COSME is the European Union programme that strengthens the enterprises’ competitiveness, encouraging them to adopt measures for innovation or research. Specifically, the program, through easier access to funding, promotes the birth and growth of new SMES and encourages the development of an entrepreneurial culture.
The programme provides a budget of 2.298,24 million euro. 60% of this amount is devoted to financial instruments. In particular, COSME supports businesses through subsidies, delivered through calls for proposals, and financial instruments used in order to facilitate access to SMES’ finance in their start-up phase, growth and transfer.
- Equity Facility for Growth - EFG
- Loan Garantee Funds - LGF
COSME programme contributes to the following general objectives, with a particular attention to the specific needs of SMES, as well as established by the Union and by the countries participating’s SMES in the programme:
- to strengthen the competitiveness and the sustainability of EU businesses, in particular SMES
- to promote an entrepreneurial culture as well as the creation and growth of SMES
The programme, also, supports the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy and contributes to the achievement of the objective of a smart growth, sustainable and inclusive. In particular, it contributes to the achievement of the priority objective concerning employment.
COSME objectives are the following:
- to improve access to financings in the form of equity and debt
- to improve access to markets, in particular within the European Union but also worldwide
- to improve the framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of EU companies, especially SMES, including those in the tourism sector
- to promote entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurship culture
- Actions to improve access to financings for SMES:
- actions to facilitate and improve access to financings for SMES in their start-up phase, growth and transfer, integrating the use by Member States of financial instruments for SMES at national and regional level. In order to ensure the complementarity, these actions are strictly coordinated with those taken in the cohesion policy context of the Horizon 2020 programme. These actions aim to stimulate the funding absorption and offer of both debt and equity, including starting funding, informal funding and funding almost-equity as a function of market request;
- actions to improve the cross-border and multinational financing in accordance with market request, so as to facilitate the internationalization of SMES.
- Actions to improve access to markets:
- actions to improve the access of SMES to the internal market, such as the availability of information (also through digital services) and by awareness-raising actions in the field of programmes, law and EU standards;
- specific measures to facilitate the access of SMES to markets outside the EU; among them the information supply to access the market and the business opportunities that exist, on public procurement and customs procedures, as well as the improvement of support services in terms of standards and intellectual property rights in force in priority third countries. These measures complement, but not duplicate, the basic tasks of commercial promotion of Member States;
- actions for international cooperation, including the dialog with third countries in relation to the industry or regulations; in this way we are trying to reduce the entrepreneurial differences between the Union and other countries, both in terms of the regulatory frameworks for products, both in terms of development in order to contribute to the enterprise policy growth.
- actions to improve the framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of EU businesses, in particular SMES:
- actions to improve the framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of EU businesses, in particular SMES, so as to make them more effective, consistent and coordinated with the national and regional policies;
- specific actions aimed at improving the general conditions of the enterprises, SMES in particular, reducing and preventing administrative and regulatory excessive burdens; among these measures may include: the impact periodic assessment of the relevant Union law on SMES, support to groups of independent experts, the exchange of information and good practices;
- actions to develop new strategies for competitiveness and development of companies, including:
- measures to improve the processing, implementation and evaluation of policies in favor of companies competitiveness and sustainability, also by sharing good practice on general conditions and on the management of clusters and networks of companies worldwide, promoting transnational collaboration between clusters and networks of enterprises, the development of products, technologies, services and sustainable processes, as well as the efficient use of resources, energy efficiency and the social responsibility of businesses;
- measures to deal with the international aspects of competition policies, with particular attention to cooperation between Member States and other countries participating in the program COSME and global trade partners of the Union;
- measures to improve the development of policies in favor of SMES, the cooperation between decision-makers, peer review and exchange of good practices between Member States, taking into account the concrete data available and the opinions of the parties concerned and, especially, in order to facilitate the access of SMES to the programs and measures of the Union in accordance with the action plan of the Small Business Act (SBA).
- support for the work undertaken in the Member States in order to strengthen the competitiveness of emerging industries through the exchange of good practices, or development of skills and training, in particular the digital skills, or actions to stimulate the launch of new business models and cooperation between SMES in favor of new value chains, in addition to commercial exploitation of relevant ideas for new products and services;
- integration to the actions of the Member States aimed at strengthening the competitiveness and sustainability of SMES in the Union, especially in sectors characterised by a significant growth potential.
- Actions to promote entrepreneurship:
- actions to support economic context and entrepreneurial culture aiming at the establishment of sustainable enterprises, to their growth, to the transfer of undertakings, to the second possibility (re-start), as well as to the spin-off and the spin-out. Particular attention must be devoted to potential entrepreneurs, new and young and female entrepreneurship, as well as to specific target groups;
- support the measures taken by the Member States to establish and facilitate the education, training, skills and attitudes entrepreneurial, in particular between the new and potential entrepreneurs.
- Local institutions
- Regional institutions
- National Administrations
- EU Member States
- EFTA/EEA Countries
- Participant countries, candidate countries and potential candidate countries, in accordance with the general principles and conditions for the participation of these countries in EU programs established in their respective framework agreements and in the respective decisions of the association councils
- Countries towards whom are applied policies communities, where agreements and procedures permit that and in accordance with the principles and general conditions for the participation of these countries in EU programs established in their respective framework agreements and protocols to the association agreements and decisions of the Association Council