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EU pledges huge spend for small biz R&D

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The European Commission has pledged €6.4bn for research investments across Europe in various areas for both academics and small businesses.

In total 16,000 organisations should benefit including 3,000 small businesses. The cash will be awarded after a 'call for proposals' - which should start later today.

The Commission hopes the money will kickstart innovative businesses as well as create jobs.

Maire Geoghegan-Quinn said: "We are offering researchers and innovators €6.4 billion for cutting-edge projects focusing on big economic and societal challenges: climate change, energy and food security, health and an ageing population.

"This is a huge and efficient economic stimulus and an investment in our future."

Some €1.2bn will be spent on technology and communications projects to support the Digital Agenda for Europe.

Money for small and medium businesses must equal 35 per cent of total spending - or €800m. Some of this is ring-fenced for spending in certain areas like health, "knowledge-based bio-economy", environmental and nanotechnology. Environmental research gets €205m.

There's more from the EC here, and the calls to tender will appear here.

There are already calls for research likely to benefit SMEs, and also a study into application codes for supercomputers and HPCs including copyright issues and code licensing. ®

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