Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP)

The Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) supports innovation activities (including eco-innovation), provides better access to finance and delivers business support services in the regions.

The general objectives of the programme are the following:

  • to foster the competitiveness of enterprises, in particular of small & medium enterprises;
  • to promote all forms of innovation including eco-innovation;
  • to accelerate the development of a sustainable, competitive, innovative and inclusive information society;
  • to promote energy efficiency and new and renewable energy sources in all sectors, including transport.

The CIP runs from 2007 to 2013 with an overall budget of 3,621 million Euro.

The CIP is divided into three operational programmes. Each programme has its specific objectives, aimed at contributing to the competitiveness of enterprises and their innovative capacity in their own areas, such as information and communication technology or sustainable energy.

  1. The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP)
  2. The Information Communication Technologies Policy Support Programme (ICT-PSP)
  3. The Intelligent Energy Europe Programme (IEE)

Each one of these pillars has a separate annual work programme which is managed by the European Commission, assisted by separate management committees (consisting of representatives from the Member States). European Commission department(s) will manage the activities foreseen in the work programme. The work programme specifies all activities to be carried during the year. These documents are public and published on the website of the three CIP programmes.

Further information on CIP can be obtained from the Enterprise Europe Network which has its offices in all Member States and certain third countries, including the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The Enterprise Europe Network provides not only information but also qualified services on:

  • internationalisation;
  • finding partner organisations abroad;
  • technology transfer, etc.

The Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia signed an agreement with the European Commission to participate in the CIP's Component I EIP.

The EIP, one of the specific programmes under the CIP, seeks to support innovation and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), focusing on:

  • Access to finance for SMEs through "CIP financial instruments" which target SMEs in different phases of their lifecycle and support investments in technological development, innovation and eco-innovation, technology transfer and the cross border expansion of business activities.
  • Business services: the "Enterprise Europe Network". Business and innovation service centres all around the EU and beyond provide enterprises with a range of quality and free-of-charge services to help make them more competitive.
  • Support for improving innovation policy: Support transnational networking of different actors in the innovation process and innovative companies, including benchmarking initiatives and the exchange of best practice.
  • Eco-innovation pilot and market replication projects for the testing in real conditions of innovative products, processes and services that are not fully marketed due to residual risks and that are aimed at reducing environmental impacts, preventing pollution or achieving a more efficient use of natural resources.

Support for innovation and SME policy-making through contracts and grants: Analytical work and awareness raising activities (i.e. conferences and studies) on certain industrial sectors, SMEs or innovation policy are organised to inform and support policy-makers, and make policy suggestions to increase cooperation between EU Member States.

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