way in which Community research immediately adds value lies in the
number and quality of the links which it establishes and maintains
between research teams in the Union. In 1998 some 28 000 new
participations lent added strength to this European research area.
The 21 000 participations in shared-cost action alone created
almost 90 000 collaborative links for researchers in the European
Union, 83 % of which were transnational links.
In terms of quality, the selection procedures ensure that the Community RTD projects bring together the best teams in Europe. Nevertheless, every region in Europe is involved, including the less-favoured regions eligible under Objective 1 of the Structural Funds, which were represented in 40% of the projects started in 1998.
The Training and
Mobility of Researchers programme plays an important role in underpinning
sustainable development of a European RTD area, by opening the doors
to training or even a European career for young scientists. The
Marie Curie fellowships granted under this programme allowed Europe-wide
mobility for the equivalent of around 1 100 full-time researchers
in 1998, to whom must be added 950 researchers trained in the "research
networks" activity and the grants awarded directly under the thematic
programmes. Most of these young scientists were given employment
contracts with their host institution for the duration of their