EU-FP7 programme

The Specific Programmes under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development
The Co-operation Programme
The Co-operation programme is designed to
establish European leadership in key scientific and technological areas
by supporting cooperation between universities, industry, research
centres and public authorities across the European Union as well as the
rest of the world. The Commission is proposing an amount of ?Ñ44432
million[1], about 60% of total proposed FP7 expenditure. The programme
focuses on nine themes, corresponding to the major fields of progress
in knowledge and technology where excellent research must be
strengthened to address European social, economic, environmental and
industrial challenges. These are:
Health, where the objective is to
improve the health of European citizens and increase the
competitiveness of European health-related industries and businesses,
while addressing global health issues including emerging epidemics.
Emphasis will be put on ?¨translational research?Æ (turning basic
discoveries into clinical applications), the development and validation
of new therapies, methods for health promotion and disease prevention,
diagnostic tools and technologies and efficient health care systems.
The amount proposed in this area is ?Ñ7350 million.
Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology,
where the objective is to build a European knowledge-based bio-economy
by bringing together science, industry and other stakeholders. The aim
will be to exploit new and emerging research opportunities that address
social and economic challenges: the growing demand for safer, healthier
and higher quality food, taking into account animal welfare and rural
contexts; the sustainable production and use of renewable
bio-resources; the increasing risk of epizootic an zoonotic diseases
and good-related disorders; threats to the sustainability and security
of agricultural and fisheries production resulting in particular from
climate change. The amount proposed in this area is ?Ñ2170 million.
Information and Communication Technologies, where
the objective is to improve the competitiveness of European industry
and enable Europe to master and shape the future developments of
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to meet the demands of
both society and economy. Activities will strengthen Europe??s
scientific and technology base and ensure its global leadership in ICT,
help drive and stimulate innovation through ICT use and ensure that ICT
progress is rapidly transformed into benefits for Europe??s citizens,
businesses, industry and governments. The amount proposed in this area
is ?Ñ11197 million.
Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production Technologies,
where the objective is to improve the competitiveness of European
industry, ensure its transformation from resource-intensive to
knowledge-intensive, by generating breakthrough knowledge for new
applications at the crossroads between different technologies and
disciplines and concentrate its capabilities on high-added-value
products and technologies to meet customer requirements, as well as
environmental, health and other societal expectations. The amount
proposed in this area is ?Ñ4270 million.
Energy, where the objective is to
transform the current fossil-fuel energy system into a more sustainable
one based on a diverse portfolio of energy sources and carriers
combined with enhanced energy efficiency, to address the pressing
challenges of security of supply and climate change. The amount
proposed in this area is ?Ñ2590 million.
Environment, including Climate Change,
where the objective is to promote sustainable management of the natural
and human environment and its resources by advancing understanding of
the interaction of the bio-sphere, ecosystems and human activities and
developing new technologies, tool and services to address global
environmental issues in an integrated way. Emphasis will be put on
prediction of climate, ecological, earth and ocean systems changes, on
tools and technologies for monitoring, prevention and mitigation of
environmental pressures and risks, including to health and the
sustainability of the natural and man-made environment. The amount
proposed in this area is ?Ñ2240 million.
Transport, including Aeronautics,
seeking to develop integrated, ?¨greener?Æ, ?¨smarter?Æ and safer
pan-European transport systems for the benefit of the citizen and
society, respecting the environment and natural resources, and securing
and developing the competitiveness and leading role of European
industry in the global market. The amount proposed in this area is
?Ñ5250 million.
Socio-economic sciences and the Humanities, generating
in-depth, shared understanding of complex and inter-related
socio-economic challenges facing Europe, such as growth, employment and
competitiveness, social cohesion, sustainability, quality of life,
education, cultural issues and global interdependence, in particular
with a view to providing an improved knowledge case for policies in the
fields concerned. The amount proposed in this area is ?Ñ700 million.
Security and space, where
the objectives are two-fold. On the one hand to develop the
technologies and knowledge to ensure the security of citizens from
threats such as terrorism and crime, as well as from the impact and
consequences of unintended incidents such as natural disasters or
industrial accidents, while on the other to support a European Space
Programme, focussing on applications such as Global Monitoring for
Environmental Sustainability with benefits for citizens and industry.
The amount proposed in this area is ?Ñ3500 million.
The Co-operation programme will focus on
collaborative research, that is, fostering the creation of excellent
research projects and networks able to attract researchers and
investment from across Europe and the entire world. This collaborative
research will primarily take the form of collaborative projects,
networks of excellence, coordination and support actions. In addition
the Co-operation Programme proposes two new instruments to support
research and development in Europe:
Joint Technology Initiatives, which
will, in a limited number of cases, support the creation of long-term
private/public partnerships. These JTIs will mainly result from the
work of European Technology Platforms, to combine private sector,
national and European financing. The criteria for selection of JTIs
include: demonstrated added value of intervention at European level; a
clear objective; financial and other resources committed by industry;
clear impact on growth and competitiveness; contribution to broader
policy objectives; capacity to attract other funding; inability of
other existing instruments to achieve the objective.
Risk Sharing Finance Facility, which
will take the form of a grant to the European Investment Bank, which
will be use to cover part of the risks associated with loans to
research and development actions, which is inherently riskier than some
other economic activities.
The Co-operation programme is designed to
make it easier than in the past to focus on priority scientific areas
which cut across several themes: an example could be marine sciences
and technology (food and environment). The programme is also designed
with enough flexibility to allow it to meet emerging needs that cannot
be foreseen now, for example arising from scientific or technological
breakthroughs. It will allow research on topics identified by
researchers to develop new scientific and technological opportunities,
assess new discoveries or newly-observed phenomena, and focus on
specific objectives in emerging fields of science and technology that
promise major advances. It will also have the flexibility to respond to
new policy needs that arise during the course of the programme, such as
new epidemics, emerging concerns in food safety, or responses to
natural disasters.
The Ideas Programme
The Ideas programme will establish a
European Research Council (ERC), a pan-European mechanism to support
the truly creative scientists, engineers and scholars, whose curiosity
and thirst for knowledge are most likely to make the unpredictable and
spectacular discoveries that can change the course of human
understanding and open up new vistas for technological progress and
solving enduring social and environmental problems. The key principles
for the operation of the ERC will be scientific autonomy and
excellence. The ERC, with a proposed budget of ?Ñ10483 million, will
consist of a Scientific Council, composed of 22 eminent scientists from
across Europe and from many different disciplines. The Scientific
Council will be supported by an implementation structure, responsible
for all aspects of administrative implementation and carrying out the
work programme. This structure will implement the evaluation
procedures, peer review and selection processes according to the
principles established by the Scientific Council and will ensure the
financial and scientific management of grants.
The People Programme
European science can only be as good as the
people carrying it out. It is for this reason that the European
Commission proposes allocating a significant amount of the Seventh
Framework Programme ?± ?Ñ6300 million?± to measures that will develop
Europe??s researchers both qualitatively and quantitatively, which will
be known as ?´Marie Curie Actions??. It will build on the significant
positive experience of previous such programmes. Actions supported by
the People programme will include: initial training of researchers,
through a networking mechanism focused on the first four years of their
careers; life-long training and career development, through individual
fellowships, co-funding regional, national or international programmes;
creating closer links between industry and academia, through
secondments, hosting programmes, workshops and conferences.
There will also be a significant
international dimension, with outgoing international fellowships,
return and reintegration grants for European researchers, incoming
international fellowships and international partnerships. The People
programme will be supported by actions that seek to remove obstacles to
moving within the EU and enhance the career perspectives of
The Capacities Programme
Capacities Programme aims to develop the resources available to
Europe??s research community, so that it can operate in the best
possible conditions. Measures to achieve this include:
Development of research infrastructures
(large-scale research facilities such as super-computers, libraries,
networked databases, testing facilities, observatories), so that
European scientists remains at the forefront of advances in research.
Strengthening the innovative capacity of small- and medium-sized enterprises
and their ability to benefit from research, by helping them outsource
research, increase their own research efforts, extend their networks,
make better use of research results and acquire necessary technological
know-how. (?Ñ1680m)
Development of Regions of Knowledge,
to strengthen the research potential of the regions by bringing
together regional authorities, universities, research centres,
enterprises and other interested parties. (?Ñ140m)
Unlocking the research potential of the EU??s convergence and outermost regions,
to stimulate their greater participation in EU research activities.
