Brussels, 14 Jul 2003
The first call for proposals under the information society technologies (IST) section of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) has generated requests for over 7.5 billion euro of EU funding, seven times the amount available for the call.
And whilst 73 per cent of those proposals fell short of the Commission's evaluation criteria, the funding requested by the per cent of consortia that did fulfil the necessary requirements still amounted to over 2.3 billion euro.
The Commission has now begun discussions with 220 of the 375 consortia that made the grade in order to begin allocating the 1.07 billion euro available under the first call.
Fabio Colasanti, Director General of DG Information Society, welcomed the results, saying: 'The first call of the IST priority has generated a very satisfying response. Proposers have ranged from industry to academia, from small and medium [sized] enterprises to the largest companies in the sector, and these organisations are located throughout the European Research Area.
'We have seen also that the new instruments of integrated projects and networks of excellence, which have been developed for the Sixth Framework Programme, will prove a vital tool to progress research and restructuring in Europe,' Mr Colasanti added.
Indeed, of the total of 1,396 proposals received, over a third related to the new instruments: 325 (23 per cent) for integrated projects, and 161 (12 per cent) for networks of excellence. The largest proportion of proposals submitted related to the smaller scale specific targeted research projects, of which there were 7 (52 per cent).
In all, 87 countries were involved in the first call, with proposals being received from organisations in all 15 EU Member States, 17 associated states, 10 other European countries, and 45 other nations from around the world.
'An area where we will be working for an improvement in subsequent calls is in the proportion of female experts used in the evaluation process,' according to Morten Møller, who manages IST evaluation operations. Of the 820 experts used, only 17 per cent were women, well short of the Commission's overall target of 40 per cent for the Sixth Framework Programme.
During a recent trip to Prague, Commissioner for Enterprise and the Information Society, Erkki Liikanen, said: 'Information and communication technologies play a key role in achieving higher growth, more jobs and better social inclusion. The projects which will be funded under our first call will play an important role in achieving these ambitious goals.'
For further information on IST calls, please consult the following web address:
To see the call for expert evaluators, please visit: