Scottish businesses and research organisations are being encouraged to bid for the final tranche of funding from a £50bn European programme.
The 7th EU Research and Technological Framework Programme 2007-13 - which is more snappily described as FP7 - is open to businesses, universities and institutes which are involved in cutting-edge research.
Under the terms of the programme, the European Commission will contribute up to 75% of eligible costs for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), involved in technological development and research activities, and all of the costs for management, co-ordination and dissemination of the projects.
These address a string of key concerns facing Europeans, including: combating diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimer's, schizophrenia and depression; information and communication technologies in health, material and neuro-sciences and neuro-robotics; innovative solutions for managing fresh water resources; secure, clean and efficient energy; combating the threat of drug-resistant bacteria; and dealing in post-disaster crisis management.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise can assist Scottish businesses find consortium partners and help with applications. The Enterprise Europe Network is an EU Commission-funded network of almost 600 organisations in more than 50 countries, all of whom provide free support to local companies who are looking to access new and exciting markets.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise have urged interested parties who want to find out more about the scheme to visit the EEN Scotland website: www.enterprise-europe-scotland.com/sct.FP7FinalCalls
But, as they stress, time is of the essence at this stage.