EU support for RIs in the context of its Framework Programmes (FPs) began with FP2 (1987-1991) when it had a budget of about €30 million. From these relatively humble beginnings, FP7 (2007-2013) earmarked at least €1.85 billion for RIs between 2007 and 2013.
FP7 (2007-2013) builds on the efforts made under FP6, with the addition of several new elements. It is designed to contribute directly to achieving the targets set out in the Lisbon Strategy. FP7 focuses on developing research that meets the needs of European industry, through the work of Technology Platforms and the new Joint Technology Initiatives. These will be projects in fields of major European public interest on subjects identified through dialogue with industry.
FP7 consists of four specific programmes which correspond to the basic components of European research:
Support for RIs is currently open to infrastructures across the fields of science and technology. The overall objective of the RI part of the Capacities programme is to optimise the use and development of the best existing RIs in Europe, as well as to help create new facilities which best meet the needs of researchers and support their achievements.
The activities to be supported are identified under three main lines of actions:
All calls for proposals for Research Infrastructure projects are posted on the FP7 Participant Portal.
The network of National Contact Points is the main structure to provide guidance, practical information and assistance on all aspects of participation in FP7.
Further information and specific support for research infrastructures can be obtained through the NCP network for research infrastructures: EuroRis-Net.