European Commission Announces Funding of €8.1 billion for Investment in Research and Innovation
On 9th July, in Brussels, the European Commission announced the final call for proposals for research under its Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). Funding of €8.1 billion, which is open to organisations and businesses in all EU Member States and partner countries, will support projects and ideas that it is hoped will boost Europe's competitiveness, tackle issues such as human health, protect the environment and find new solutions to waste management and the growing challenges that are linked to urbanisation.
Announcement of the sum available, which represents the majority of the proposed €10.8 billion research budget for 2013, comes within days of EU leaders emphasising the importance of research and innovation in the Compact for Growth and Jobs. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, said "Knowledge is the currency of the global economy. If Europe wants to continue to compete in the 21st century, we must support the research and innovation that will generate growth and jobs, now and in the future. The high level of competition for EU funding makes sure that taxpayers' money goes to the best projects that tackle issues that concern all of us." (IP/12/752)
This latest call for research proposals, in which €4.8 billion is will be dedicated to thematic research priorities, will be last of the current mandate bridging the intervening gap between now and Horizon 2020, when the next funding programme for EU research for 2014-2020 begins. "Innovative thematic research priorities in this FP7 call include: around €155 million for "Oceans of the future", to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors; around €365 million for technologies that will transform urban areas into sustainable "Smart Cities and Communities"; some €147 million to combat the rise of drug-resistant bacteria; and nearly €100 million dedicated to innovative solutions for managing fresh water resources."(IP/12/752)
Of the current funding available €1.2 billion will be sat aside for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and approximately €2.7 billion will be allocated through individual grants issued from the European Research Council (€1.75 billion), and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (€963 million) for research training and mobility. "To help spread excellent research more widely, a new "European Research Area Chairs" initiative is being prepared. A €12 million pilot call will select a total of five ERA Chairs, to be hosted by universities or other eligible research institutions in less developed regions in five different EU countries. To host an ERA Chair, institutions must demonstrate their ability to support excellence through providing the necessary facilities and complying with European Research Area principles such as open recruitment." (IP/12/752)
The FP7 framework programme, launched in 2007 with a total budget of €55 billion for research and innovation, has to date supported 19,000 projects, involving over 79,000 participants (universities, research organisations and businesses) across all EU Member States, at a cost of €25.3 billion. (It is estimated that by 2013 FP7 will also have directly supported some 55,000 individual researchers' careers.)
Last Updated (Thursday, 16 August 2012 09:10)