Applications pilot: dedicated support for small and medium-sized enterprises
EFSA has launched a new support initiative for applicants from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In the next six month, SMEs in the areas of feed additives and novel foods (excluding traditional food) can request an administrative check of their draft dossiers prior to submission. The support will be provided via teleconferences.
The administrative check will ensure that draft dossiers from SMEs comply with the requirements specified in the regulatory framework before being submitted. The support applies only to the administrative aspects of an application. Scientific questions, advice and assessments are outside the scope of the pilot.
SMEs represent a growing proportion of EFSA’s applicants. The aim of EFSA’s dedicated support, which will be on trial until December 2017, is to improve the quality of SME applications. This is expected to speed up the transition of these applications to the risk assessment phase.
Feed additives and novel foods (excluding traditional food) were selected for the pilot initiative as a large number of applications are expected in these areas. This particularly applies to novel foods, with the new European regulation due to enter into force in January 2018.
A thorough evaluation of the pilot – assessing results and benefits against invested efforts for both SMEs and EFSA – will guide EFSA in deciding on the future of this initiative.