Quick notes: 7th FP

1. The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is the world’s biggest single publicly funded research programme and is the main funding mechanism for supporting collaborative Research and Technological Development in the EU. It will run from 2007-2013, with a budget of E53.2 billion, which represents the third largest item in the EU budget.
 
2. The programme’s overall aims are to:
 
– Strengthen the EU’s S&T base
– Improve the EU’s competitiveness
– Support EU policy development
 
3. The programme is open to EU public and private entities of all sizes and incorporates provision for the participation of non-EU countries. Participation is on an internationally collaborative basis and there are no national quotas as the programme operates on a competitive basis with proposals being evaluated by panels of independent experts against set criteria.
 
4. FP7 was officially launched on 22 December when the first “calls for proposals” (i.e. invitation to submit project proposals in defined areas) were issued by the European Commission.
 
The programme is made up of four main chapters:
 
* Co-operation – This will fund research activities involving trans-national cooperation in ten thematic areas:
* Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology
* Information and Communication Technologies
* Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production Technologies
* Energy
* Environment (including Climate Change)
* Transport (including Aeronautics)
* Socio-Economic Sciences and the Humanities
* Space
* Security
 
The major new additions to this area are the Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs). These are envisaged as major public private partnerships to invest in key strategic technologies, combining private sector investment and national and European public funding. The six areas suggested for JTIs are innovative medicine, nanoelectronics, embedded systems, aeronautics and air transport, hydrogen and fuel cells and global monitoring for environment and security. Negotiations on the JTIs will take place throughout 2007.
 
* Ideas – This is a new element introduce in FP7 where funding will be given to investigator driven research projects across all fields, carried out by individual teams in European competition and managed by a European Research Council (ERC). Projects will be evaluated on the sole criterion of excellence as judged by peer review.
 
* People – Known as “Marie Curie” actions, this is aimed at the mobility of researchers. The budget is greater than previous Framework Programmes and more emphasis is given to industry-academic transfers.
 
* Capacities – key aspects of European research and innovation capacities in following areas:
 
* Infrastructures – continuation of successful past activities with support for new infrastructure
 
* Science in Society – continuation of the existing programme.
 
* Regions of Knowledge and Research Potential – are still about excellence but will help to involve regional authorities in FP7 and enable excellent researchers from convergence regions to achieve higher visibility (helping participation in collaborative projects) respectively.
 
* International cooperation – building the capacity of selected third countries and providing opportunities to take part in research not covered under the Cooperation.
 
* Co-ordination of national programmes and international cooperation – are now fully integrated into the main thematic priorities rather than being separate activities with separate budget lines.
 
(Source Europe


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