Member States reach agreement on Framework Programme for Research and Innovation in Europe

July 25, 2006

Brussels, 24 Jul 2006

Today the European Competitiveness Council has reached a political agreement between member states on the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP7) which will be the EU's main instrument for funding Community scientific research and technological development from 2007 – 2013. FP7 will pave the way towards the development of a knowledge-based bio-economy and society in Europe.

While today's agreement must pass the European Parliament for second reading in Autumn before being finally adopted, it means that FP7 is still on track to start next year.

The political agreement is based on the Commission's amended proposal for FP7 (1) and carries a total budget of EUR 54.6 billion, which means approximately EUR 7 billion per year for research compared to EUR 5 billion under FP6. SMEs and Public non-profit organizations will also get 75% of their costs funded compared to 50% under FP6.

The new Framework Programme provides a boost for biotech companies to fund their innovative research in key areas such as Health, Food, Agriculture, Energy and Environment.

EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries, welcomes the EU Competitiveness Council political agreement "EuropaBio is pleased with the Council's position on FP7. Although we do remain disappointed that Member States have reduced the overall budget initially proposed by the Commission, we are strongly convinced that the implementation of FP7 will provide a significant contribution to the competitiveness of the European bio-industry, as well as to the public welfare and economic growth across Europe", says Dr. Johan Vanhemelrijck, Secretary General of EuropaBio.

EuropaBio also welcomes the agreement on stem cell research allowing the funding of embryonic stem cell projects on a case-by-case basis, depending on the laws of member states involved, the contents of the scientific proposal and the evaluation of the ethical committee. Continuing the funding on embryonic stem cells research at European level is a postivie signal for European biotech research, which may one day offer hope for patients suffering from diseases like Parkinsons and Alzheimers.

The proposal is now set to go back to the European Parliament for a second reading in November 2006.

For more information, contact

EuropaBio Adeline Farrelly - Tel: +32 2 735 0313 Direct: +32 2 739 1174
Mobile: +32 475 93 17 24
Alina Cornea – Tel: +32 2 735 03 13 Direct +32 739 11 81
Email: Notes to Editors

(1) Amended proposal of the EU Commission for an EU Parliament and Council decision

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In April 2005, the European Commission published the outline of the new framework programme (FP7), in September 2005 a proposal for the research priorities and in December 2005 the 'Rules of Participation'. The budgetary aspects to the programme were adopted in May 2006 by the EU Commission, following agreement on the EU's Financial Perspectives for 2007 to 2013.

The European Parliament adopted the proposals in June 2006, requesting some 1,700 amendments; the majority of which were then incorporated into the Commission's proposal.

The Commission published an amended proposal for FP7 which was the subject of today's Political Agreement by the EU Council.

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