Commission welcomes European Parliament's green light for EUR 17.5 billion 6th Research Framework Programme

May 16, 2002

Brussels, 15 May 2002

In a landmark vote today in Strasbourg the European Parliament gave its go-ahead to the Commission's proposal for next EU Research and Development Framework Programme (FP6).

"I welcome this key vote", said Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin."This new R&D Programme will run until 2006, with a €17.5 billion budget, a 17% increase on the last programme. A major innovation in FP6 is the way in which researchers will work together in Europe: on a selected number of priorities, in an integrated way, and with streamlined administrative procedures. Once the Council has endorsed Parliament's vote, it will be the first time that the scientific community and industry will have more than six months to draft proposals before the formal entry into force. We shall keep working with the Parliament and Council to implement the Programme, that represents a big EU financial and policy effort to upgrade European scientific knowledge, quality of life and competitiveness."

FP6 represents the third operational budget line within EU overall budget, after Common Agricultural Policy and Structural Funds. It will be instrumental in achieving the March 2000 Lisbon European Council goal of turning Europe into the world's most competitive knowledge-based economy by 2010. It will also greatly contribute to the creation of the European Research Area (ERA), a true European internal market for research and knowledge, where EU and national R&D efforts are better integrated.

Priorities covered by FP6 include life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health, information society technologies, nanotechnologies and nanosciences, "intelligent" materials, new production processes and devices, aeronautics and space, food quality and safety, sustainable development, global change and ecosystems, citizens and governance, and other promising research areas, including support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) participation.

FP6 shall also address research and innovation, human resources and mobility, research infrastructures, and science/society relationship. The Commission shall respect strict ethical rules in implementing these priorities.

To reach the necessary critical mass at EU level and to effectively pool together financial and intellectual resources, FP6 will introduce new instruments, such as networks of excellence and integrated projects. The Commission has already published calls for expression of interest to pave the way for the first calls for proposals in autumn 2002.

Further information is available at index_en.html

Calls for expressions of interest s/

DN: IP/02/720 Date: 15/05/2002

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