The Sixth Framework Programme (FP6)
has earmarked some € 2.25 billion under its first thematic
priority for research activities in the areas of life sciences,
genomics and biotechnology for health.
The activities carried out in this area are
intended to help Europe exploit, by means of an integrated
research effort, breakthroughs achieved in decoding the genomes
of living organisms for the advancement of public health.
EU activities carried out towards this end will address two
key aspects: advanced genomics and its applications for health
will aim to broaden our fundamental knowledge of genetics,
while an application-oriented approach will seek to find ways
to combat major diseases through the use of genomics and other
Another vital area is the study of the implications of research
in this area on other fields, which include agriculture and
But perhaps the most vital ingredient to the successful exploitation
of this virgin scientific territory is bringing basic knowledge
through to the application stage. Known as the ‘translational’
approach, it aims to turn basic knowledge into real products
that will benefit public health and pave the way to the knowledge-based
economy that Europe hopes to create by 2010.
By promoting higher investment in R&D and the co-ordination
of public and private research activities across the Union,
the EU hopes to keep the European biotech industry profitable
and competitive in a global market that is expected to reach
€100 billion in a few years and create tens of thousand
of new jobs.
Sixth Framework Programme opportunities
In the Life Sciences, Genomics and Biotechnology for Health priority, Specific Support Actions are an important instrument for fostering public debate. These are essentially a continuation
of the accompanying measures used in FP5. They will support
the implementation of FP6, and may be used to help prepare
for future EU research policy activities, such as conferences,
seminars, analyses, operational support and dissemination,
information and communication activities.
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