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Fifth Framework Programme

The Fifth Framework Programme in Brief


Improvements in implementation

The Fifth Framework Programme also introduces innovations in the mechanisms for managing and implementing the programmes. These include:

  • a greater involvement of scientists, industry, and users in carrying out the work, in particular through the 17 groups of experts which have been set up to assist the Commission with the content and direction of the key actions;

  • establishing a new, dynamic partnership with SMEs, in particular by providing greater information and assistance;

  • more efficient procedures.

Notice to readers

  • The targeted fields of research are described succinctly in the following pages. The complete and official content of the R&D activities in the various programmes and key actions can be consulted via Internet on the CORDIS server.

  • All the projects presented in this supplement have been carried out under the Fourth Framework Programme.

With a budget of 14.96 billion euros, the Fifth Framework Programme consists of four thematic programmes (tackling the areas of research identified within the key actions) and three horizontal programmes (activities involving all areas).

In addition to the key actions, a portion of the budget is devoted to the major challenges covered by the thematic programmes "life sciences", "the information society", "sustainable industrial growth", and "energy and the environment". These programmes therefore also involve research activities of a generic nature and activities in support of research infrastructure (see "Why Key Actions?").

The specific role of the horizontal programmes

Three horizontal programmes cut across all the fields covered by the key actions, providing a further dynamic, and supporting the three priorities of Europe's S&T policy.

Confirming the international role of Community research
It is vital to ensure that European RTD activities are fully integrated into worldwide scientific and technological exchange, and to strengthen cooperation with the European Union's special partners. This programme will ensure that scientific and industrial players from these countries participate fully in all fields of thematic research of the Fifth Framework Programme, as well as supporting their S&T infrastructures.

Promoting innovation and encouraging SME participation
Over 12000 SMEs were involved in the various projects of the Fourth Framework Programme (1994-1998), twice as many as in the previous programme. This growing participation by a sector that is both the leading provider of new jobs and the prime mover of innovation in Europe is the result of a policy of providing specific support for including SMEs in all research activities. This programme will also pursue the policy of stimulating the innovative capacity of European RTD by helping to create an environment which encourages technology transfer, ensuring the availability of risk capital, and facilitating the protection of intellectual property rights.

Improving human research potential and the socio-economic knowledge base.
Europe's trump card is its human potential, that is the quality of its researchers, engineers, and technicians, who, trained in national educational and research systems, are ready to confront the reality of increased European cooperation. This programme seeks first of all to support the training and mobility of researchers through the Marie Curie fellowships, the networking of laboratories, promoting scientific exchanges and developing know-how through research, as well as improving access to major European research installations.

Particular emphasis is placed on the research work needed to improve understanding of the crucial problems facing a fast-changing European society, and to evaluate and predict the impact of new technologies better. The programme also includes a specific key action in this field (see Key Action 23).




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