Brussels, 29 Sep 2004
The Irish Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (ICSTI) has launched, a national consultation process on the Seventh EU Framework Programme for research (FP7).
At the request of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, ICSTI is calling for input from industry, researchers and the main public and private sector organisations involved in the funding of research and development (R&D). The aim of this consultation is to identify the national research and innovation priorities for Ireland and to prepare an initial Irish position on the proposals for FP7.
'The Framework Programme is one of the main channels by which Irish researchers, in industry and in academia, can work on a wider stage,' explained Dr Edward Walsh, Chairman of ICSTI. 'Research and development does not take place within closed borders. Irish researchers have to be part of a wider system for ideas to flow and for commercialisation opportunities to be realised,' he added.
The framework programmes are an important part of the Ireland's total investment in R&D. Furthermore, apart from the direct financial benefits of participating in the framework programmes, Irish researchers have also gained from learning from other researchers through collaborative projects, access to facilities that do not exist in Ireland, researcher mobility and contact with countries that may provide significant market opportunities for research commercialisation, explains the ICSTI in its consultation document.
'While there have been very welcome increases in national funding for research and development in recent years, the EU Framework Programme is arguably more important to Ireland now than it ever has been,' emphasises the ICSTI. 'It is imperative that we do everything we can to help shape the next Framework Programme (FP7) for the benefit of Europe as a whole but, in particular, for Ireland, its researchers and its industrial base. Active participation in the 7th EU Framework Programme will be one of the key building blocks in developing Ireland's knowledge economy,' adds the ICSTI.
The ICSTI hopes the consultation process will provide useful input to the high-level strategic decisions about FP7 that will be taken between now and early-2005.
To read the full consultation document, please consult the following web address: