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Special Edition
November 2002

  RTD info
    News in Brief, Publications, New on the Web
Graphic element The priorities of the Sixth Framework Programme 2002-2006

In the interests of efficiency and to avoid the risk of duplication or of spreading the research effort too thinly, the Union's 2002-2006 Sixth Framework Programme for Research will concentrate the greater part of its efforts on seven priority fields, presented in this special issue of RTD info.

These priorities are fields which offer great potential in the context of the knowledge-based economy and society. By concentrating its research effort in this way, Union action can provide real added value by encouraging the complementarity and multidisciplinarity of European resources and capacities in science and technology.

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Life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health
The new picture of health
Genome sequencing, including of human beings, is bringing new prospects for molecular biology and genetics which are as yet difficult to gauge. 'Post-genomics' – and research on stem cells in particular – is likely to have many and sometimes unexpected benefits for human health.

A European priority
Research in the field of post-genomics and biotechnologies for health not only meets the expectations of European society but also the hopes of developing countries where health conditions must not deteriorate any further.

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Information society technologies
The 'all-communicating' world
Our domestic appliances, our environment and our health, our way of working and learning… The information and knowledge-based society is immersing us in an 'e-civilisation'.

The age of ambient intelligence
How research is helping to create an intelligent and interactive environment which places the human being at the centre of developments in information technologies.

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Nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices
The nano revolution
Mastering the arrangements between atoms to form nanosystems is leading to applications which herald a new and innovative age of technology.

A critical need for a European dimension
A concerted European approach is essential to achieve the major fundamental and applied research effort needed to make the most of the opportunities of the 'nano' age.

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Aeronautics and Space
Onward and upward
Safety, profitability and sustainability are the three leitmotifs of aeronautics research. Europe possesses real potential in this promising field, as it does in space research.

Striving for excellence
Public and private research combine with particular effectiveness in the aeronautics and space sector. This added value of coordination is in line with the priorities of the Sixth Framework Programme and the spirit of the European Research Area.

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Food quality and safety
The paradox of progress
The agri-foodstuffs sector is subject to increasingly stringent regulations, standards, monitoring procedures and quality control. Yet recent years have brought some dramatic failings in the form of BSE, dioxins, listerioris and salmonella. A brief analysis of a crisis of confidence which sometimes runs deep.

From the farm to the fork
The spotlight on the Union's responsibility at every stage of the agri-foodstuffs chain and future research prospects in this field.

Communication: a challenge and a duty
Consumer concerns about food safety and their level of confidence in the information provided on the subject are a major challenge for European politicians and scientists.

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Sustainable development, global change and ecosystems
Earth in the balance
Sustainable development is crucial to humanity's future. This is why it is a vital dimension of the work of scientists and researchers in all fields.

Time to decide
Energy and transport – the two most strategic elements of sustainable development – are a priority sector within the Union's scientific policy, together with (strategic) research on global change.

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Citizens and governance in a knowledge-based society
The return of the human sciences
The contribution of human and social sciences in fields as diverse as health, information technologies or the environment. Plus the new light they are shedding on multidisciplinary research.

How can progress be controlled?
Restoring relations between science and the citizen, between research and society.

Previous edition
RTD info 35

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You can order the paper version on-line on this site as well.

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