1. Member States shall undertake the following actions:
(a) provide SMEs, including start-ups, having a registered office or a branch in the Union, with priority access to the AI regulatory sandboxes, to the extent that they fulfil the eligibility conditions and selection criteria. The priority access shall not preclude other SMEs including start-ups other than those referred to in the first subparagraph to access to the AI regulatory sandbox, provided that they fulfil the eligibility conditions and selection criteria;
(b) organise specific awareness raising and training activities on the application of this Regulation tailored to the needs of SMEs including start-ups, users and, as appropriate, local public authorities;
(c) utilise existing dedicated channels and where appropriate, establish new ones for communication with SMEs including start-ups, users, other innovators and, as appropriate, local public authorities to provide advice and respond to queries about the implementation of this Regulation, including as regards participation in AI regulatory sandboxes;
(ca) facilitate the participation of SMEs and other relevant stakeholders in the standardisation development process.
2. The specific interests and needs of the SME providers, including start-ups, shall be taken into account when setting the fees for conformity assessment under Article 43, reducing those fees proportionately to their size, market size and other relevant indicators.
2a. The AI Office shall undertake the following actions:
(a) upon request of the AI Board, provide standardised templates for the areas covered by this Regulation;
(b) develop and maintain a single information platform providing easy to use information in relation to this Regulation for all operators across the Union;
(c) organise appropriate communication campaigns to raise awareness about the obligations arising from this Regulation;
(d) evaluate and promote the convergence of best practices in public procurement procedures in relation to AI systems. Article 55a Derogations for specific operators.
2b. Microenterprises as defined in Article 2(3) of the Annex to the Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, provided those enterprises do not have partner enterprises or linked enterprises as defined in Article 3 of the same Annex may fulfil certain elements of the quality management system required by Article 17 of this Regulation in a simplified manner. For this purpose, the Commission shall develop guidelines on the elements of the quality management system which may be fulfilled in a simplified manner considering the needs of micro enterprises without affecting the level of protection and the need for compliance with the requirements for high-risk AI systems.
2c. 2. Paragraph 1 shall not be interpreted as exempting those operators from fulfilling any other requirements and obligations laid down in this Regulation, including those established in Articles 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 61 and 62.