The EU’s €2.3 billion COSME programme can help defence-related SMEs and clusters grow and expand into new markets. Its main instruments relevant for the defence sector include:
- European Strategic Cluster Partnerships provide opportunities for defence clusters to join forces with other economic clusters to exploit their dual use potential and support SME access to global value chains. In September 2018, 2 partnerships in the area of defence kick off their activities: Alliance and EU KETS4Dual-Use.
- The European Network of Defence-related Regions (ENDR) is a network of regional authorities and clusters that enable SMEs to share experiences and best practices in the area of dual use & defence-related strategies to the benefit of SMEs.
- The Enterprise Europe Network helps SMEs find technology partners to complement the work they do. Active in more than 60 countries worldwide, it brings together more than 600 partner organisations that include technology poles, innovation support organisations, universities and chambers of commerce.
Access to finance in support of businesses is another option provided by COSME:
- The Loan Guarantee Facility provides counter-guarantees to financial institutions so that they can provide more loan and lease-finance to SMEs.
- Similarly, the Equity Facility for Growth provides risk capital to equity funds investing mainly in start-ups.
On the Access to Finance portal, you can find easily accessible tools that can help dual use businesses, such as the Your Europe Business Portal and the SME Internationalisation Portal. The European Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Helpdesk provides know-how on expanding within the Single Market and beyond.
All COSME funded calls for proposals are published here.