Navigation path

European Commission Representation in Ireland: Research, Innovation and Science: Seventh Framework Programme

The Seventh Framework Programme

FP7 logoThe Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) is the EU's main instrument for funding research in Europe and the world's largest publicly-funded research programme. It will run from 2007-2013 and is designed to respond to Europe's employment needs, competitiveness and quality of life.

FP7 is investing more than €55 billion over the seven years in areas including agriculture, fisheries and food, health, nanotechnology, biotechnology, information and communication technologies, transport, energy, environment and climate change, SMEs, security and space.  This investment represents a substantial increase compared with the previous Framework Programme FP6 (41% at 2004 prices, 63% at current prices), a reflection of the high priority of research in Europe.

The money will (for the most part) be spent on grants to research actors of the European Union and with partners from outside Europe co-financing research, technological development and demonstration projects. Grants are determined on the basis of calls for proposals and a peer review process, which is highly competitive.

In order to complement national research programmes, activities funded from FP7 must have a “European added value”. One key aspect of the European added value is the transnationality of many actions: research projects are carried out by consortia which include participants from different European (and other) countries; fellowships in FP7 require mobility over national borders. Indeed, many research challenges (e.g. fusion research, etc), are so complex that they can only be addressed at European level.

But in FP7 there is also a new action for “individual teams” with no obligation for trans-national cooperation. In this case, the “European added value” lies in raising the competition between scientists in fundamental “frontier” research from the national to the European level.

FP7 is the natural successor to the previous programme, FP6. It is the result of years of consultation with the research community from both the public and private sectors, with economic actors, and with political decision makers in Europe. FP7 is both larger and more comprehensive than its predecessors. It is also more flexible, with simplified procedures.

A "New Practical Guide to EU Funding Opportunities for Research and Innovation " is now available.  This new Guide provides potential recipients of EU funding for research and innovation with the practical information they need to access this funding. It also provides decision-makers with a full picture of all the funding opportunities available until 2013.

Details about projects actually funded by the EU can be found on the Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) - the primary information source for EU-funded projects.

To see more details on Who can apply, How FP7 is structured, What are the "Funding Schemes", How to respond to a Call, please see FP7 in Brief.

Where can I find the Calls for Proposals?

The Participant Portal is now the Commission's single authoritative website for the publication of FP7 calls.  Here, you can search for FP7 calls for proposals and also submit your proposals.

Note: Final calls under FP7 will be launched in mid-2012!

FP7 and Ireland

FP7 is the single biggest source of funding available locally to Irish researchers.

Irish universities, research organisations and companies have already received over 300 million Euro in financial support under FP7 – much more than would be expected for a country of Ireland's size – and they are on course to draw down a total of over 600 million Euro by the end of the Programme in 2013.

Records dating from before 1986 to the present show that Ireland participates in more than 2,500 European funded research and development projects and that it acts as project coordinator in over 1,600 of them:

The latest official figures  show that up until March 2011, a total of 778 Irish-based academic and private sector FP7 participants were successful in obtaining funding amounting to more than €243 million – that’s an application success rate of 23.3%, just above the EU average of 21.6%.  Irish SMEs also had a higher than average success rate - 23.30% as opposed to the EU average of 19.33% corresponding to a total of 172 SMEs receiving funding of just over €50 million.

Under FP7, Irish based healthcare professionals, academic researchers, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and multi-national corporations can all work together with the best brains in Europe to develop new technologies aimed at improving our futures and finding answers to major societal problems that impact on our daily lives.

To access the funding, projects must involve European partners and several organisations need to be working together. To identify partners or to see all projects funded to date browse CORDIS - the EU’s online research and development information service.

Have a look at some FP7 Irish projects in action!

Smart irrigation bears fruit

The Waterbee project is a new irrigation system designed by John O’Flaherty to reduce costs and save water.

Click on the image for more information and to view a video about the project.

Link to information and video on Waterbee project

 Music to your mobile's ears

MUSIC - which stands for Mobile Users In Ubiquitous Computing - is a new middleware platform developed by European researchers. It allows mobile devices to reconfigure themselves, to adapt to a changing environment, automatically.

Click on the image for more information and to view a video about the project.

 Link to information and video on MUSIC (Mobile Users In Ubiquitous Computing) project

Click here to read about other successful research projects with Irish partners.

Where to get help?

National Support Network in Ireland - a collection of experts tasked with enabling researchers make full use of the programme.

Frequently Asked Questions

Research Enquiries service  

Last update: 06/09/2012  |Top