Brussels, 7 November 2002
Key words : Sixth Framework Programme, European Research Area, conference
On Monday in Brussels European Research Commissioner
Philippe Busquin and Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt opened
the biggest conference on EU research ever to be organised in Europe.
Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen will
also participate. The three-day event will attract more than 8,000
participants and 200 speakers, including a line-up of 20 ministers,
3 Nobel laureates and scores of business leaders. It will mark the
launch of the new EU Research Framework Programme (FP6 2003-2006),
preceding the first calls for proposals to be published in the next
few weeks. With a budget of EUR 17.5 billion, FP6 is one of the
biggest research programmes in the world. It will support projects
in selected strategic areas and foster the creation of the European
Research Area, a true internal market for knowledge and science.
"In a knowledge-based economy, only science and
technology can produce real added value: they are Europe’s real
growth engines, the key that has to be turned to make our continent
the most dynamic economic powerhouse in the world," said Commissioner
Busquin. "The impressive attendance at this conference clearly shows
EU researchers, entrepreneurs and policy-makers are ready to work
with the Commission towards that goal. The research framework programme
is an important tool and feeds into this process: with its better
target priorities, its streamlined funding procedures and its new
schemes, such as Integrated projects and Networks of excellence,
it will help achieve critical mass in research at European level.
Next step will be for EU Member States to better co-ordinate their
research policies, and for all players to increase their efforts
in the research area."
Meet European research at its best
The conference will not only present FP6: it will
show state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge research projects.
But it will also offer networking opportunities to leading European
scientists and top business executives. Matchmaking is key in fostering
lasting contacts and co-operation opportunities: European research
is about pooling excellence and helping brains join forces. That
is the spirit of the European Research Area.
The event will bring together 8,000 participants
from 61 countries. Nearly 15% of them will come from Candidate Countries,
equal partners with EU Member States in FP6 – more than one year
in advance on overall enlargement schedule. 142 research projects
and 65 research organisations will be on exhibition. Over 300 journalists
will attend the conference. 81 scientific events are organised by
the participants themselves. The extensive media programme will
offer major press conferences, sector-specific media briefings,
and many more informal press-points and interview opportunities.
A fully equipped newsroom will be available for reporters throughout
Fostering competitiveness and quality of life in Europe
Thematic sessions and workshops will elaborate
on FP6 priorities such as life sciences, genomics and biotechnology,
information society, nanotechnologies and new materials, aeronautics
and space, food quality and safety, sustainable development, clean
energy and transport and governance in a knowledge-based society.
Other issues to be addressed will include, inter alia, human resources
and mobility, patenting and intellectual property rights, the role
of European regions, research infrastructures, SMEs and the likely
impact of enlargement. Participants will also discuss how to join
FP6 projects. They will debate the relationship between research
and innovation. They will look into international scientific co-operation,
and examine the role of EU research on the world stage.
Media briefings will include:
- Fast track to the future: solutions for safer and cleaner cars
- Clearly competitive: cleaner processes, smarter products for sustainable business
- Smaller, smarter and more flexible: nanotechs and multi-functional materials
- How genomics will change our life
- Air transport 2020: the Strategic Research Agenda for European aeronautics
- Researchers first: enhancing mobility and career development opportunities in European research
- Providing safer food for European citizens
- One child in four is allergic today – and tomorrow?
- Combating anti-biotic resistance: new vaccines against tuberculosis and AIDS
- Predicting rainfall and managing rivers
- Energy from the sun
- New frontiers for the EU space industry: the future for Europe in space
- Protecting our seas from oil spills
- The future of forensic science: technologies for safety and security
- Giant information technology infrastructures
Commissioners Busquin and Liikanen will also hold press conferences.
Business and scientific organisations join in
UNICE (Union of Industrial and Employers’ Federations
in Europe) will also organise a joint workshop with the European
Investment Bank (BEI) and the European Round-Table of Industrialists
(ERT). Participants will explore ways to respond to the March 2002
Barcelona European Council’s call to raise research spending to
3% of EU gross domestic product. Now Europe lags at 1,9%.
Another event will involve the Commission and EIROforum, an association of European scientific organisations. With the signing of the EIROforum Charter the organisation will in fact officially be born during the "Research 2002" conference. This session will focus on the co-operation between the Commission and EIROforum, as well as on the role of EIROforum and its member organisations within the European Research Area.
EIROforum members include: CERN European Organisation for Nuclear Research (particle physics); EFDA European Fusion Development Agreement; EMBL European Molecular Biology Laboratory; ESA European Space Agency; ESO European Southern Observatory (astronomy and astrophysics); ESRF European Synchrotron Radiation Facility; and ILL Institut Laue-Langevin (neutron source).
The media programme is available on:
For further information:
Stéphane Hogan, Communication Unit, Research DG
Tel.: +32.2.296.2965 - Fax: +32.2.295.8220 - E-mail: Research Contact
Michel Claessens, Communication Unit, Research DG
Tel.: +32.418.104.22.168 - Fax: +32.2.295.8220 - E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Brussels Exhibition Centre, Halls 7, 10, 11 and 12, Place de Belgique / Belgïeplein, 1020 Brussels