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Call: Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in European Regions and Cities

Acronym ESPON
Type of Fund Structural Fund
Description of programme
The objective of the ESPON 2020 Cooperation Programme is to support the reinforcement of the effectiveness of EU Cohesion Policy and other sectoral policies and programmes under European Structural Investment (ESI) funds as well as national and regional territorial development policies, through the production, dissemination and promotion of territorial evidence covering the entire territory of the 28 EU Members States, as well as 4 Partner States of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. In order to achieve this objective, ESPON focuses on the following Priority Axis (PA) and Specific Objectives (SO):
  • PA1 - Territorial Evidence, Transfer, Observation, Tools and Outreach
    • SO1 - Enhanced production of territorial evidence through applied research and analyses
    • SO2 - Upgraded knowledge transfer and use of analytical user support
    • SO3 - Improved territorial observation and tools for territorial analyses
    • SO4 - Wider outreach and uptake of territorial evidence
    • SO5 - Leaner, and more effective and efficient implementation provisions and more proficient programme assistance
Link Link to Programme
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in European Regions and Cities
Description of call
"Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in European Regions and Cities"

The research project should provide evidence on the territorial patterns and performance of SMEs in Europe, and propose territorial investment strategies that can be considered in different regions and cities to further strengthen the development and long-term sustainability of the SMEs.

More concretely, the objective of this research activity is to achieve answers to the following key policy questions:

  • What are the distribution patterns of SMEs across European regions and cities in terms of size, employment, sectors, and economic weight? Can specific territorial patterns be identified concerning the location of new SME start-ups, their survival rates and growth development?
  • To what extent and in which ways do the SMEs contribute to business development, job creation and innovation in European regions and cities, in particular in the areas of the creative/knowledge economy, ICT and the low-carbon economy?What are the key dynamics and drivers for the growth of these SMEs, especially after the crisis?
  • What are the main opportunities and obstacles for SMEs to grow? Does this differ across the European territory, and if so, how? Are development conditions better in dense urbanised areas? How does international connectedness and globalisation affect SMEs?
  • How could SME development best be supported in different types of regions/territories? What type of territorial development strategies should be considered in different regions and cities to further strengthen the development and sustainability of the business environments for SMEs? What is the particular role of the public sector and where can public money be spent most efficiently?
Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Regional Development & Regional Planning
Funding area EU Member States
EFTA countries
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
EFTA countries
Recurring Call Yes
Financial details

The maximum available budget for this contract is 500,000 € (five hundred thousand euros), exclusive of VAT but inclusive of all other taxes, disbursements, travel, accommodation and delivery costs.


The full dossier of the terms of reference and annexes can be accessed, free of charge, by request via email to or at Portail des Marchés Publics.


Contact Details

Managing authority
Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure Department for Spatial Planning and Development (DATER), Division for European Affairs
4, Place de l'Europe
L-2946 Luxembourg
Tel: +352 247-86934,

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