The Austrian Institute for SME Research was founded in 1952 and specialises in social and economic research on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is an independent, private, non-profit association that aims to provide information and figures to facilitate decision-making for organisation and their advisors, for institutions responsible for economic policy-making and business development as well as for universities, higher education institutions and other research institutions. The Austrian Institute for SME Research has about 40 members of staff, and is the largest research institute in Austria focussing on SMEs. It has been operating continuously for more than fifty years and has considerable experience in the field. The diverse academic backgrounds of its staff guarantee an interdisciplinary approach to its research activities, The institute maintains regular contacts with governmental organisations and business associations at a national and international level (above all European), and it cooperates closely with research institutions in almost every country in Europe as well as with numerous international organisations.