The European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures, ESFRI is a strategic instrument to develop the scientific integration of Europe and to strengthen its international outreach.
The mission of ESFRI is to support a coherent and strategy-led approach to policy-making on research infrastructures in Europe, and to facilitate multilateral initiatives leading to the better use and development of research infrastructures, at EU and international level.
In 2008, ESFRI updated and published its ‘European roadmap on research infrastructures’ for the next 10 to 20 years: ESFRI roadmap update 2008(3.08 MB).
The regional policy, through its Structural Funds and instruments contribute to three objectives:
i) Convergence: to promote growth-enhancing conditions and factors leading to real convergence for the least-developed Member States and regions.
ii) Regional Competitiveness and Employment: aims at strengthening competitiveness and attractiveness, as well as employment, also in areas outside of the Convergence regions,
iii) European Territorial Cooperation: strengthen cross-border co-operation through joint local and regional initiatives, trans-national co-operation aiming at integrated territorial development, and interregional co-operation and exchange of experience.
Marine and Maritime Research issues are addressed in different thematic priorities of FP7, but also through marine and maritime cross-thematic joint calls.
Under FP7, as in FP6, marine and maritime research is not a thematic priority but a research priority area that cuts across themes. Marine and Maritime Research is therefore present and is integrated in many themes and programmes of the Framework Programme.
In particular, themes mainly involved in marine and maritime research are:
Cross-thematic joint calls are foreseen throughout the MMRS implementation. A Joint Call on "The Ocean of tomorrow: joining research forces to meet challenges in ocean management" is included in the WP2010, and its publication was scheduled for July 2009.
Research themes involved in this joint call are theme 2 (Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and biotechnologies), theme 5 (Energy), theme 6 (Environment), theme 7 (transport), and theme 8 (socio-economic sciences and humanities).
The Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) aims to encourage the competitiveness of European enterprises. Specific CIP programmes promote innovation (including eco-innovation); foster business support services in the regions and better access to finance, with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as main target; encourage a better take-up and use of information and communications technologies (ICT); help to develop the information society and promotes the increased use of renewable energies and energy efficiency.
The regional policy, through its Structural Funds and instruments contribute to three objectives:
The objective of the ERA-NET scheme is to develop and strengthen the coordination of national and regional research programmes through two specific actions:
Under the ERA-NET scheme, national and regional authorities identify research programmes they wish to coordinate or open up mutually. The participants in these actions are therefore programme 'owners' (typically ministries or regional authorities defining research programmes) or programme 'managers' (such as research councils or other research funding agencies managing research programmes).
Framework Programme 7 will start from the running ERA-NETs and will aim to structure the European Research Area in coherence with the objectives of the Framework Programme :
Every year, workprogrammes will indicate which topics are open for submission of new ERA-NETs or extension of running ones.
Article 169 of the EC Treaty enables the Community to participate in research programmes undertaken jointly by several Member States, including participation in the structures created for the execution of national programmes.
Article 169 of the EC Treaty states that:
"in implementing the multiannual framework programme, the Community may make provision, in agreement with the Member States concerned, for participation in research and development programmes undertaken by several Member States, including participation in the structures created for the execution of those programmes."
Thus, Article 169 enables the Community to participate financially in research programmes undertaken jointly by several Member States, including participation in the structures created for the execution of national programmes.
In practical terms, in an Article 169 initiative, the Community participates in the joint implementation of (parts of) national programmes.
Implementing Article 169 in the Seventh Framework Programme implies that the participating EU Member States integrate their research efforts by defining and committing themselves to a joint research programme, in which the European Community promotes the voluntary integration of scientific, managerial and financial aspects. The Community provides financial support to the joint implementation of the (parts of the) national research programmes involved, based on a joint programme and the setting-up of a dedicated implementation structure.
Support for a Joint Programme of Activities implemented by a number of research oganisations integrating their activities in a given field, carried out by research teams in the framework of longer term cooperation.
Networks of Excellence, NoE, are designed to strengthen scientific and technological excellence on a particular research topic through the durable integration of the research capacities of the participants.
They aim to overcome the fragmentation of European research by:
NoE also have to spread excellence beyond the boundaries of its partnership.
