Research, funding: rich pickings for European food researchers
The European Commission’s
sixth framework programme (FP6) has reaped a bumper crop of
food quality and safety research projects worth over €150
million in 2003.
The European Commission has approved 24 research
projects and 12 support actions worth €166 million in
the fields of food quality and safety in the first year of
the four-year FP6 programme. This batch of projects is the
first to receive EU funding under FP6’s fifth thematic
priority: ‘food quality and safety’.
“In Europe, we are proud of the quality of food we produce,”
said Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin, noting that this
involved a constant quest for improvement.
“Through our European research programmes, we give our
top scientists and companies the necessary resources to improve
the food we eat and its effects on our health and well-being,”
The Commissioner expressed his pleasure at the volume of interest
scientists had shown in this element of FP6 and the quality
of the proposals they had submitted. “I am encouraged
by the great response we [have been getting] from our researchers
across Europe to work together to increase our knowledge about
our food and to make it even better and safer,” Busquin
Getting in the frame
Between the launch of the call for proposals in December and
its close in April, the Commission received 200 project applications
worth nearly €1.4 billion. Independent experts under
the supervision of the Commission prepared a shortlist of
“Due to the overwhelming number of high quality proposals
and a limited budget, a number of topics could not be covered
and some of these might be re-introduced into the work programme
for 2004,” a Commission statement said.
The fifth thematic priority has been earmarked €685 million
over the four-year duration of the framework programme. Running
until 2006, FP6 has a total budget of close to €18 billion.
Source: EU and external sources