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Volume 2 Graphical element

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TRENDS IN CELL FACTORY
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The Cell Factory is one of the six Key Actions of the Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources Programme(1) of the Fifth Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities of the European Community (1998-2002). This volume contains summaries of the 78 research and demonstration projects that have been selected for funding after the third and last call for proposals launched in 2000 and having two deadlines in 2001. This volume also covers the other types of projects and initiatives supported by the Cell Factory, i.e. Accompanying Measures, Training Fellowships and SME Support Measures. Together with Volume one(2) this covers the entirety of activities funded by the Cell Factory in FP5.

The Cell Factory has a budget of €400 million and its objective is to support research activities that aim at the integration of innovative research and technologies with their exploitation by industry and/or other socio-economic entities in the fields of health, environment, agro-industry, agri-food and high value added chemicals. The Cell Factory promotes an environment in which scientific results can be rapidly exploited and transformed into products and processes of interest to society. This approach is facilitated through integrating the whole innovation process, from advanced fundamental research, through technological development to practical demonstration.

The Cell Factory is organised in the following three priority areas

  • Improving the diagnostic and therapeutic arsenal for health care.
  • Improving environmental sustainability.
  • New biological and biotechnological products and processes for agro-industry, agri-food and high value added chemicals.

Calls for proposals

Researchers and other stakeholders of Cell Factory were invited to submit proposals for projects to six deadlines in the years 1999, 2000 and 2001. The successful projects have started operations from 2000 to 2002 and will run for up to four years. The latest projects from these deadlines will finish their operation in the year 2006.

Research proposals were peer-reviewed in two stages by independent external experts who assessed the proposals towards five blocks of criteria.

Stage 1:

a. Scientific excellence and innovation
b. Quality of the partnership, the management and appropriateness of resources.

Stage 2:

c. Community added value and contribution to EU policies
d. Contribution to Community social objectives
e. Economic developments and S&T prospects.

Over the period of the 5th Framework Programme 204 research and demonstration projects were selected in the Cell Factory for funding by the European Commission after peer-review evaluations. Those selected projects were regarded as being of the highest merit and best addressing the programme objectives. This selection, which was entirely based on the recommendations of the independent external evaluators and taking into account the available budget, received a positive opinion from the Quality of Life Programme Committee, which is composed of representatives of all the Member States of the EU and Countries associated to the programme.

Alfredo Aguilar

Head of Unit 'Biotechnology and Applied Genomics'
Directorate Biotechnology, Agriculture and Food Research
Directorate General for Research
European Commission

1 Council Decision of 25 January 1999 adopting a specific programme for research, technological development and demonstration on quality of life and management of living resources (1998-2002). Official Journal of the European Communities. C64, 6 March 1999.
2 Cell Factory Community funded projects Vol. 1. (Eur 19991), published in 2002.

 
RTD projects. TABLE 1 shows the main figures related to the RTD projects.
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