The Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) is designed to promote competitiveness and support the innovation capacities within European companies. The programme mainly targets Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs).
The programme supports innovation (including eco-innovation), provides better access to financing and delivers business support services. It encourages the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and helps to develop an information society. CIP also promotes the increased use of renewable energies and the strengthening of energy efficiency.
CIP is divided into 3 specific programmes with specific objectives:
Adopted for the period 2007-2013, CIP has a budget of €3.6 billion. It provides grants for a number of actions and projects (pilot projects, best exchange practices, networking, etc.). Several larger intervention mechanisms and actions are made available through the EIP programme. The 3 CIP programmes are relevant for actors of the private and public sectors, originating from Europe and other countries. In general, grants are awarded through Calls for project proposals.
In order to complement national research programmes, activities financed by CIP must have a "European added value": the projects must demonstrate the benefits of being implemented at European level (a European dimension of the obstacles to be eliminated, improved competitiveness of the European economy, the transnational nature of the actions, etc.).