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EU-FP7 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 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 €44432
million, 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.
Specific for EO domain:
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 tara
ed in this area is €2240 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 €3500 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 €10483 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 Capacities Programme
The 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
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. (€1680m)
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. (€140m)
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. (€490m)
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. (€490m)
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.
Common themes and issues
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 €315m,
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
necessity to operate with respect for fundamental ethical principles
and existing international law and conventions in this area. Human
cloning for reproductive purposes, 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.
(Credits Europa)