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Support for Aeronautical SMEs, Phase IV

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Total project cost
€765 693
EU Contribution
€765 693
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Transport mode
Airborne icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

AeroSME was an accompanying measure co-ordinated by AECMA, the European Association of Aeronautics Industries. The project addressed the needs of aeronautical SMEs, which showed a low participation in previous framework programmes. At the instigation of the industry and with the active support of the EC, the AeroSME project was started to address this issue. AeroSME informed and supported SMEs interested in joining European technology projects.


The objectives of the project were:

  • to support SMEs to face the challenge represented by the ongoing industrial concentration process in order to maintain their competitiveness both in Europe and in the world market;
  • to facilitate and improve the participation of SMEs in the aeronautics dedicated calls of the 6th Framework Programme;
  • to provide a proactive interface between SMEs and aeronautics related bodies and represent a point of reference for SME issues;
  • to maintain and extend the European aeronautical SME network, with special emphasis on the new Member States and the Associated Candidate Countries (ACCs).

AeroSME Phase IV covered all the countries associated to FP6, including the new Member States and the Associated Candidate Countries. The activities implemented in the two years of the project focused on the preparation for the first two calls of FP6, by pursuing and reinforcing the support to SME’s with two objectives:

  • to facilitate the access of SMEs (and other aeronautical organisations) to Integrated Project proposals by disseminating information in co-operation with IMG4 (Industrial Management Groups);
  • to support SMEs to set up their own STREP proposals or to join existing consortia.

The project covered also the accession of the new Member States. Therefore, important efforts were devoted to help the Eastern countries approaching the Industry.

An AeroSME Helpdesk was established as point of reference for inquiries on research issues, partner searches, technology trends and networking with both other SMEs and larger companies and was fully operational for the 24 months of the current phase. General information on the new rules and instruments of FP6 was widely circulated and information documents were prepared. An info pack on FP6 was designed to be published in the form of a series of 1-page files tackling various issues of relevance to SMEs. In view of the activities in the new Member States, where a general introduction to FP6 rules is still needed, a simple “Guide to EU research projects” was also designed.

The SME on-line database reached a critical mass with over 770 entries. 201 new profiles were added to the database (and 127 profiles updated), largely exceeding the project target. The database offers to smaller companies an increased visibility in the EU research community and across the Aeronautics sector, while large companies have a quick and easy search for SME partners and can access a pool of innovative and dedicated SMEs and their products in one stop.

The website acquired visibility in the Aeronautics sector and was visited by an average of 700 users per month, with peaks up to 1,500 IP addresses registered per month following specific activities such as workshops.

17 issues of the AeroSME Newsletters and 7 R&D Project Flashes were published. The newsletters, issued to over 1,000 recipients and re-circulated by various organisations, proved to be an effective means to reach a wide part of the Aeronautics community. The AeroSME Newsletter appeared to be of great interest not only for small companie


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission, Directorate-General for Research (DG Research)
Type of funding
Public (EU)


The main achievements of the project were:

  • Improvement of the exchange of information in the aeronautical sector, which resulted in an established procedure to promote the SME participation in IPs submitted by the larger companies represented in IMG4. Building on the experience of the first call, a more effective approach was adopted in view of the second call to assist SMEs in making an initial assessment of their suitability as a potential partner in research projects and proposing their technical contribution.
  • To increase the awareness of the SMEs, for each call, the IMG4 IP proposals intended to be submitted were issued on the AeroSME website and an international conference was organised with the aim to present publicly the mentioned IPs and to promote a direct contact between SMEs and the project co-ordinators.
  • To facilitate the aggregation of SMEs around areas of common interest and thus the set up of STREP proposals, 36 project ideas were posted on the Project Ideas webpage and partner searches for 13 of these proposals were performed via the R&D Project Flash. Individual consulting was provided to every company which expressed the intention to set up a project.
  • The internet database reached 771 entries, with an increase of 201 new profiles, 67% of which are SMEs.
  • 43 workshops were organised and attended.
  • Activities were developed in the new Member States and ACCs. Exploratory meetings and workshops were organised in all the new Member States and contacts were established in the ACCs. The mapping of the aerospace and research capabilities of these countries was started.
  • Networking and co-operation with other aeronautical organisations across Europe, i.e. Regional Associations, EASN, SCRATCH, ECARE etc., were reinforced.

Technical Implications

None - see Policy Implications.

Policy implications

The AeroSME project will strengthen and improve the support provided to aeronautical SMEs in order to help them to maintain their competitiveness in a rapidly changing global market. Through tailored services such as the Helpdesk, the website, the SME database and the Newsletters, the project will improve the communication within the Aerospace Industry and provide SMEs with all information and individual consulting support needed to increase their participation in FP6. Workshops addressed to aeronautic SMEs will be organised in order to raise awareness on European research issues and Industry's future needs, as well as to facilitate contacts with large companies in the supply chain. AeroSME IV will benefit from privileged communication channels with National Associations, large companies and research establishments, and will ensure a pan-European approach to research and aeronautical supply chain issues.


Lead Organisation
The European Association Of Aerospace Industries
Gulledelle 94, b5, 1200 BRUXELLES, Belgium
Organisation website
Partner Organisations
Dziomba Aeronautical Consultant
Meyersweg 9, 28844 WEYHE, Germany
Organisation website
EU Contribution


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