The initiative CIP Eco-Innovation First Application and Market Replication Projects (CIP Eco-Innovation) is part of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP) which seeks to support innovation and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the EU. EIP aims at achieving better access to finance for SMEs, at support services for business and innovation delivered through a network of regional centres, at the promotion of entrepreneurship and innovation and at support for policy-making that encourages entrepreneurship and innovation.
The EIP is part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), which aims at encouraging the competitiveness of European Enterprises. With SMEs as its main target, CIP also comprises actions encouraging a better up-take and use of information and communications technologies (ICT) and promotes the increased use of renewable energies and energy efficiency.
With its objective to bridge the gap between research and the market, CIP Eco-innovation contributes to the implementation of the Environmental Technologies Action Plan. Between 2008 and 2014 nearly €200 million will be available to fund projects that promote eco-innovation in Europe.
CIP Eco-Innovation aims to support project concerned to support the first application or market replication of eco-innovative techniques, products, services or practices of Community relevance, which have already been technically demonstrated with success but which, owing to residual risks, have not yet penetrated the market. They should contribute to remove obstacles to the develop0ment and wide application of eco-innovation, create or enlarge markets for related products and improve the competitiveness of EU enterprises on world market. The projects should also aim at reducing environmental impacts, increasing resource efficiency or improve environmental performance of enterprises, in particular SMEs.
The Executive Agency for small and Medium Sized Entreprise (EASME), created by the European Commission in 2003, is the first of a number of new executive agencies to put policies into action more efficiently and with improved results, helping the Commission concentrate on its policy making and institutional tasks. In the execution of the programme, it works in close collaboration with its parent General Directorates: Environment, Energy & Transport and Enterprise.