The goal of the actions bundled under the specific objective "Innovation in SMEs" is to build SME innovation management capacity. Innovation management capacity is the internal ability of companies to manage innovation processes from the generation of the idea to its profitability on the market.
'Innovation in SMEs' includes actions which provide indirect support to SMEs in the form of tailored services and projects (innovation management capacity building, IPR management, etc…), networking and mobilization actions for innovation service providers and policymakers (i.e. exchange of experience between national innovation agencies); moreover, Horizon 2020 provides direct support to the Enterprise Europe Network, a key player in improving SMEs' access to funding opportunities. 'Innovation in SMEs' funds additional activities intended to support entrepreneurship, internationalisation, and improving access to markets (through the COSME programme).
Furthermore, this challenge supports the second EUREKA/Eurostars Joint Programme Initiative (2014-2020), that provides funding for market-oriented transnational collaborative R&D projects. Eurostars pools together national resources, with the aim of strengthening integration and synchronization of national research programmes contributing to the achievement of a European Research Area.
Horizon 2020 actively supports SMEs by providing both direct financial support, and indirect support to increase their innovation capacity. 'Innovation in SMEs' aims at creating a bridge between the core of the framework programme - support to research, development and innovation projects - and the creation of a favourable ecosystem for SME innovation and growth.