The Research Executive Agency (REA) is a funding body created by the European Commission to foster excellence in research and innovation. It manages large parts of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities (FP7), the main EU funding package to respond to Europe's needs in terms of jobs and competitiveness in the global knowledge economy.
The Agency aims at delivering efficient and effective services to the research community and supporting diverse European Commission services dealing with research and innovation. By establishing close contact with final beneficiaries and providing a high visibility of the European Union, the REA acts as promoter of the European Research Area (ERA).
The REA has no policy remit: all research-related policy remains within the relevant European Commission services. As an executive agency, it focuses on management tasks outsourced by the Commission and fosters efficiency when addressing the research community's needs.
Autonomous since 15 June 2009, the Agency was set up in 2007 in Brussels for the lifetime of FP7. Although FP7 runs until 2013, the REA is expected to remain in place until 2017 in order to finish managing the projects funded under FP7. The life of the REA may then be extended depending on the decisions on EU research funding subsequent to FP7.