Brussels, 24 Oct 2002
The First European Research Conference
Following the approval of the new EUR 17.5 billion Sixth Framework Programme for Research 2002-2006 (FP6) by the Council of EU Ministers, the European Commission is organising a major conference to launch the programme. Over 7000 participants are attending this major event in Brussels from 11-13 November, 2002.
This conference serves two main objectives: to present the Sixth Framework Programme and to create a genuine 'European Research Area' highlighting state-of-the-art European research. It is the first high-level and pan-European conference on European research, with close to 200 speakers participating. These include key personalities such as Philippe Busquin, European Commissioner for Research; Erkki Liikanen, European Commissioner for Enterprise and the Information Society; David Byrne, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection; 20 Ministers; 4 Nobel laureates; and a host of leading researchers; as well as EU and government representatives; entrepreneurs; captains of industry; and end-users.
Offering insights into challenges, perspectives and breakthroughs in many areas of research, plus a tailored media programme and significant news gathering and interviewing opportunities, this event takes place once every four years and will be the largest ever hosted by the EU.
This conference will explain how EU research policy can be the engine of competitiveness in Europe, what the challenges and perspectives ahead are, and how FP6 will work in practice.
The Sixth Framework Programme is designed to drive European research forward on the world stage and to realise a truly European Research Area. This will be based on scientific excellence, as well as the application and transfer of innovation and knowledge.
To harvest this potential, however, European research efforts and capacities need to be further integrated, hence the key role of FP6.
This event offers presentations and interactive sessions aimed at communicating scientific priorities and projects in a user-friendly way. This combination of high-level plenary sessions and thematic workshops provides unrivalled access to the breadth and depth of European research.
An exhibition area will visually demonstrate how research is carried out at the European, national and regional levels, delivering results for the European citizen and to the benefit of European competitiveness.
A comprehensive and tailor-made media programme is also available. This aims to provide journalists with insights into the political, economic and scientific implications of FP6, as well as high-level interview opportunities.
The rationale of the conference programme is to explain how FP6 will act as a catalyst for scientific innovation at national, regional and pan-European levels by bringing pure and applied researchers together in networks of excellence and integrated projects. The programme offers detailed background information on the full spectrum of activities supporting European research, as well as 'hands-on' advice on how to access funding.
Seven priority areas significantly affecting the economy, society and citizens for which, to a large extent, science holds the key will be discussed. These range from life sciences and sustainable development; to food quality and safety; nanotechnologies; aeronautics and space.
What's new? The major novelties of FP6 will be explained. These include the opportunity for candidate countries to participate fully in all activities under exactly the same conditions as member states. Significant increases in financial resources for areas such as SMEs and combating major diseases will also be highlighted, as well as new measures to foster greater mobility within the scientific community.
How does FP6 work in practice? The conference and media programmes focus on 'hands on' advice on the mechanics of FP6, how to access funding and the new instruments being introduced. Presentations and case studies will demonstrate how research networks can profit from easier access to knowledge, finance and partnerships to succeed in the international marketplace.
A tailored media programme has been prioritised to facilitate the work of journalists. This includes a press conference; media briefing sessions; twice-daily press-points; working lunches; cocktails and interviews; plus a well-equipped press room.
The FP6 Launch Opening Session & Press Conference: Commencing at 09.30 on Monday 11th November, keynote speeches on the future of European research will be given by Philippe Busquin, EU Commissioner for Research, and Guy Verhofstadt, Prime Minister of Belgium. Additional satellite interventions by Jose Maria Aznar, Prime Minister of Spain, and Costas Simitis, Prime Minister of Greece, will also take place.
Four Media Sessions: on key research fields such as EU research on the world stage; research fostering citizens' welfare; managing the resources of tomorrow; and accessing research information (particularly in applicant states) etc. will be provided for journalists.
Press Points: Twice each day journalists will be offered an overview of media highlights for that day's programme, plus information on FP6.
Project insights: Numerous exhibits will provide concrete examples of advances made in European research discussed during the conference sessions.
Thematic walks: Upon request, journalists will be given recommendations on exhibitions and project demonstrations matching their editorial priorities. The organisers will also facilitate one-to-one contact with project coordinators in all fields of research.
Thematic Lunches & Receptions: A networking cocktail at 18.30 on Monday, FP6 thematic press lunches at 13.00 on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a reception dinner at 18.30 on Tuesday, are designed to give journalists access to key EU representatives and science community stakeholders working in their editorial field.