LONDON – The Semiconductor Equipment Materials International (SEMI) industry trade organization has called for a simplification of the European Union Framework collaborative research program.
The total budget for Framework Program 7, including the non-nuclear research of the Joint Research Centre, is about 50 billion euro (about $70 billion) over seven years.
The European Commission had asked for feedback after concerns were raised that small- and medium-sized enterprises were missing out on research support because they could not afford either financially or due to lack of administrative resources to participate in complex submission process
"SEMI members, which are 90 percent small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs), require less bureaucracy to apply for EU funding. We need a program where good ideas can be suggested more frequently and which allows us to work with customers who are not located in Europe," said Carlos Lee, director general of SEMI Europe, in a statement.
SEMI participated in a hearing held in Brussels on Sept. 27 where it argued for a less bureaucratic approach based on five points:
1. Improve the process: Some of the procedural steps are too time consuming. In addition, generic email addresses are inadequate for communication. SEMI also requests the implementation of a “single audit approach” performed by a single entity.
2. Speed up the procedure; support a two-step process: SEMI proposes a two-step process with a concise project outline and a full proposal upon positive feedback. It is not competitive to wait for more than a year to start a project which is ready to go.
3. Better pre-financing the project: Companies may need to borrow money to pre-finance their projects for six months or longer because EU money is delayed. This is an entry barrier especially for SMEs which cannot afford the very expensive machine investments needed for a project.
4. Eliminate double application: Currently, applicants may have to submit two proposals: one for the EU and another for the national authority. A central authority and a unique document would be more efficient.
5. Encourage European cross-border funding: Small Member States are compared to large Member States so they sometimes simply work with partners outside of Europe.
The waiting time to get funding is the most painful one and sometimes people and organizations loose interests. It will be good for both parties if the process is simplifies. I guess there will be a minimum time period to apply for funding and receive it. And how is it compare to other countries.
europe does not support really small companies for develop semiconductor equipment.
korea does this for 2010 and 2011 with 50 mill $
only to create more export and prevent from import equipment.
they will lead this market because we give it away.
i have a patend for a new plasmachamber but there is no funding to find. korea is making this very easy and will suceed.
Even though simplifying the process in the documentation level always will not speed up the work.Reason being the fund distributing authorities are highly responsible for proper funding. They need to think well discuss identify the most successfull avenues and decide.Naturally this will take its time.Quick prefinancing options will certainly keep the interests live and it is easy to decide further funding from the feed back of the pre financed projects