EU Framework Programme for Research
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation - Horizon 2020 - is the most important instrument for the implementation of the Innovation Union. This flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 Strategy aims to strengthen Europe's ability to compete. The November 2011 commission proposal for the programme is to be adopted by both the Competitiveness Council and the European Parliament by the end of 2013. The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation is the world's largest funding programme for research projects. The BMBF supports national efforts to ensure excellent research at a European level. Various advisory services are offered to German applicants, for example, by the Federal Government's National Contact Points for the Research Framework Programme (NCPs).
On 28 January 2013, the European Commission announced the two winners of the European Flagship Competition: The Human Brain Project, led by Prof. Henry Markram of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), as well as the project Graphen, under the leadership of Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. Further information can be found here
Involvement of Central and Eastern European EU Member States in the Research Framework Programme: BMBF study conducted by Fraunhofer MOEZ looks at successes and identifies opportunities
Negotiations on the Commission's proposals for a regulation concerning Horizon 2020, the new framework programme for research and innovation, are well under way. In addition to the thematic focus and effective and efficient implementation, the main challenges in shaping the future instruments of European research and innovation funding also include guaranteeing broad access to Horizon 2020 for stakeholders across Europe. It is important to counteract the underrepresentation of institutions from certain Member States or regions. This was highlighted by the expert group for the interim evaluation of the 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7) with regard to "new" Member States, in particular those in Central and Eastern Europe.
A study commissioned by the BMBF and carried out by the Fraunhofer Centre for Central and Eastern Europe (MOEZ) looks at the success of Central and Eastern European Member States in the excellence-based competition for funding under the EU Research Framework Programme. It is the first to take national research and innovation systems into account. The results show that some Central and Eastern European countries are very successful. In relation to their size, some of them even have higher participation rates than the average among "old" Member States. All Central and Eastern European countries have specific strengths. The study can also be accessed via the website of the EU Bureau of the BMBF
A Good Day for Europe - Further Steps Towards Horizon 2020
Federal Research Minister Annette Schavan speaks with her Danish colleague Morten Ostergaard on 31 May 2012 in Brussels. © Council of the European Union
At the Competitiveness Council in Brussels on 31 May, ministers reached a "Partial General Approach" on the Regulation establishing Horizon 2020 - the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. This is an important step for increasing competitiveness, growth, and jobs in Europe. Research and innovation are the drivers of this development. The "Partial General Approach" forms the basis for future negotiations with the European Parliament.
During the negotiations, Germany successfully incorporated important stipulations in accordance with the central proposition summary "Horizon 2020: Source of a new dynamic strength in Europe."
The summary includes key points of the Federal Government's position on the entire Horizon 2020 package, which includes not only the Regulation, but also the specific programme, the rules for participation and dissemination, and the European Institute for Innovation and Technology.
Further development of the European Union's Strategy for the Danube Region
Following an invitation from Germany's Federal Research Minister, EU Commissioner Hahn and ministers and vice-ministers from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Austria, Romania, Serbia, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, the Ukraine, and Hungary met in Ulm on 9 July 2012. The focus of the two day meeting was the further development of the European Union's Strategy for the Danube Region. The topics of renewable energy and mobility were also specifically addressed by young scientists. In a conference communiqué
, the ministers agreed to intensify cooperation in science and research and to further develop the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. The establishment of a research, innovation and network-building fund was announced as an immediate measure. National and European sources will each provide the fund with 5 million euros.
New Horizons: Research Ministers Meet in Copenhagen
European research ministers in Copenhagen ©Danish EU Council Presidency 2012Following an invitation from the Danish council presidency, research ministers from across Europe met in Copenhagen in early February 2012 in order to discuss the future European Framework Programme for Research "Horizon 2020". The council is responsible for the internal market and for securing the best framework conditions for industry and research. Horizon 2020 is to start on 1 January 2014 and aims to strenghten Europe for global competition.
