In September 2007 the European Commission started the process of the ex-post evaluation of FP6. This evaluation will look at issues of rationale, impacts and achievements and is hoped to make FP7 a better and more efficient research tool. In particular, the FP5 and FP6 sub-priority area of Global change and ecosystems is being given particular attention.
In addition to evaluating FP6, the study will support FP7 by better informing and legitimising funding decisions, ensuring accountability for action-taking and helping to improve the efficiency of programme management.
The key objectives of the impact assessment are to assess the achievement and impacts of selected projects at the Environment area level and at the programme sub-priority level. With regard to the former, the study will assess the scientific, policy and economic achievements and impacts of selected FP6 projects. For the latter, the study will examine how the environmental research activities supported the ERA, the EU Strategy for Sustainable Development, European leadership in environmental research and the international dimension of environmental research. 94 FP6 projects are being studied as are a select number of related FP5 projects.
Having started in September 2007, the study will continue until December 2009. The study is currently in its final stages and various reports are already available to the public, with more to come. For example the inception report and peer review have been available since November 2007 and January 2008 respectively. The 10 area reports covering climate change, water/soil issues, biodiversity and ecosystems, natural hazards, sustainable land management, earth observation, environment and health, environmental technologies, sustainable development and urban development & cultural heritage are finalised, as well as the intermediate report.
As part of the ex-post impact assessment study, various electronic workshops were held from 8–15 September. These workshops aimed at discussing project results and their scientific, policy and economic impacts. They also enabled discussion of recommendations for further investigations which could help increase the impact of projects related to research for the environment in the future. There were nine virtual workshops, one for each area with a joint workshop for sustainable land management and urban development & cultural heritage.
On 5 November a conference will be held to discuss the results of the study. The objective of the event is to present and demonstrate the scientific, socioeconomic and policy impacts of projects funded under the FP5 and FP6 sub-priority Global change and ecosystems.
Final reports on the overall ex-post evaluation of FP6 projectswill be made public at the end of the year.