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European Commission develops its plans for future research programme
Commission Européenne - IP/05/1171 21/09/2005
Brussels, 21 September 2005
The European Commission has today set out the details of its proposal for a new programme to fund research and development from 2007 to 2013. The Specific Programmes proposed by the Commission put into effect the broad outline proposed by the Commission in April 2005, known as the Seventh Framework Programme, composed of 4 main elements: Co-operation, Ideas, People and Capacities. These will be discussed with the European Parliament, before being decided by the Council.
“Europe needs a solid framework for its research from 2007”, said Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Science and Research. “Our proposal is designed to deliver what Europe needs for its future. What is important now is to allocate sufficient funds to allow this project to achieve its objective of greater competitiveness for Europe and a better quality of life for its citizens. The Commission will take all steps it can to make sure that we are ready to implement the programmes once the legislative process has been completed.”
The four major Specific Programmes proposed today are:
Co-operation: The Cooperation programme is designed to gain leadership in key scientific and technological areas by supporting cooperation between universities, industry, research centres and public authorities across the European Union as well as the rest of the world. The nine themes proposed correspond to the major fields of progress in knowledge and technology where excellent research must be strengthened to address European social, economic, environmental and industrial challenges.
Ideas: The Ideas programme will establish a European Research Council, a pan-European mechanism to support the truly creative scientists, engineers and scholars. Their curiosity and thirst for knowledge are most likely to make the unpredictable and spectacular discoveries that can change the course of human understanding and open up new vistas for technological progress and solving enduring social and environmental problems.
People: The People programme looks to strengthen the human resources available to science and research across Europe, both qualitatively and quantitatively. The programme will stimulate people to embark on and pursue research careers, encourage researchers to stay in Europe, and attract the best brains to Europe.
Capacities: The Capacities specific programme will enhance research and innovation capacity throughout Europe. This includes elements such as new research infrastructure, support for small and medium-sized companies, developing ‘regions of knowledge’, unlocking research potential in convergence and outermost regions and improving the position of Science in Society.
The Commission has also adopted a programme setting out the future direction of its in-house research facilities, DG Joint Research Centre. This programme will strengthen the JRC’s ability to provide sound scientific and technical support to Commission services and Member States to allow them to develop appropriate responses to new challenges of crises, emergencies and major areas of policy development.
Later in the year the European Commission will make a proposal relating to
the Rules of participation in the various Specific Programmes. These proposals
will be important in terms of the Commission’s simplification efforts,
aimed at making the programme more accessible and straightforward for its users.
Today’s proposal already goes some way in this direction, through its
simple, clear architecture and the reduction in types of funding
 Health; Food Agriculture and Biotechnology; Information and Communication technologies; Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production technologies; Energy; Environment, including Climate Change; Transport, including Aeronautics, Socio-economic Sciences and the Humanities; Security and Space.