommendations for evidence-based policy improvement.
The project will increase the levels of regional transport SME capacity and skills which will boost SME competitiveness and growth. The core idea of the project is built on the assumption that the transport SMEs currently employ 55% of the EU workforce, therefore they are key component of growth. RECREATE will adopt an overarching approach to support all types of transport SMEs: Strategic Innovators -high technology research intensive seeking to develop technology, Exploitation Seekers -seeking to exploit research results, Technology Translators -translate between technologies and the market, Technology Networkers-seek for a better understanding of technology developments relevant to their business and to develop commercially useful relationships.