On 6 April 2005, the Commission adopted its official proposal for EU's 7th Framework Programme, which will follow the current 6th FP (2002-2006). The proposal takes account of the views expressed by the other EU institutions, the member states and by various science and research stakeholders, including the criticism expressed by the Marimon report and the latest 5-year-assessment of the EU research.
Focused on reaching the Lisbon objectives:
"The 7th Framework Programme will not be 'just another Framework Programme', ” said Science and Research Commissioner Potočnik. In its content, organisation, implementation modes and management tools, the FP7 is designed as a key contribution to the relaunched Lisbon strategy. "FP7 is centered on innovation and knowledge for growth," said Commissioner Potočnik. "It will continue the drive towards the European research area (ERA) - thus aiming at building the internal market of knowledge."
Duration: FP7 will be synchronised with the duration of the EU's financial perspective and will thus cover the 7-year-period 2007-2013.
Structure: FP7 will be organised into four specific programmes, corresponding to four major objectives of European research policy:
1. Co-operation (€32.3 bn): refers to gaining leadership in key scientific and technology areas by supporting co-operation between universities, industry, research centres and public authorities across the EU and with the rest of the world. Trans-national cooperation will remain the main instrument for carrying out research activities. This programme will consist of ten different thematic research areas:
- Information and Communication technologies (€9.1 bn)
- Health (€6 bn)
- Transport (including Aeronautics) (€4.1 bn)
- Nanoproduction (€3.5 bn)
- Energy (€2.3 bn)
- Food, agriculture and biotechnology (€1.9 bn)
- Environment (including climate change) (€1.8 bn)
- Security (NEW! compared to FP6) (€1.4 bn)
- Space (€1.3 bn)
- Socio-economic sciences and the humanities (€0.6 bn)
The programme allows for joint, cross-thematic approaches to research subjects of common interest. The Commission published the first FP7 specific programmes proposals on 21 September 2005 and, after stakeholder consultation and the Parliaments amendments, a revised version on 28 June 2006.
2. Ideas (€7.5 bn): refers to the establishment of an autonomous European Research Council (ERC), which will support and stimulate basic research carried out by individual teams competing at European level. The ERC has already been established and it has published its draft work programme for 2007.
3. People (€4.7 bn): refers to the so called 'Marie Curie' actions, which strengthen training, the career prospects and mobility of European researchers. Special focus will be given to skills and career development, increasing mobility between university and industry, and strengthening links with national systems.
4. Capacities (€4.2 bn): refers to developing and fully exploiting the EU’s research capacities through large-scale research infrastructure, regional cooperation and innovating SMEs as well as increased international co-operation and bringing science and society closer together.
* Joint Research Centre (€1.75 bn): In addition to the four specific programmes, the FP7 includes a specific programme for the non-nuclear activities of the Joint Research Centre (JRC).
**Euratom Treaty€2.7 bn): In line with the EU's responsibilities with the Euratom Treaty, the proposal for FP7 includes the traditional sector of research on nuclear safety.
Budget: The Commission's initial proposal for FP7 and the Euratom Treaty was 67.082 billion euro. Following a lot of negotiations on the EU's financial perspective 2007-2013, the Commission's amended proposal for FP7 (28 June 2006) sets the budget to 50.521 billion. For comparison, see the FP6 budget breakdown here.
Simplification: Along with its FP7 official proposal, the Commission also published a proposal for measures to simplify the administrative and financial rules of the FP7. The aim is to make participation in the FP7 less costly and cumbersome for all, especially for SMEs. Following the Commission proposal a stakeholder consultation on the issue was organised.