Proposed Decision concerning the rules for the participation of undertakings, research centres and universities and for the dissemination of research results for the implementation of the Community fr

January 11, 2002

Brussels, 10 January 2002

Amended proposal for a DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL concerning the rules for the participation of undertakings, research centres and universities and for the dissemination of research results for the implementation of the European Community framework programme 2002-2006

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

The rules for participation and dissemination adopted under the codecision procedure by the Council and the European Parliament are one of the legal instruments implementing the Community framework programme for research.

As such, they stand alongside the specific programmes, and for the first time with the 2002-2006 framework programme, the forthcoming decision on the application of Article 169 of the Treaty.

The new rules have been drawn up with the twofold aim of:

­ adapting the rules on participating in research programmes and disseminating project results in line with the philosophy and characteristics of the new framework programme, especially the principles of the proposed new procedures for intervention and financial support;

­ simplifying and streamlining existing provisions to make them clearer and easier to understand.

The framework established complies with the above principles. Moreover, unlike the existing rules, the new rules on participation are not intended to be supported by an implementing regulation.

The current proposal is a revised draft of the proposal concerning the rules for participation adopted by the Commission on 10.09.01 (COM(2001)500 final).

This revision follows the political agreement reached within the Council during its meeting of 10.12.01 relating to the instruments.

The revision of the initial proposal consists in the deletion of Chapter II ("Instruments") and the Annex ("RTD activities and Community financial contribution according to type of instrument"), since the Council has transferred these two parts to Annex III to the Framework Programme.

The amendments compared with the Commission's initial proposal have been highlighted by using the "strikethrough" effect for passages deleted and the "bold "and "underlined" effects for new or amended passages.

To assist in the creation of the European Research Area, the 2002-2006 framework programme applies the following principles, especially through the networks of excellence and integrated projects:

­ the principle of opening projects to new participants;

­ flexibility in operational conditions, including procedures for launching new activities;

­ great autonomy in project implementation, with participants carrying out their tasks in largely self-determined conditions and internal arrangements best suited to completing projects successfully.

The following new features have been introduced into the rules for participation and financing to apply the above principles and to bring the rules into line with the characteristics and objectives of the new framework programme:

­ participants from Member States and from Associated candidate countries have exactly the same rights and obligations (Articles 12 4 and 13 5);

­ European scientific cooperation organisations (such as CERN, ESA, ESO and EMBL) are entitled to participate in the framework programme on exactly the same footing as any entity established in a Member State (this is not the case at present) (Article 12 4);

­ for the first time, organisations from third countries are fully entitled to participate in actions carried out under the bulk of the framework programme. Organisations in third countries eligible to take part in specific international cooperation actions under the framework programme (Russia and the States of the CIS, third countries of the Mediterranean and developing countries) will in addition be fully entitled to receive funding (Article 14 6);

­ general criteria have been drawn up for the selection of proposals taking account of the specific objectives of the new instruments (Article 18 10);

­ the Community will make its financial contribution in new forms of 'grants for integration' for the networks of excellence or 'grants to the budget' for integrated projects, providing important flexibility and involving less cumbersome and more effective controls, essentially ex post controls (Article 22 14);

­ consortia responsible for networks and integrated projects are given the opportunity to change the partnership, including through competitive calls, subject to clearly defined conditions (Article 23 15), and on the basis of simplified Commission consent.

The provisions regarding intellectual property have also been considerably simplified. They are now identical for all participants and focus on the principles and provisions which experience has shown are the most effective for participants.

As such, the rules have been drawn up so as to guarantee the smooth operation of projects, capable of involving large numbers of participants and conducted through evolving partnerships.

To this end, participants now have the option of agreeing their most appropriate joint arrangements within a clear and stable framework of general principles. This should make it easier for small research units, particularly SMEs, to participate.

The following are examples of innovations introduced:

­ moderating the requirement for participants to take out property rights to protect all the knowledge related to the project since, in some instances, it may be in their interest to place the knowledge in the public domain instead (Article 29 21);

­ the option for project participants to exclude some of their pre-existing know-how from the requirement to grant access to other participants (Article 32 24);

­ limiting a participant's access rights to knowledge arising from the work of other participants to only such information as is needed to make effective use of its own knowledge (Article 34 26).

These rules have been defined in consultation with programme users, the scientific community and industry.

The same principles will apply in the more detailed technical implementation provisions for carrying out the framework programme, and in particular those set out in the model contract and the work programmes. Users and national authorities will be consulted on these provisions.

In accordance with one of the key principles of the 2002-2006 framework programme, the model contract and work programmes will be prepared with the same goals as the reworking of the present rules, namely simplification and streamlining. The current financial provisions in the model contract and grant application forms will, therefore, be simplified.

Brussels, 10.01.2002 COM (2001) 822 final 2001/0202 (COD)

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