Such measures could include twinning, networks for exchanging know-how
and expertise, secondments, acquisition of research equipment,
awareness raising activities. (?Ñ490m)
Bringing science and society closer
together, to counter the lack of public participation in the setting of
priorities, and the perceived isolation of the scientific world from
everyday realities of life. Objectives include strengthening and
improving the European science system, including access to research
results and the link between science and policy-making, promoting
better understanding of issues that have an impact on society??s
perception of science, such as ethics, law, culture, improving the
gender dimension of research, attracting more young people into
science, and supporting the effective two-way communication between
scientists and the general public. (?Ñ490m)
In broader terms, support can be given
under this programme to the coordination of Member States?? research
policies, in particular with a view to putting into practice the EU??s
growth and competitiveness agenda.
Joint Research Centre
The European Commission??s
Directorate-General Joint Research Centre will receive funding
amounting to ?Ñ1617 million from the Seventh Framework Programme to
provide customer-driven scientific and technical support to the EU
policy-making process, helping in the implementation and monitoring of
existing policies and responding to new policy demands. The JRC??s major
customers are Commission services (policy DGs), other European
institutions such as the European Parliament, EU agencies and Member
The JRC will organise its work along four main themes:
* Prosperity in a knowledge-intensive society
* Solidarity and the responsible management of resources
* Security and Freedom
* Europe as a World Partner
Euratom activities
For reasons stemming from the legal set-up
of the EU, all nuclear research and training activities are funded
under two separate Specific Programmes, under the Euratom treaty. These
activities will be carried out by both the Joint Research Centre and
the research community in general and concern nuclear waste management,
environmental impact and basic knowledge; nuclear safety and nuclear
security, fusion energy research and research on nuclear fission and
radiation protection. The total amount proposed for such activities is
Common themes and issues
The Commission will be responsible for ensuring the
coherence of these Specific Programmes. There are a number of aspects
that will reinforce the operation of all the Specific Programmes as
part of an integrated European programme of research.
Joint calls for proposals, where
actions have strong relevance to different parts of the Co-operation,
People and Capacities programmes, or across different themes within the
Co-operation programme.
International co-operation will be
a specific theme of the Capacities programme, with an allocated ?Ñ315m,
but it will form a part of all programmes, and all will have dedicated
actions in this field.
The ethical framework for the
Specific Programmes is an issue of great importance for the European
Commission. All Specific Programmes contain clauses making clear the
necessaity to operate with respect for fundamental ethical principles
and existing international law and conventions in this area. Human
cloning for reproductive pruposes, research activity to modify the
genetic heritage of human beings, the creation of human embryos for the
purpose of research or stem cell procurement are explicitly ruled out.
No research can be financed by the Framework Programme in a particular
country that is contrary to the laws of that country. Further more
projects that raise any ethical questions are submitted to a rigorous 4
stage process before being funded (national ethical review, European
scientific review, European ethical review and consideration by a
Committee of Member States). A fuller explanation of the ethical
implications of the Commission??s proposals can be found in MEMO/05/121.
SME participation will be a major
priority of the new programme. In addition to the specific actions in
the Capacities programme, SME research interests are included
throughout the Co-operation programme and will be identified in more
detail in the work programmes and calls for proposals. The People
programme will have a special emphasis on involving personnel from
SMEs. The streamlining of the programmes and the funding instruments
should also boost the participation of SMEs.
Dissemination and knowledge transfer:
efforts to improve the take-up of research results are a key feature of
all the Specific Programmes, with emphasis on transfer of knowledge
across national borders, different disciplines, and between academia
and industry.
Simplification ?± making the programmes more accessible and user-friendly ?± is a major priority for the Commission. The
most improvements can be made at the level of the rules of
participation, which will be proposed by the Commission later this
autumn. But a number of improvements are already possible at the level
of Specific Programmes, such as: improved efficiency through the
management of administrative tasks by an outside agency; streamlining
of the funding schemes available to participants, principles
established for evaluation criteria; streamlined systems for the
approval of projects; clearer programme architecture.
See also IP/05/1171 and MEMO/05/336
(Credits Europa
Author: EARSC

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