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Small Businesses: EC Countries

Volume 458: debated on Wednesday 14 March 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many small and medium-sized UK enterprises have used the STIMUTRAN-SME project. (126907)

I have been asked to reply.

The STIMUTRAN-SME project aims to boost innovation and knowledge transfer between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of North West Europe through “Transnational Matching Centres” (TMCs). These will help SMEs develop transnational business activities and help them find compatible business partners in the North West Europe region. Small and medium-sized enterprises from the UK have not yet had the opportunity to benefit from the STIMUTRAN-SME project as the TMCs have not yet commenced operations, but will do so shortly.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost has been to the public purse of the STIMUTRAN-SME project; and how much has been provided by the European Commission to the project. (126908)

I have been asked to reply.

The total budget for STIMUTRAN-SME, a North West Europe INTERREG project, is £171,227.47, which is made up of European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) of £373,069.18 and £404,158.28 match funding provided by the 10 project partners themselves.

The four UK partners (Southern Area Euro Info Centre; Highland Opportunity Limited; Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Business Link Kent) between them have a total budget for the life span of the project (2006-08) of £235,340.92. 48 per cent. of this is funded by ERDF (£112,963.32). The remainder, £122,377.60, has been provided by the four partners themselves. It is not possible to determine precisely how much of the match funding provided by partners may have originated from the public purse.