Oct. 2, 2019

CORNET: International Research solves SME’s Problems

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are often confronted with challenges such as new security or environmental standards, digitalising their processes or the necessity to use new materials. However, most SMEs lack financial and personnel resources to perform research activities that would be necessary to tackle these issues.


CORNET offers the solution: several companies from the same industry with a common pre-competitive problem join forces. An SME association takes over the search for a researcher and partners abroad and the task of submitting an application. Once the project has been approved for funding, the association will lead the project, in which research institutions will solve the problems of SMEs in close contact with the so-called "SME User Committee", which consists of five SMEs per country. As the research is carried out for groups of SMEs, this type of research is called "Collective Research".


Twice per year, CORNET organises calls for proposals for international Collective Research projects with deadline in March and September. The calls are not restricted to branches: any topic that solves SME’s pre-competitive problems is allowed (“bottom-up”). Eligible for submitting proposals are SME organisations like associations or clusters from at least two countries participating in the call.


As CORNET is a self-sustained network of ministries and funding agencies, each partner in a project consortium is funded according to the rules of his respective national or regional funding scheme (“ERA-NET principle”).


CORNET offers an average success rate of 66 per cent. A typical CORNET-project has a duration of two years and a budget of 600.000 €.

The CORNET Coordination Office is based in Cologne, Germany. The CORNET coordination activities are financially supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

More information


TETRAMAX is a Horizon 2020 innovation action within the European Smart Anything Everywhere (SAE) initiative in the domain of customized and low-energy computing for Cyber Physical Systems and the Internet of Things. As a Digital Innovation Hub, TETRAMAX aims to bring added value to European industry, helping to gain competitive advantage through faster digitization. The project partially builds on experiences with the TETRACOM project during 2013-2016. TETRAMAX was launched in Sep 2017 and runs until Dec 2021.