Since the 1 of April 2021, the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA) has replaced the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, to support the recovery of the European economy and to create strong synergies, in particular with small and medium-sized enterprises.
EISMEA will group together in one agency three important programmes:
- The European Innovation Council (EIC), to support innovations at basic Technology Readiness Level, from early stage research, to proof of concept, technology transfer, and the financing and scale up of start-ups and SMEs.
- The Single Market Programme focuses on strengthening the governance of the internal market, supporting the competitiveness of industry and in particular of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). EISMEA will only manage part of the Single Market Programme covering competitiveness of enterprises, governance of the internal market and standardisation and consumers.
- The Interregional innovation investments initiative aims at supporting interregional innovation projects in their commercialisation and scale-up phases giving them the tools to overcome regulatory and other barriers and bring their project to investment level. EIASMEA will implement the Financial and Advisory Support for Investments in Interregional Innovation Projects & the Financial and Advisory Support to the Development of Value Chains in Less Developed Regions.
Actions to support SMEs, Standardization and Innovation
Moreover, The Executive Agency will implement the SME strategy in the context of industrial ecosystems, the SME components of the Industrial Strategy and the Small Business Act and the considerations of the SME Envoy Network, aided by the SME Performance Review, and therefore it will implement action grants under framework partnership agreements to the European standardisation organisations:
- CEN (European Committee for Standardization);
- Cenelec (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization);
- ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute).
EISMEA will be making the internal market more effective, for example including the free movement of capital and financial services and effective market surveillance throughout the Union, with grants ranging from the implementation of national market surveillance strategies to actions to enhance cooperation and coordination among Member States and/or European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
Finally, under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Agency will implement grants to support both Innovation Actions (IA) for mature partnerships, connecting demand and supply to accelerate interregional innovation investments in Smart Specialisation priority areas, and also Simplified Innovation Actions (SIA) for less developed regions to increase the capacity of regional innovation ecosystems to participate in global value chains.