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The "Quality of Life" fifth framework programme is based around six key actions aimed at enhancing the quality of life of European citizens and improving the competitiveness of European industry.

Key action 5 (KA5) of this programme aims to fulfil this objective by improving "the sustainability of European agriculture, forestry and fisheries". The key action invites research proposals in the fields of sustainable agriculture and fisheries, non-food uses of biological material, forestry and forest industries, support to common policies, and rural development.
The budget for the key action is around 520 M€ for the four-year period 1998-2002. Research proposals and networks (RTD) are invited through specific calls published on a yearly basis. The key action also has a small part of the budget allocated to training and SME grants, and support measures through open calls for proposals.

This publication is a description of projects selected under the first four RTD evaluations of key action 5. The projects selected from the fourth evaluation, which took place in December 2000 are still undergoing negotiation and these are indicated in the respective sections of the text.

Deadlines & programme information

The first call for KA5 was published on 6 March 1999 and resulted in two evaluations in July 1999 and December 1999, while the second call for proposals was published on 15 December 1999 with two evaluations in May 2000 and December 2000. The third call for proposals for deadlines in 2001 was published in the official journal in November 2000 and has only one deadline corresponding to the whole of KA5 closing on the 15 October 2001. The fourth and final call will be targeted towards specific areas and modalities and will be published in November 2001.

The four evaluations held so far have resulted in a total of 1264 submitted research proposals across all areas of the key action, of which 15% or 126 proposals were rendered ineligible due to non-conformity with the criteria stipulated in the call. Of the 732 submitted for evaluation 220 proposals or 18% were retained for funding. The financial contribution from the EU for the 220 projects amounts to 340.8 M€, which represents 68 % of the total cost of 503 M€. This involves the participation of 1744 public/university laboratories and industries. Industrial participation is around 15 % on average but reaches 40% in the industrial parts of the programme in forest industries 5.3.2. and non-food uses 5.2. Of the 220 projects only 19 are concerted actions or thematic networks, the rest being shared cost research and demonstration projects or combinations thereof.

Description of projects

The funded projects address many important issues of concern to the sustainable management of our living resources.

Concerning Sustainable Agriculture and CAP support (5.1.1 and 5.4), selected projects include ways to improve the handling and transport of animals; new disease markers of pigs and cattle; rapid detection and prevention of a range of different plant diseases; ways to make organic farming more competitive; waste treatment on farms; landscape ecosystem and biodiversity management systems; introduction of a bond scheme to assist farmers in the transition towards a free market;

Concerning Non-Food development (5.2), the projects deal with the production of biofuels, bioplastics, and green chemicals from renewable biological resources.

Concerning Forestry (5.3), projects dealt with improving wood quality in a number of species, control of pests, and on eco-efficient forest operations while the forest industry projects concentrate on different eco-efficient processes, recycling technologies, and improvement of the finished product quality of wood products and paper

Concerning Fisheries (5.1.2 and 5.4), projects cover control of fish farm effluents; fish-meal and oil alternatives; interactions between birds and fisheries; coastal zone problems; Aquaculture; ways to evaluate the impact of the Common Fisheries Policy and fisheries management.

Concerning Rural development (5.5), selected projects deal with landscape management and evaluation of ecosystems; urban impact; impact of accession countries; investment, farm diversification and agro-marketing.

KA5 RTD Project Statistics (1999-2001)

Number of Calls/evaluations: 4
Projects Selected: 220
Proposals submitted: 1264
Proposals ineligible 194 (15%)
Selection rate: 17.4%
Shared Cost RTD 195
Shared Cost Demo 2
Combined RTD/Demo 4
Thematic Networks 2
Concerted Actions 17
Selected Euros
Total Cost 502.8 M
Total EU Contribution 340.8 M
Avg Total Cost 2.3 M
Avg EU Contribution 1.5 M
Percentage EU Contribution 67.8 %
Nb of Participants 1744
Public Authority 1097
International Organisation 11
Joint Research Center 15
Public Commercial Sector 43
Private Commercial 266
Private non Profit 275
Other 34
Avg Project Duration 36 months


Previously funded projects

Information and results from projects in Agriculture Forestry and Rural development funded in the previous fourth framework FAIR programme can be found at:
For FAIR programme Non-Food and Forest products research results at:

All the documents needed to prepare and submit a an RTD proposal are available on the Web at:

Requests for documents, and other questions can be addressed to: - fax: +322.299.1860

EU Contacts for Key Action 5


E-Mail Telephone Brussels +32 2 2969402 +32 2 2995518 +32 2 2959653 +32 2 2998212 +32 2 2950651 +32 2 2966159 +32 2 2961279 +32 2 2969409 +32 2 2995731 +32 2 2962022 +32 2 2995256 +32 2 2956830 +32 2 2965712 +32 2 2956828

* indicates project in negotiation. Probable start date: June 2001. The financial contribution is only indicative.



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