FP6 portfolio of instruments
The Food Quality and Safety Priority 5 (TP5) of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) encompassed many of the research topics and themes funded by the previous FP5 Quality of Life programme. However, new scientific areas had been introduced: total food chain; epidemiology of food-related diseases and allergies; impact of food on health; 'traceability' processes along the production chain; methods of analysis, detection and control; safer and more environmentally friendly production methods and technologies; impact of animal feed on health; and environmental health risks.
Between 2002 and 2006, 3 130 participants of 181 projects were selected under four main calls incorporated in ten deadlines. FP6-2002-FOOD-1; FP6-2003-FOOD-2-A; FP6-2003- FOOD-2-B; FP6-2004-FOOD-3-A; FP6-2004-FOOD-3-B; FP6-2004-FOOD-3-C; FP6-2005- FOOD-4-A; FP6-2005-FOOD-4-B; FP6-2005-FOOD-4-C and FP6-2003-ACC-SSA-FOOD.
In addition to the traditional funding instruments of the scientific research community such as Specific Targeted Research Projects (STREPs), Coordination Actions (CAs) and Specific Support Actions (SSAs), FP6 moved towards funding larger, more ambitious projects. In particular, two new funding instruments were introduced: Integrated Projects (IPs) and the Networks of Excellence (NoEs).
The 59 Specific Targeted Research Projects were designed to gain knowledge or demonstrate the feasibility of new technologies. Available to small and emerging players, they played an important function for the scientific community because they financed research on new technologies that do not necessarily have a direct impact on the market.
FP6 supported the improvement of innovative non-thermal processing technologies to develop the quality and safety of ready-to-eat meals; determined whether pharmaceutical products were present in food and whether they affected human fertility; and assessed if the composition of flavonoids in various foods had similar effects as antioxidants in decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and enhancing the body's immune system. STREPs also helped to create recommendations for lifestyles and healthy habits to improve the quality of life of EU citizens.
The 7 Coordinated Actions (CAs) covered the definition, organisation and management of joint initiatives that aimed to avoid duplication of efforts in different Member States and sought to build synergies between existing national and other international initiatives so as to better integrate European research.
The 72 Specific Support Actions (SSAs) helped to prepare and support new research activities. The SSAs also aided in the preparation of Seventh Framework Programme, encouraging and facilitating participation in European collaborative research efforts. In particular, FP6 Specific Support Actions (SSA) were directed at the following seven objectives: achieving
ERA objectives; promotion of SME participation; stimulating international cooperation; linking with candidate countries; supporting policy development; stimulating exploitation; and contributing to the EU strategy for life sciences and biotechnology.
The 31 Integrated Projects were designed to deliver new knowledge, a competitive advantage to European industry, and respond to SME needs by integrating and mobilising the critical mass of research activities and resources. Some IPs put into service innovative biomarkers to detect the exposure to chemicals and metals in food and set up diagnosis procedures to help food industries to manage allergies.
The 12 Networks of Excellence were aimed at strengthening excellence by connecting resources and expertise and supporting effective integration and cooperation in the research activities of the network partners, as well as advancing the overall topics of interest.
* Statistical analysis of the 181 projects funded under TP5 in FP6 is available at http://cordis.europa.eu/food/