Eurocrats Should Make R&D Simple For Small Companies
In a world where timescales get continually shorter, anything which encourages people and companies to think long-term is welcome. This is what national, and pan-national R&D programmes can contribute to the technology world.
European R&D funding programmes like CATRENE and ENIAC provide a long-term approach to the microelectronics industry, it was said during the European Nanoelectronics Forum 2010 in Madrid.
“Europe is able to handle vey complex projects with very complex partnerships,” said Reinhard Ploss of Infineon, “there’s not a need for money so much as a need for environment. For instance in the US you get a free lane for hybrid cars. In Europe we could encourage e-cars in cities.”
Ploss pointed out that R&D projects can take ten years while companies have to make money quarter on quarter. Large companies can’t say they’ll make no money for some years but will get a big pay-back later. Ploss thought small and medium sized companies were quicker at getting products to market, and therefore co-operation between large and small companies was the best way forward.
For small companies, however, the bureaucracy of EU projects is daunting. They don’t have the time and the people to process the paperwork.
There us no more important thing that Brussels can do – and it can very easily be done at zero cost – than to simplify the means by which small technology companies participate in European R&D projects.