IraSME was initiated in 2005 as an ERA-NET. Until 2010 it was supported by the European Commission’s 6th and 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development.
Since January 2011 IraSME is a self-sustained network of several national funding agencies coordinated by the German AiF Projekt GmbH with financial means from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).
The idea is to fund international projects on a national / regional basis with as little extra effort as possible. Against the background of growing competition in global markets, IraSME supports SMEs in their transnational innovation activities, helps them to acquire technological know-how, extend their networks and bridge the gap between research and innovation
Participating countries in IraSME: Austria, Belgium (Flanders & Wallonia), Brazil, Canada (Alberta), the Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, Turkey and Russia.
In July 2014 the originally name EraSME was changed into IraSME (International Research Activities for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) to emphasize the international orientation of the network.