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Regional policy for smart growth of SMEs

The purpose of this guide is to extract policy lessons from the past decades of Structural Fund, national and regional support for SMEs into a comprehensive guide with the aim to help ERDF managing authorities and regional penholders of any RIS3 design a policy mix that supports enterprises in maximising objectives and opportunities.
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Abstract

The purpose of this guide is to extract policy lessons from the past decades of Structural Fund, national and regional support for SMEs into a comprehensive guide with the aim to help ERDF managing authorities and regional penholders of any RIS3 design a policy mix that supports enterprises in maximising objectives and opportunities. The guide draws not only on SME specific policy experiences, but spans across a wide range of policies, including research, innovation, cluster, state aid, internal market, education and training.

This guide highlights, in particular, that SME competitiveness in Europe relies heavily on innovation and thus the successful RIS3 implementation and the quality of its design and delivery mechanisms for financial and non-financial support services. In line with the 2014-2020 ERDF thematic priorities, these support services should enhance R&D+I activities or strengthen enterprise competitiveness. This guide provides thoughts, tips and ideas on how to achieve this.