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Five billion pounds for research and innovation in Europe
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19/07/2010 00:00:00

Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn announces today nearly 6.4 billion euro (GBP 5.4 billion) of European Commission investment in research and innovation. The package is the biggest ever and covers a vast range of scientific disciplines, public policy areas and commercial sectors. It is expected to create more than 165 000 jobs.

Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn said: "Investment in research and innovation is the only smart and lasting way out of crisis and towards sustainable and socially equitable growth. This European package will contribute to new and better products and services, a more competitive and greener Europe, and a better society with a higher quality of life. We are offering researchers and innovators 6.4 billion euro (GBP 5.4 billion) for cutting-edge projects focusing on big economic and societal challenges: climate change, energy and food security, health and an ageing population. This is a huge and efficient economic stimulus and an investment in our future."

Grants will be awarded through "calls for proposals" (invitations to bid) and evaluations over the next 14 months. Many calls will be formally published on 20th July.

More funding than ever before
There will be an opportunity to bid for funding from the EU's Seventh Framework Programme across a wide range of policy areas. For example, health gets over 600 million euro (GBP 500 million). There is a 1.2 billion euro (GBP 1 billion) boost to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) research, which will help deliver the Commission's commitment in the Digital Agenda for Europe to maintain the pace of yearly increases in ICT funding.

More than 1.3 billion euro (1.1. billion pounds) are reserved for the best creative scientists selected by the European Research Council .  Mobility grants for 7, 000 highly qualified researchers will be provided through " Marie Curie Actions ", worth 772 million euro (GBP 650 million).

800 million euro (GBP 680 million) for SMEs
Top priority is given to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME), the backbone of the European innovation system, representing 99% of all European businesses. SMEs, will receive close to 800 million euro (680 million pounds) and for the first time, there will be ring-fenced budgets in several areas. For example, in health, knowledge-based bio-economy, environment and nanotechnologies SME participation must reach 35 % of the total budget for a number of topics.

    New products and services
    Translating research into new technologies, products and services is at the heart of the package.

    In health research alone, around 206 million euro (GBP170 million) – one-third of the overall budget for 2011 – will be spent on investigator-driven clinical trials to get new medicines on the market quicker.

    In nanotechnologies (270 million euro or 230 million pounds), the focus will be on research that could lead to patenting and commercialisation opportunities.

    Around 600 million euro (500 million pounds) of ICT funding is earmarked for next generation network and service infrastructures, robotic systems, electronic and photonic components, and digital content technologies. More than 400 million euro (GBP 340 million) will support research into how ICTs can address challenges such as a lower-carbon economy, an ageing society, and adaptable and sustainable factories. 90 million euro (76 million pounds) is also earmarked in 2011 for the Future internet Public Private Partnership to make key European infrastructures "smart"

    New pilot open access for environment research results
    Environment research projects will get about 205 million euro (170 million pounds). The Commission is introducing this year steps to speed up sharing of environmental research results: beneficiaries of EU grants will commit to making freely available – after a certain embargo period - publications arising from their research. 

    Examples of projects that already receive EU funding MEMO/10/339    

    Applicants can get advice via their National Contact Points: >>>

    Call page

    The budget for the Seventh Framework Programme calls for proposals in 2011 is 6.4 billion euro (5.4 billion pounds), up 12% in comparison to 2010 (5.7 billion euro or 4.8 billion pounds) and 30% in comparison to 2009 (4.9 million euro or GBP 4 billion).

    The Seventh Framework Programme is the largest single research programme in the world, with a budget of more than 50.5 billion euro (GBP 43 billion), excluding Euratom - for 2007-2013.


    For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.

    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.

    Last update: 31/10/2010  |Top