The 7th Framework Programme comprises five specific programmes: Cooperation, Ideas, People, Capacities and Nuclear Research.
The Marine and Maritime Research Strategy will address system complexity through three of these programmes: Capacities, Cooperation (Integration), and People (Synergies). In each of these, relevant funding tools and Community instruments are available or will specifically be made available.
Capacity building encouraging the development of new means to achieve more ambitious goals in research. Many infrastructures are old; specialised infrastructures are costly. New skills and educational initiatives are needed to attract new professionals and to address the interdisciplinary nature of the research.
Integration across established marine and maritime research disciplines. This aspect will seek closer integration of knowledge and research teams through cross-fertilisation, networking and information exchange, in order to reinforce excellence in science. By promoting cross-sectoral integration and improving knowledge transfer, existing and emerging markets in areas such as blue technology, energy, aquaculture and security will be in a position to turn to knowledge-based innovation while achieving maritime activities' sustainability, new jobs and delivering better products and processes.
Synergy with and between Member States, regions and industry sectors. Community research funding accounts for only a small amount of RTD public resources. The greater part of public funding for research in Europe is spent through national and regional programmes. However, the EU research effort remains behind the target set by the Lisbon Agenda under which the Member States agreed to dedicate 3% of their GDP to R&D. It is therefore crucial that Member States and regions use the European Community instruments such as the Research Framework Programme, the Cohesion Policy Fund and the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme to reinforce public and private investments.
A Practical Guide on EU funding opportunities for Research and Innovation, in relation to the 7th Framework Programme, to the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme and the Cohesion Policy, has been published in 2009.
Report: Competitive European Regions through Research and Innovation - Practical guide to EU funding opportunities for Research and Innovation. FP7, CIP and Cohesion Policy* (pdf).