Commission supports visionary research

February 28, 2003

Brussels, February 2003

Today the European Commission published the first call for proposals for research on "new and emerging science and technology" (NEST), under the 6 th EU Research Framework Programme (2003-2006). The €215 million NEST action opens the possibility for the Commission to finance research at the frontiers of knowledge in areas suggested by researchers themselves, with an emphasis on multi-disciplinary research. The present call for proposals concerns ADVENTURE projects, which aim at developing promising new avenues for science, and INSIGHT projects, addressing scientific discoveries that might entail risks or problems for society.

"Although EU research focuses on a limited number of major scientific priorities, we recognise the need to go beyond mainstream science and explore borderline concepts and ideas", said European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. "Research is about discovery, intellectual curiosity and innovation. That is why we ask researchers to suggest new, promising fields of knowledge that deserve further attention. Yesterday's science fiction is today's science. We have to look into our future and prepare to face challenges and respond to possible dangers."

With NEST, the Commission tackles the need for more flexible and responsive funding of cutting-edge interdisciplinary research at European level. The Commission intends to work closely with the research community to develop NEST over the course of the Framework Programme, to exploit the creative potential of Europe's scientists and to anticipate new research trends. The present call for proposals involves an indicative budget of €28 million, but the level of funding for NEST will increase substantially over the four years of the programme.

ADVENTURE projects will feature novel and interdisciplinary research areas, ambitious and tangible objectives, with a potential for high impact, but also imply a high risk of failure. INSIGHT projects will investigate discoveries that might hamper our health and quality of life, such as for instance a new pathogen or environmental contaminant, a potential failure in financial and other markets, new forms of crime etc.

For further information please visit:

DN: IP/03/289 Date: /02/2003

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