Brussels, 22 Mar 2005
According to EU Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potocnik, four keywords will form the basis of the Commission's formal proposals for the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7): cooperation, ideas, people and capacities.
Speaking at an event organised by the Luxembourg presidency to present the country's research capabilities, Mr Potocnik highlighted those elements which he believes will contribute to the success of the new programme, such as its seven year duration, its emphasis on themes rather than instruments, its simplified administrative procedures and its provisions for technological platforms.
'The Seventh Framework Programme will be the tool to realise the Growth and Jobs Strategy, building on the European Research Area. It will allocate priority to key scientific and technological themes [w]ith modes and support schemes meeting the full range of research needs in Europe. And with major efforts in simplification and rationalisation,' stated the Commissioner.
According to Mr Potocnik, a number of new features will ensure the success of FP7. The first one is its duration, which will be seven years, in line with the next financial perspective, with the possibility of a mid-term review. This should ensure both stability and flexibility, explained the Commissioner.
Furthermore, collaborative projects, renamed cooperation projects under FP7, will be more focused on industry needs and will be more growth-supportive.
The European Research Council (ERC), a 'champions' league of knowledge', based on autonomy and excellence, will support research in all scientific fields, from industry-driven to social and human sciences, and will allow the EU to compete with the US, Japan and other competitors, added Mr Potocnik.
Since Europe often struggles when it comes to creating public-private research partnerships, FP7 will include a focus on technology platforms to ensure a concerted effort by all stakeholders around a few key technologies with industrial potential. 'Technology platforms will play a very instrumental role in defining work programmes that are relevant to industry needs,' the Commissioner argued.
And Mr Potocnik concluded by arguing that simpler, clearer and cheaper administrative procedures will be central to FP7 in order to increase the participation of smaller research entities.
'My wish is that the framework programme should offer some sort of 'toolbox' where the scientific community as well as industry can find the most appropriate tool to consolidate and better exploit research capacities, performances as well as results,' added François Biltgen, Luxembourg's Research Minister.