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The 7th EU Framework Programme

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Research activities funded by the EU are currently dealt with under the 7th Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013), or FP7. The programme is open to a wide range of organisations and individual researchers from the EU and third countries.

FP7 funds:

  • collaborative research projects carried out by transnational consortia of industry and academia ('Cooperation' Programme);
  • 'frontier research' of individual teams ('Ideas' Programme);
  • researcher mobility and career development ('People' Programme);
  • research capacities and infrastructures ('Capacities' Programme).

The largest segment of the overall EUR 50.5 billion budget is dedicated to collaborative research.

FP7 is implemented through annual work programmes that outline 'calls for proposals'. These calls cover specific research areas and are published, in most cases, on a yearly basis. Applicants submit their proposals that are then evaluated and may eventually be selected for funding.

FP7 offers a great variety of opportunities for energy related research funding. The most obvious is the 'Energy Theme' of the Cooperation Programme which is solely dedicated to energy issues. Aside from this theme there are others in the Cooperation Programme addressing energy relevant issues. Other FP7 Programmes like 'People', 'Ideas' or 'Capacities' offer plenty of opportunities for energy related research as well.

The main entry point for information on FP7 is CORDIS. On the CORDIS website you can find all legal and call-related documents as well as guidance on how to participate.

Read more about what kind of energy research is funded within FP7.

Energy Theme

Energy research is specifically addressed in the energy theme of the FP7 Cooperation Programme. It has a total budget of EUR 2.35 billion (for 2007 – 2013) and is jointly managed and implemented by the European Commission's Directorate General for Research and the Directorate General for Energy.

One exception is research on fuel cells and hydrogen which is implemented by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking.

The Energy theme funds research in the following areas:

  • Hydrogen and fuel cells
  • Renewable energies for electricity, fuel production and heating and cooling
    • Photovoltaics
    • Biomass
    • Wind
    • Geothermal energy
    • Concentrated Solar Power
    • Ocean
    • Hydro
  • CO2 capture and storage technologies for zero emission power generation
  • Clean Coal Technologies
  • Smart energy networks
  • Energy efficiency and savings
  • Knowledge for policy making
  • Horizontal Programme Activities (Future Emerging Technologies, Materials for energy applications)

For more information on current opportunities please click here

More detailed information on the specific areas funded by FP7 is available under "research activities" and "funded projects".

Other Themes and FP7 Programmes

Energy research is not only funded under the dedicated "Energy Theme" of FP7, but also in other FP7 activities.

The table below gives an overview of the relevant research themes of the Cooperation Programme.

Theme Focus More info
Transport Energy efficiency, bioenergy, fuel cells
Nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials & new production technologies Energy materials
Food, agriculture and fisheries, biotechnology Bioenergy, energy plants
Information & communication technologies Energy efficiency, grids
Environment (including climate change) Bioenergy, socio-economic research
Socio-economic sciences and the humanities Socio-economic research

 

The Ideas Programme addresses ‘frontier research’ carried out by individual teams within and across all fields of research. Energy-related basic research can be funded by this programme which is implemented by the European Research Council.

 

The People Programme aims at strengthening the human potential in research in Europe, as well as encouraging mobility. It puts into place a coherent set of ‘Marie Curie’ actions that provide research training, career development and mobility schemes. Thus researchers are helped to be truly mobile both internationally and between commercial and non-commercial sectors. Check job vacancies for researchers (EURAXESS).

 

The Capacities Programme supports:

All these sub programmes offer plenty of opportunities for energy-related issues.

 

The Risk Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF) is a financing solution aimed at fostering investment in European R&D and innovation intensive companies and projects. The RSSF has a volume of EUR 1billion, contributed by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB). Since the launch of RSFF in 2006 almost EUR 300 million has been spent on renewable energy.