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IP/09/614

Brussels, 22 April 2009

Commissioner Potočnik visits Bosnia and Herzegovina: Capitalising on science for success!

Following Bosnia and Herzegovina's association to the 7th European Framework Programme for Research (FP7), Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Science and Research, will pay a visit to Sarajevo on 23 and 24 April. He will address the scientific community during an Information Event on the 7th Framework Programme for R&D on 23 April 2009, to encourage them to use the opportunities provided by the EU funding programme for research. On 24 April, he will participate in a Ministerial conference to discuss how to develop regional research strategy for the Western Balkans, and he will meet with members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"This Information Event is a unique occasion for the science community to meet, network and obtain detailed information on research cooperation under FP7", said Commissioner Potočnik. "By engaging together in research, Bosnia and Herzegovina will facilitate its integration into the European Research Area, which is an important step in the pre-accession process for European Union membership."

The Information Event will provide a detailed presentation of the research opportunities under FP7 and the activities of the Joint Research Centre, with the aim of increasing Bosnia and Herzegovina's participation in the various thematic areas. Discussions will cover the following themes: health research, mobility of scientists, information technologies and food, agriculture and biotechnology. Journalists are invited to a press conference at 5 pm.

As an associated country to FP7, Bosnia and Herzegovina can participate in all calls for proposals, take part in trans-national consortiums and compete on equal footing with EU Member States and other associated countries. Signed in Brussels on 24 November 2008, the Memorandum of Understanding associating Bosnia and Herzegovina to FP7 entered into force on 1 January 2009. The country can now make the most of the new opportunities in research at its disposal. With Bosnia and Herzegovina's association to FP7, all Balkan countries are now associated to the Programme, which in turn should increase research cooperation at regional level.

On 24 April 2009, Commissioner Potočnik will meet with the Science Ministers from the Region under the auspices of the Regional Cooperation Council to consider together the regional dimension of research cooperation in support of regional competitiveness. A press point will follow from 11 to 11.30 am.

Background

The 7th European Framework Programme for Research supports scientific research in the EU and the broader European Research Area with its budget of 54 billion Euros over a period of 7 years (2007-2013). It funds collaborative research in strategic areas such as health, energy, climate change, information technologies, nanotechnology and transport. FP7 also stimulates the mobility of researchers through Marie Curie grants, and it has special programmes to support capacity building such as research infrastructures, research for small and medium sized enterprises and Science in Society.

Association to FP7 also increases research cooperation with the Joint Research Centre (JRC). The JRC plays an important role in preparing the candidate and potential candidate countries for compliance with EU legislation, technical requirements and standards in complex areas such as public health, food safety, environment or agriculture policy.

For more information on research cooperation under FP7:

http://ec.europa.eu/research/iscp/index.cfm

On the Bosnia and Herzegovina's FP7 association, see also IP/08/1758


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