The funding instrument for scientific research sponsored by the European Union is called a Framework Programme (FP). The current Framework Programme, which lasts from 2007 through 2013, is the seventh (FP7).
The approach regarding international cooperation under the 7th Framework Programme is significantly different from the approach under the 6th Framework Programme. This new approach aims to integrate international S&T collaboration throughout the Framework Programme and to enable both geographical and thematic targeting.
FP7 allows participation of legal entities established in third countries, provided that the minimum requirement for European participants is met. Short guidelines are available on proposal submission and negotiation focusing on third country participants.
Third country participants can be granted funding if at least one of the following conditions is satisfied:
To maximise impact, funding for international research activities is spread throughout the 7th Framework Programme, in particular in the thematic priorities of the Cooperation Programme.
The resources for international cooperation explicitly earmarked in the 7th Framework Programme are the activities fully dedicated to international cooperation under the Capacities Programme. No "ring-fencing" is provided for international cooperation elsewhere in the Framework Programme.
The People Programme meets the need to foster both incoming and outgoing international mobility of researchers.The Ideas Programme supports excellence in frontier research and enables individual top international researchers to participate in Europe-led teams.
The European Community has concluded bi-lateral S&T agreements with a number of individual countries. These agreements constitute a framework and a privileged forum to identify common interests, priorities, policy dialogue, and the necessary tools for S&T collaboration.
Find out more regarding the following countries:
To find out more about:
The FP7 Cooperation Programme covers ten themes corresponding to major fields in the progress of knowledge and technology ranging from health to security. All ten themes have an important international dimension (with particular considerations in the security theme owing to confidentiality requirements), and most of the FP7 funding for international cooperation will be available under this Programme.
International collaborative research in the Cooperation Programme is supported in several ways to ensure a balanced thematic and geographic participation by third countries and regions:
- Opening of the thematic areas to all third countries includes dedicated actions and calls for third countries.
- Specific International Cooperation Actions (SICAs) in each thematic area dedicated to third countries where there is mutual interest on the basis of both the S&T level and the needs of the countries concerned.
- Coordinated call is a Framework Programme call that is closely coordinated with a similar call issued by a funding agency in a third country. Through the alignment of content, resources, timing, evaluation criteria and procedures, a coordinated call aims at generating joint or tightly coordinated projects, entailing a balanced partnership.
International Cooperation information:
The international competitiveness of modern economies is linked increasingly to their ability to generate, adapt and use new knowledge. Science and technology (S&T) are considered to be key factors contributing to achieving sustainable development, prosperity and economic growth. S&T has also proved to be instrumental in enhancing and enriching many other policy areas with an impact on external relations: trade, development, environment, energy, telecommunications, etc.
A new approach is followed in the 7th Framework Programme to support the activities of international cooperation:
The latter foster international cooperation through support measures for third countries and regions. They support dialogues and information exchange activities with third countries and regions in order to enable the EU and the targeted countries and regions to discuss with different current and future research priorities. The outcomes of these dialogues provide intelligence for developing research policy, offer input to the respective FP7 Specific Programmes, and inspire research topics for international cooperation, in particular in the Cooperation Programme. The activities of international cooperation in the Capacities Programme also support actions to increase coherence in international research activities with and amongst the Member States that contribute to a better Europe-level coordination on aspects of international S&T cooperation, as well as to improve knowledge on the cooperation opportunities offered by third countries' research programmes.
Capacities Programme information:
The activities defined in the Specific Programme are:
The international dimension of the People Programme reinforces international cooperation in FP7 by supporting researcher mobility and their career development. It is directed at increasing the quality of European research, both by supporting European researchers to undertake research abroad and by attracting research talent from outside Europe and fostering research collaborations. It includes two main action lines:
People programme information:
Other related sites:
The Ideas Programme supports excellence in frontier research and enables individual top international researchers to participate in Europe-led teams. Individual international researchers will be encouraged to join with Europe-led teams, where they will bring specific expertise from outside Europe to enrich the research being undertaken. Full recognition is given to the need to associate top scientists from elsewhere in the world in reinforcing excellence, dynamism and creativity in European research.
Ideas Programme information: