Recital 143 Special consideration of the interests of SMEs*

In order to promote and protect innovation, it is important that the interests of SMEs, including start-ups, that are providers or deployers of AI systems are taken into particular account. To that end, Member States should develop initiatives, which are targeted at those operators, including on awareness raising and information communication. Member States should provide SMEs, including start-ups, that have a registered office or a branch in the Union, with priority access to the AI regulatory sandboxes provided that they fulfil the eligibility conditions and selection criteria and without precluding other providers and prospective providers to access the sandboxes provided the same conditions and criteria are fulfilled. Member States should utilise existing channels and where appropriate, establish new dedicated channels for communication with SMEs, including start-ups, deployers, other innovators and, as appropriate, local public authorities, to support SMEs throughout their development path by providing guidance and responding to queries about the implementation of this Regulation. Where appropriate, these channels should work together to create synergies and ensure homogeneity in their guidance to SMEs, including start-ups, and deployers. Additionally, Member States should facilitate the participation of SMEs and other relevant stakeholders in the standardisation development processes. Moreover, the specific interests and needs of providers that are SMEs, including start-ups, should be taken into account when notified bodies set conformity assessment fees. The Commission should regularly assess the certification and compliance costs for SMEs, including start-ups, through transparent consultations and should work with Member States to lower such costs.

For example, translation costs related to mandatory documentation and communication with authorities may constitute a significant cost for providers and other operators, in particular those of a smaller scale. Member States should possibly ensure that one of the languages determined and accepted by them for relevant providers’ documentation and for communication with operators is one which is broadly understood by the largest possible number of cross-border deployers. In order to address the specific needs of SMEs, including start-ups, the Commission should provide standardised templates for the areas covered by this Regulation, upon request of the Board. Additionally, the Commission should complement Member States’ efforts by providing a single information platform with easy-to-use information with regards to this Regulation for all providers and deployers, by organising appropriate communication campaigns to raise awareness about the obligations arising from this Regulation, and by evaluating and promoting the convergence of best practices in public procurement procedures in relation to AI systems. Medium-sized enterprises which until recently qualified as small enterprises within the meaning of the Annex to Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC should have access to those support measures, as those new medium-sized enterprises may sometimes lack the legal resources and training necessary to ensure proper understanding of, and compliance with, this Regulation.

* This title is an unofficial description.