AeroSME is a support action coordinated by ASD, the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe, representing the aerospace industry in Europe in all matters of common interest.
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 started to address this issue. AeroSME informed and supported SMEs interested in joining European technology projects.
The project objectives were:
- To support aeronautical SMEs in advancing their technology base and their competitiveness through participation in European R&T projects to improve and maintain the competitiveness of the European aeronautical supply chain.
- To promote SME participation in the Framework Programmes' calls by providing the necessary supporting and information services.
- To stimulate international co-operation by supporting and coordinating a reliable network between SMEs, industry, research institutes, universities and other entities.
- To support the aerospace sector of the new Member States in joining the European aerospace community.
- To stimulate the exchange of information and views among the various tiers of the supply chain by providing a communication platform not only for SMEs but also for large enterprises and research organisations which usually have little direct access to the SME community.
AeroSME was a support action coordinated by ASD, the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (formerly AECMA) representing the aerospace industry in Europe in all matters of common interest. Due to the privileged communication channels with large companies (represented in the Industrial Management Groups – IMG4), research establishments, universities, and national and regional associations, AeroSME provided a proactive interface between SMEs and the aeronautic-related bodies and represented a point of reference for SME issues. The coverage of all 33 countries associated with FP7 ensured a truly pan-European approach.
Building on acquired expertise, AeroSME VI continued to provide tailored services in FP7 such as the help-desk, the website, the internet SME database and newsletters. Specific actions were undertaken in co-operation with IMG4 to facilitate the integration of SMEs in the large collaborative proposals to be submitted in the first aeronautics call in FP7, for example, the workshop including one-to-one meetings between interested SMEs and project coordinators. Workshops addressed at aeronautical SMEs were organised to raise awareness on European research issues and the industry's future needs, as well as facilitating contacts with large companies in the supply chain.
The following actions and deliverables were the results of AEROSME VI:
- a support scheme for the whole FP7, including a guide to EU funded research, updated for each FP7 call, to be used as a quick SME-friendly reference to basic information on FP7;
- a network of national points of contact in 28 countries, of which 9 in the new Member States and candidate countries;
- an awareness campaign including the organisation and/or participation in 11 national / regional workshops, of which 3 in the new Member States and associated countries, to inform SMEs on FP7 R&TD project opportunities and procedures;
- 14 newsletters, of which 6 R&D Project Flash (which focuses on partner searches for specific project proposals);
- information and services to support the access of SMEs in the Level 2 proposals to be submitted in the first and second call of FP7, ranging from the publication of the research proposals to the delivery of a list of potential SME partners to the coordinators;
- organisation of two international workshops to prepare respectively the first and the second aeronautics calls in FP7, including nearly 100 one-to-one meetings between interested SMEs and project coordinators;
- assistance to access Level 1 proposals and direct guidance to nine project ideas;
- a guide to EU funded research to be used as a quick reference to basic information on FP7;
- fully operational help-desk, website, and internet SME database.
The services of AEROSME were provided to the SMEs of all the countries associated to FP7. However, a particular effort was dedicated to the new Member States and candidate countries, to support their integration in the European aeronautics community and their access to the FP7 project proposals.