New call seeks to ‘top-up’ international co-operation in FP6
The Commission has developed a new call to boost third-country participation in the Sixth Framework Programme’s seven thematic priority areas.
A working group composed of Member State officials examined the participation of partners from third countries in the thematic priorities of FP6. The findings of the group showed that the €285 million that was originally foreseen in the FP6 proposal had not been fully utilised.
In response to the Group’s findings, the Commission has devised a specific horizontal call to open up existing FP6 projects to third-country participation. The call was published on 15 February 2006.
For further general information on the call, please consult: http://fp6.cordis.lu/index.cfm?fuseaction=UserSite.FP6CallsPage
International co-operation in support of the Community’s external policies – how FP6 operates
‘Specific measures that support international scientific co-operation’ (INCO) have been devised to deal with situations that are not covered by the current Framework Programme’s seven thematic priorities.
Over the life of FP6, a budget of €346 million has been available for specific international scientific co-operation activities involving third countries or regions. The aim is to support projects that bolster the EU’s external relations and development aid policies – particularly as they relate to the fight against poverty, the Community’s water initiatives, and its commitment to the Millennium Development Goals.
INCO promotes research co-operation for sustainable development that requires multi-disciplinary approaches, and aims to develop S&T activities that are useful, even essential, to the EU’s foreign and development aid policies. The interaction between natural sciences and social sciences is at the heart of such research. To be efficient and effective, INCO projects integrate three levels of research: policy, systems, and tools.
The objective is to support research and coordination activities that have a significant chance of meeting society’s needs for knowledge or of solving certain problems. Therefore, in addition to scientific excellence, projects are evaluated for their potential regional impact. Social dimensions, such as gender roles, ethics and social equity, are all addressed by the Commission when it assesses the potential impact of an INCO-funded project.
Researcher mobility: some funding figures
Stimulating the international mobility of researchers is a high priority in the EU’s specific programme ‘Structuring the European Research Area’. In 2003 and 2004, about €20 million were allocated to incoming international fellowships; €28 million for outgoing international fellowships; and €17 million was spent on international reintegration.
International scientific co-operation in FP7
Building a strong and coherent international S&T policy will be a central plank of the next Framework Programme for Research (FP7).
Developing and promoting international co-operation will be ideally suited to the four specific programmes proposed under FP7 – Cooperation, Capacities, People and Ideas – thanks to their cross-cutting nature. Indeed, international scientific co-operation will play a significant role under the Cooperation, Capacities and People programmes. Furthermore, third-country participation is also foreseen at the individual teams’ level in the Ideas Programme.
The Capacities Programme will provide input and set the research priorities for the “specific actions for international co-operation” of the Cooperation Specific Programme. This will be done through supporting bi-regional dialogue and networks. The Specific Programme will also focus on exploiting the potential of the S&T agreements, to improve their operation in a mutually beneficial way. It should be noted that potential synergies and complementarities will be fostered among national programmes on international co-operation. International scientific co-operation activities in FP7 will aim to continue to provide support via targeted calls, and to create a comprehensive structure for international scientific co-operation based on mutual benefit and interest.
The bulk of international co-operation activity, relating to the different themes, is to be accomplished in the Cooperation Specific Programme, connected to thematic priorities. These activities will be implemented as the opening of all activities carried out in the thematic areas (the opening of the entire FP7 to third countries), as well as specific actions for international co-operation. The latter will cover activities in each thematic area dedicated to co-operation with third countries in the case of shared interest and mutual benefit, while meeting their specific needs. Many of these subjects have both global significance and significance for the EU itself.
The People Programme will house international fellowships (outgoing and incoming).
In the FP7 proposal for international co-operation, an indicative budget is foreseen in the Capacities Programme. As regards the Cooperation Programme, where the bulk of specific research actions on international co-operation will be supported, budgetary discussions are under way.
A comprehensive EU strategy for international scientific co-operation will provide the context for the coordination of international co-operation activities under the different FP7 Specific Programmes.
For further information on the development of FP7: