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The Commission is committed to explore possible initiatives to develop the role of philanthropic organisations (charities, foundations and trusts) as means to raise additional funds for research, alongside public and industrial funding.

These issues are explored in the report Giving for Research in Europe published in January 2006 on the role of Foundations in the research field.

This report presented by the expert group provides an overview of recent initiatives, current challenges and existing trends of Europe’s philanthropic organisations and their role in boosting public and private investment in R&D. It also defines possible measures and actions at national and European level to promote the role of philanthropy in funding research activities. The report’s findings have been discussed at a conference held in Brussels on 27-28 March 2006.

The EFC Research Forum provides a platform for research-funding foundations to learn, collaborate and advocate together. Its mission is to facilitate more effective philanthropic support for research through transnational cooperation and information exchange and to create a sustainable, broad-based network of independent research-funding foundations in Europe.

The European Commission is committed to support and facilitate the work of stakeholders. Several initiatives are under way notably: to assess the need and feasibility of a possible European Foundation Statute, to improve fund-raising from philanthropy for research funding in European universities, to map and review the activities of research foundations in Europe.