Brussels, June 2002
EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin explained the major new elements contained in the forthcoming Sixth Framework programme (FP6) at a briefing in Brussels on June.
He outlined that this is the first time that approval, which was gained on 3 June, has been given to a Framework programme so early. He also welcomed the fact that there had been a great deal of support from all levels - political, industrial and scientific. Though there had been extensive discussions on the content and operation of FP6, there was quick agreement and no major changes to the Commission's proposal. Finalisation of the rules for participation is expected to take place shortly after the Danish Presidency begins in July 2002.
The aim of bringing together a critical mass of resources and skills is one of the major new impetuses behind FP6, according to Mr Busquin. New means of participating, with networks of excellence and integrated projects, will help to pool resources and increase focus on a reduced number of priority areas. This, coupled with new simplified contracts and management procedures, should help to create the European research area (ERA), which is an integral aim of FP6.
Some 15,000 suggested research ideas have already been submitted to the European Commission for the next Framework programme. The first funding available from FP6 will be available early next year.
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