A cura di MIUR - Direzione Generale per il coordinamento la promozione e la valorizzazione della ricerca

Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP)

Name of funding source
Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP)

CIPCIPBusiness and industry play a strategic role in transforming new knowledge and discoveries into processes, products and services which can contribute to the social and economic well-being of a country. In this respect, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) constitute the backbone of the European economy: for they exist in such numbers as to constitute the near-totality of businesses in the EU. According to the 2012 report by the European Commission, SMEs represent over 98% of all European businesses (around 20.7 million in absolute terms) and employ over 87 million people, a number equivalent to 67% of total EU jobs and 58% of gross value added. The CIP came into effect in 2007 and remains operative until 2013. It is one of the European Union’s primary mechanisms for providing assistance for the competitiveness and development of enterprises via research and other activities. With the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) it shares the objective of increasing the capacity for innovation: CIP and FP7 are complementary and mutually-reinforcing initiatives, each designed to contribute to the success of the other.

The CIP provides assistance to European enterprises active in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency, promoting the dissemination of information and communication technologies (ICT) and the development of the information society. Activities eligible for funding must provide "added European value": in other words, proposals must clearly state the reason for requesting EU funding rather than using local, national or regional resources. The CIP is articulated into three programmes with clearly-stated objectives:

  • The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP) facilitates access to credit for the launch and growth of SMEs via the funding mechanisms available under the CIP, especially investment in venture capital and loan guarantee regimes. It encourages investment in innovation projects with special emphasis on transnational cooperation via the Enterprise Europe Network, which has full geographic coverage of all EU member states and offers assistance to businesses and innovation. In its efforts to make sustainable development a reality for businesses, it also provides assistance for eco-innovation projects.
  • The Information and Communication Technologies Support Programme (ICT-PSP) has the objective of promoting the adoption of information and communication technologies and their dissemination among citizens, government and enterprises, with a special emphasis on SMEs. The use of ICT in both sectors of the economy, public and private, stimulates Europe’s performance in innovation and thus helps create an information society which is open to all. The objective is to encourage the development of more efficient and effective products and services in sectors of general interest, thereby contributing to improved quality of life, in e.g. health, public services, energy efficiency and intelligent mobility, multilingual websites and the evolution of the internet.
  • The Intelligent Energy Europe Programme promotes efficiency and the rational use of energy resources by encouraging the use of renewable sources and offering incentives for the adoption of the latter in various sectors, such as transport. To achieve this objective, it offers assistance to pilot projects and projects in their first commercial application, as well as projects promoting and publicizing the development of capacities, the dissemination of know-how, the exchange of experiences, public awareness-raising, and education and training.

Activities eligible for funding
The CIP mobilizes various funding plans and mechanisms related to the Programmes. It awards subsidies for the co-funding of pilot projects and projects in their first commercial application, the exchange of best practice benchmarks, and the creation of networks in areas related to sustainable energy and information and communication technology. Subsidies are awarded after calls for proposals and peer-evaluation procedures, with a strong competitive element. As with the FP7, the CIP does not operate according to pre-established national or regional allocations.

A wide range of organizations and individuals can participate in the CIP, although eligibility criteria vary from one funding mechanism to the other. The CIP is also open to all entities with a presence in EU member states and some non-EU states. Refer to individual calls for proposals for more details.

The funds available under the CIP are managed by the European Commission via:

  • Specific funding mechanisms: businesses wishing to apply for funding in the form of credit or venture capital should consult the website dedicated to EU finance for small and medium-sized enterprises. In these cases the European Commission does not provide direct financial assistance; the assistance is always provided via intermediaries. 
  • Subsidies for projects and other modes of action: the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme and the ICT-PSP mainly allocate funds on the basis of calls for proposals, while the EIP also offers funding via contract notices.

Find out more

•    The CIP website
•    CIP Questions and Answers