On 3 September 2008 the Work Programme 2009 was published with 49 research topics under the Environment theme. For the third time during FP7, DG Research launched a major call for researchers from all Europe, associated countries and third countries to submit original research projects in areas such as climate change, environment and health, biodiversity, environmental technologies and earth observation, among others. A budget of €193.5 million has been allocated for this call, which is open until 8 January 2009. I hope that participation and quality of proposals will be high and wish the best success to all applicants.
The first and second calls were a major success with more than 1 000 proposals submitted. 73 projects were funded under the first call and 64 are now under negotiation for the second call. I really hope that the third call will be as successful as the previous ones and that research in the field of environment will work to find solutions for the environmental issues we are currently facing.
For 2009 the overarching priority of the Work Programme is adaptation to climate and environmental change including sustainable cities and costal zones. The link between energy and climate is one of the main policy drivers of this call, in accordance with the EU's Climate and energy package, which aims at reducing the emissions of gas contributing to climate change. Large participation of SMEs and industry is encouraged through the 11 research domains. In parallel, an unprecedented collaboration with third countries is foreseen. All topics are usually open to international partners but, in 2009, 24 research topics are specifically targeted for international cooperation. In addition, two new ERA-NET topics in line with the 2009 overarching priority have been included, ‘Climate change impacts and responses’ and ‘European marine programmes’, which will be part of the ERA-NET call opening on 28 November 2008 and closing on 21 April 2009.
A new element of the Work Programme 2009 is the participation of the Environment theme in a joint call on biorefineries, involving several research themes of the Cooperation programme such as Food, agriculture and fisheries, biotechnology; Nanosciences, materials and new production technologies; and Energy. The joint call was also launched on 3 September with a deadline for applications on 2 December 2009. With a budget of €57 million, the joint call will permit researchers to find solutions on how to better convert biomass and produce clean and sustainable energy. I sincerely wish that this innovative joint action will strengthen research in the field and help to find environmentally friendly solutions to produce energy.
Moreover I also want to draw the attention to another joint call to be published on Cordis on 19 November concerning ‘Use, recycling and/or final treatment of nanotechnology-based products’ with the Theme Nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials and new production technologies. The call will be open until 31 March 2009 with an indicative budget of €10 million. We are particularly looking forward to industry and SME participation.
Manuela Soares, Director for Environmental Research