New FP6UK service to help UK universities and businesses access EU research and development cash

November 4, 2003

London, 3 November 2003

A new Government initiative was launched today to help UK organisations benefit from European Union funding for research and development projects.

The Framework Programme is the EU's main way of providing funding for collaborative research and innovation. It aims to strengthen European research and technological capability and encourage Europe's international competitiveness. It is open to all types of organisations in the EU, as well as a number of non-EU countries.

The current Framework Programme, called FP6, has an overall budget of 17.5 billion euros and will run until the end of 2006. The Government, recognising the vital importance of this research to the UK economy, has long provided a wide range of expert help and support to UK organisations seeking funding under the many areas of Framework Programmes through its network of National Contact Points (NCPs).

The launch of FP6UK will make it easier for UK organisations to become aware of the opportunities offered by FP6 and will, for the first time, enable them to access this wide range of NCP experts through a single, centralised information and promotion service.

Lord Sainsbury, Minister for Science and Innovation, said: "Research and development is essential to the health and wealth of the UK. The EU funding is a vital resource for universities and businesses. Our new service will provide seamless support for applicants from their initial enquiry through to, hopefully successful, final awards."

FP6UK can be contacted online at http:///fp6uk.ost.gov.uk or through a central telephone support number, 0870 600 6080, which can answer all general enquiries about FP6 as well as point callers directly to the relevant NCPs covering their specific area of interests.

Notes for Editors

The EU's Framework Programmes are the world's largest, publicly funded, research and technological development programmes. The Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) covers the period 2002-2006 and is the European Union's main instrument for the funding of collaborative research and innovation. It is open to public and private entities of all sizes in the EU and a number of non-EU countries. It has an overall budget of 17.5 billion euros.

Most of the budget for FP6 is devoted to work in seven priority thematic areas:
* Life sciences, Genetics and Biotechnology for Health;
* Information Society Technologies;
* Nanotechnologies and Nanosciences, Knowledge-based Multifunctional Materials and New Production Processes and Devices;
* Aeronautics and Space;
* Food Quality and Safety;
* Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems; and
* Citizens and Governance in a Knowledge-based Society.

There is also a focus on the research activities of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) across all seven thematic areas.

More information can be found on www.cordis.lu/fp6/home.html

Department of Trade and Industry
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http:///www.gnn.gov.uk/gnn/national.nsf/T I/3FC2209354F4224080256DD3003FC6D5?opend ocument

Department of Trade and Industry, Press Release No. P/2003/541

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