European Research Area: Creative Stimuli for Europe's Intellectual Capital
The further implementation of the European Research Area (ERA) and the development of the future EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation "Horizon 2020" are currently on the agenda of European research ministers. Europe must implement the ERA and meet the growth expectations of the Europe 2020 Strategy through forward-looking research and innovation policies - only then will Europe be able to compete globally. The German Federal Government views the future framework programme as the central strategic instrument in this process.
Important social and economic challenges of the 21st century include areas such as energy, climate, resources, health, nutrition, and demographic change. Answers and solutions can only be found through European or worldwide cooperation in education, research, and science. Simultaneously, the global competition for technologies and markets is constantly growing. We must strengthen the competitiveness of European companies by advancing key technologies while expediting and improving the implementation of research findings into new products, processes, and services. The humanities and social sciences play an essential role in interdisciplinary efforts to meet the key challenges faced by European society. In Germany and Europe, institutions of higher education are the central medium for this kind of research.
2011: European Research Ministers in Sopot, Poland
The European research ministers in Sopot, Poland ©Polish EU Presidency 2011Research ministers from across Europe met in Sopot on 20 and 21 July 2011, following an invitation from the Polish Council Presidency, in order to discuss the European Research Area (ERA) and the future EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
The EU Framework Programmes for Research
On the basis of the Treaty of Lisbon, all measures taken in the field of research funding and technological development are pooled in a collective Framework Programme for Research.
The primary goal of the Framework Programme for Research is to strengthen the scientific and technological basis for European industry and to foster its international competitiveness, in addition to supporting all research efforts which are considered necessary for other EU policies.
The EU Research Framework Programme is administered centrally from Brussels. Topics and calls for proposals are determined and issued by the EU, meaning they follow a top-down approach. Research cooperation in Europe is also advanced and practically supplemented by programmes such as COST and EUREKA, both of which take a bottom-up approach, meaning topics are determined by the applicants.
The Seventh Framework Programme (2007-2013)
The seventh EU Framework Programme (FP7) has an overall budged of €54.4 billion. Of this total, €4 billion are designated for Euratom.
FP7 is divided into four specific programmes:
Cooperation (budget: €32.4 billion)
The first specific programme is the key pillar of the FP7. It supports cross-border cooperative projects between universities, industry, and research centres. The programme is subdivided into ten themes:
- Food, agriculture and fisheries, biotechnology
- Information and communication technologies
- Nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials and new production technologies
- Environment (including climate change)
- Transport (including aeronautics)
- Socio-economic sciences and the humanities
Ideas (budget: €7.5 billion)
This new programme will strengthen the expertise of European research and improve the attractiveness of Europe for the best researchers as well as for industrial research investment. The European Research Council (ERC), which was established under this programme, concentrates on the support of "frontier research" by selecting and funding the most creative researchers.
People (budget: €4.7 billion)
The "Marie Curie Actions" make maximal use of human resources in research. These actions, which were increased under FP7, aim to arouse interest in research-based careers and recruit researchers from Europe and beyond.
Capacities (budget: €4.2 billion)
The fourth specific programme improves the opportunities for research and innovation. Targeted funding is provided for seven broad areas, such as research infrastructure and SME-led research, in order to ensure their optimal use.
€1.7 billion are allocated to the Joint Research Centre (JRC), which provides customer-driven scientific and technical support in the conception, development, implementation, and monitoring of EU policies. The JRC also serves as a reference centre for science and technology for the EU.
For the first time, procedures within the framework programme will be more flexible and more rationally designed ("Simplification"). In addition, the "Risk-Sharing Finance Facility" (RSFF) will be introduced as a new financing system in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The Sixth European Framework Programme (2002-2006)
The sixth EU Framework Programme (FP6) expired at the end of 2006. It had a budget of approximately €20 billion (including the Euratom Framework Programme) for a period of four years. The main goal of FP6 was the implementation of the European Research Area.