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Research framework programme
The Framework Programmes (FP) are the European Union’s main instrument for funding research. These multi-annual programmes have been implemented since 1984.
The current Framework Programme, FP6, runs until the end of 2006 with a budget of € 20 billion for the years 2003-2006.
The Commission has made proposals for the next Framework Programme, FP7, which is proposed to run for seven years and so will be synchronized with the EU’s Financial Perspectives for 2007-2013.
The Financial Perspectives foresee that EU funding for research will increase by 75% in 2013 compared to the level of 2006.
For FP7, the Commission proposes to keep as a main instrument the transnational collaborative projects and networks, which typically involve public research and industry. The Commission also proposes to support excellence in basic research through a new support scheme to individual teams, which will be managed by a European Research Council.
In addition the Commission proposes other new approaches, some of which will further increase the relevance of FP7 for industry. In particular the Commission proposes to set up long-term public-private partnerships, called “Joint Technology Initiatives” in areas where existing schemes are inadequate in view of the scope of research and the scale of material and human resources required.
The Joint Technology Initiatives will implement parts of the Strategic Research Agendas defined by the European Technology Platforms in co-ordination with national programmes and projects in the same field. They will aim to combine financing from Community and national public sources and from the private sector. EIB loans may contribute where appropriate.
Another new instrument proposed under FP7 is the "Risk-Sharing Finance Facility" which will improve access to EIB debt finance for participants in large European research actions.
The Commission proposals for FP7 also aim to strengthen the research and innovation capacity of SMEs. The Commission has proposed increased funding available for specific actions to support outsourcing of research by SMEs or SME associations.
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