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European Flag    Europa The European Commission Research Fifth Framework Programme
Improving the Quality of Life


Building on Excellence
in the Life Sciences

In the Fourth Framework Programme, life science research consisted of three specific programmes.

  • Biomedicine and Health (the BIOMED2 programme). This aimed to generate a better understanding of the body's basic mechanism for maintaining health and to address the social aspects of health care. It also sought to provide a basis for completing the European internal market for health services and for medical and pharmaceutical products. The total budget for the programme was ECU 358 million, divided between: pharmaceuticals (11%), biomedical technology and engineering (11%), brain (12%), diseases with a socio-economic impact (42%), human genome (12%), public health (10%), biomedical ethics (2%).

  • Agriculture and Fisheries (the FAIR programme). The objectives of this programme were to promote and harmonise research in the European agricultural, horticultural, fisheries and aquaculture industries. It had an overall budget of ECU 646.5 million and covered the following thematic areas: integrated production and processing chains (15%), scaling up and processing methodologies (7%), generic science and advanced technologies for nutritious foods (16%), agriculture, forestry and rural development (37%), fisheries and aquaculture (17%). The remaining 8% of the budget was allocated to concerted measures, such as thematic networks, in all programme areas.

  • Biotechnology (BIOTECH 2). Research priorities were to improve our basic knowledge of living systems and to increase the exploitation of biotechnology in the areas of agriculture, industry, health, nutrition and the environment, whilst considering the ethical and socio-economic implications. With a budget of ECU 595.5 million, BIOTECH 2 covered eight research areas: cell factories (17%), genome analysis (13%), plant and animal biotechnology (21%), cell communication in neurosciences (9%), immunology and immunotechnology (11%), structural biology (14%), prenormative research, biodiversity and social acceptance (10%) and infrastructures (5%).
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