Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) encourages the development of new concepts in space transportation and space technologies. It also aims to reduce the vulnerability of space-based systems and services.
The EU finances research and development activities to:
- develop space-based applications at the service of the European Society, in particular 'Copernicus' - the EU's flagship space programme (formerly Global Monitoring for Environment and Security [GMES]);
- strengthen space 'foundations' - space science and exploration, space transportation and space technology, whilst taking into account synergies with initiatives of the European Space Agency (ESA) and other European, national or regional entities;
- support cooperation with specific countries (such as Russia, Ukraine, China or African countries);
- support research to benefit Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and develop studies in certain policy areas (so-called "cross-cutting activities").
A budget of €1.4 billion has been allocated in FP7 for space-related projects. Of this, 85% went to Copernicus and the remaining 15% was used to support space science and exploration, space transportation and space technology. The ESA received a specific grant from the Copernicus budget of FP7 (€700 million approximately).
A total of 205 space projects have been supported by FP7 - 19 projects in the 1st call, 27 in the 2nd call, 77 in the 3rd call, 33 in the 4th call and 49 in the 5th call.
The European Commission Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry (DG ENTR) is responsible for defining the work programme for space and associated calls for proposals of FP7. The Research Executive Agency (REA) manages the implementation of research grants.
The FP7 Space Advisory Group (SAG) is a formal expert advisory group on space research of the European Commission.
The consultation process on space aspects of FP7 involved many stakeholders (e.g. Member States, the European Space Agency, the scientific community, European industry, academia etc.). The FP7 Space Advisory Group (SAG) is a formal expert advisory group on space research of the European Commission. The SAG has been providing guidance and advice on the space research activities to be pursued under the EU research programmes.
The results of research projects funded under FP7 were presented at two international space conferences in 2011 and 2012. The conferences aimed to increase awareness of FP7 space results amongst policy makers, scientists and journalists. The events also aimed to strengthen international cooperation in the space sector.
Attendees included space experts, researchers and industry stakeholders, i.e. research organisations, project coordinators, consortium members of FP7 funded research projects, representatives of national space administrations and space agencies, as well as high level EC and ESA officials.
First Conference – FP7 Calls 1 and 2 (Budapest): The first conference, presenting the results of the projects funded under the 1st and the 2nd FP7 space calls, was held in Budapest, Hungary on 12-13 May 2011.
Second Conference – FP7 Call 3 (Larnaca): The second conference, presenting the results of the projects funded under the 3rd FP7 space call, took place on 15-16 November 2012, in Larnaca, Cyprus.