in all Fifth Framework Programme activities, the Quality of Life
programme funds high-level, cross-border research aimed at satisfying
the wider needs of European society. The aims are to expand our
basic scientific knowledge of the world around us, and to show
us how to use that knowledge wisely. The research projects and
networks will both improve the quality of life today and protect
natural resources for future generations.
engine for economic growth
The cooperation between academic scientists and their industrial
counterparts across Europe will also bring the increasing power
of life sciences to bear on industrial competitiveness in general,
stimulating economic growth and creating jobs both in traditional
industries and in the rapidly developing biotechnology sector.
In this respect it will place special emphasis on small and medium-sized
enterprises (SMEs) - both the small, innovative firms behind many
of the latest breakthroughs and those companies in traditional
sectors for whom biotechnology offers so much promise.
The overall strategy of the Quality of Life programme is to focus
on the specific areas where there is the greatest potential to
make significant advances, and where progress will be of greatest
benefit to Europeans. The programme is based around six key actions,
each with a set of clear, targeted goals corresponding to the
needs of society and industry: improving health and food quality,
controlling disease, improving life and healthcare for an ageing
population, industrial applications of biotechnology, and making
the exploitation of natural resources more sustainable. The research
will provide a rigorous
scientific basis for EU policies in areas such as agriculture,
fisheries, environmental management, health and consumer protection.
The programme also funds a wide range of generic research to build
Europe's knowledge base in areas of strategic importance. These
include improving our understanding of the genome and the brain,
improving public health, tackling chronic diseases, and addressing
the emerging socio-economic and ethical issues surrounding the
Supporting all of these activities - key actions and generic research
- will be a series of initiatives focusing on Europe's research
infrastructure, the dissemination and exploitation of results,
and the training of researchers, particularly young scientists.
The role of SMEs and start-ups will be reinforced, and the public
better informed through improved, two-way communications between
scientists and society at large.
Finally, the programme will ensure that it maintains its clear
focus on Europe's socio-economic needs by encouraging feedback
from expert organisations in economic analysis, scientific evaluation,
technological assessment, sociology and ethics.