It encourages a better take-up and use of information and communication technologies (ICT) and helps to develop the information society.
It also promotes the increased use of renewable energies and energy efficiency.
The CIP runs from 2007 to 2013 with an overall budget of € 3621 million.
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 ICT or sustainable energy:
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP)
The EIP, one of the specific programmes under the CIP, seeks to support innovation and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the EU, focusing on:
Information and Communication Technologies Policy Support Programme (ICT-PSP)
The Information and Communication Technologies Policy Support Programme (ICT-PSP) aims at stimulating a wider uptake of innovative ICT based services and the exploitation of digital content across Europe by citizens, governments and businesses, in particular SMEs.
Objectives of the programme
The focus is placed on driving this uptake in areas of public interest while addressing EU challenges such as moving towards a low carbon economy or coping with an ageing society.
The programme contributes to a better environment for developing ICT based services and helps overcome hurdles such as the lack of interoperability and market fragmentation.
Activities supported by ICT-PSP
Funding goes mainly to pilot actions, involving both public and private organisations, for validating in real settings, innovative and interoperable ICT based services in areas such as:
Networking actions for sharing experiences and preparing the deployment of innovative ICT based solutions in such areas are also supported, as well as the monitoring of the Information Society through benchmarking, analyses and awareness raising actions.
Intelligent Energy Europe Programme (IEE)
With about € 730 million of funds available between 2007 and 2013, the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme (IEE) will help deliver on the ambitious climate change and energy targets that the EU has set for itself.
The programme supports concrete projects, initiatives and best practices via annual calls for proposals.
Examples of projects funded under this programme include:
Access to finance
The Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) has several schemes and a budget of over €1bn to facilitate access to loans and equity finance for SMEs where market gaps have been identified.
The CIP financial instruments are implemented for the Commission by the European Investment Fund (EIF) on a trust basis. They cover different needs depending on the stage of development of the small business.
Equity financing: The high growth and innovative SME (GIF)
SMEs wishing to apply for an equity investment need to contact the funds that have signed an agreement with the EIF. The list of funds is published on the Access to Finance website. An overview of this activity can be found in the EIF's venture capital website. These funds make investment decisions based on normal commercial criteria.
Financial institutions interested in participating in the programme should contact the EIF that manages the instruments or visit its CIP venture capital website.
Guarantees: The SME guarantee facility (SMEG)
It provides loan guarantees to encourage banks to make more debt finance available to SMEs, including microcredit and mezzanine finance, by reducing the banks' exposure to risk. SMEG provides co-, counter- and direct guarantees to financial intermediaries providing SMEs with loans, mezzanine finance and equity.
SMEs wishing to apply for guaranteed financing should contact one of the financial intermediaries that have signed an agreement with the EIF. Details can be found on the Access to Finance website. An overview of this activity is available on the EIF's guarantees and securitisation website.
Financial intermediaries wishing to apply for these instruments can visit the EIF web pages on the SME guarantee facility.
More information: http://ec.europa.eu/cip