-- Posted by Mário Campolargo, Director CONNECT E, Net Futures
On the 09 July I went to Lisbon to announce the last and largest set of calls for proposals for research under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). 
An earmarked €8.1 billion is to fund projects and ideas in crucial domains of human health, environment protection, urbanisation (smart cities), resources management, clean and secure energy. A package worth up to €1.2 billion will be given to support SMEs and to help them innovate and grow. ICT alon takes the largest share of the funding receiving €1.5 billion. The funding is open to organisations and businesses in all EU Member States and partner countries.
As a country Ambassador , my going to Lisbon is more than business as usual. It is always a mission back to the roots and the better the news the bigger own’s satisfaction.
€1 of EU Framework Programme funding leads to an increase in industry added value of between €7 and €14.  The expected long-term macro-economic impact of the FP7 amounts to 900,000 jobs, of which 300,000 in research.
The event in Lisbon was attended by some 80 persons that would act as multipliers of the news. I believe it is important to use the Commission Representations in the Member States as important relays. This is very often where the news is truly picked-up and spread to the citizen. 
It is also a part of a personal satisfaction to know that Commission Representation in Portugal is particularly keen on hosting research-related information sessions.
I had the opportunity to meet Zeinal Bava, the CEO of PT  later when we had a frank debate regarding regulatory regimes and innovation priorities.
With the announcement of the Digital Champion, Mr Antonio Murta , I am looking forward to help unlocking the innovative power that exists in Portugal.
Twitter: @MarioCampolargo