The Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development
, also called Framework Programmes
or abbreviated FP1 through FP8, are funding programmes created by the European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...
in order to support and encourage research in the European Research Area
The European Research Area is a system of scientific research programmes integrating the scientific resources of the European Union . Since its inception in 2000, the structure has been concentrated on multi-national co-operation in the fields of medical, environmental, industrial and...
(ERA). The specific objectives and actions vary between funding periods.
Conducting European research policies and implementing European research programmes is an obligation under the Amsterdam Treaty
The Amsterdam Treaty, officially the Treaty of Amsterdam amending the Treaty of the European Union, the Treaties establishing the European Communities and certain related acts, was signed on 2 October 1997, and entered into force on 1 May 1999; it made substantial changes to the Maastricht Treaty,...
, which includes a chapter on research and technological development. Since even entire Member States find it increasingly difficult to play a leading role in many important areas of scientific and technological advance, international cooperation is needed.
It was estimated in 2006 that the contribution of € 7 billion/year might generate a GDP increase of € 200 billion/year in the 2030s. Proponents gave the intangible incentive to face the intrinsic complexity of international collaborations. Diversity introduces additional costs, but it facilitates addressing competitors in an even more diverse world. Changes triggered by research policy directly affect people and enterprises, which experience broader horizons and experience the advantages of international collaboration. This complements the institutional activities of the EU, building a community united in diversity capable of facing the challenges of a globalized world.
To advise the European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....
on the overall strategy to be followed in carrying out the Information and Communication Technology thematic priority, the Information Society Technologies Advisory Group (ISTAG) was set up. It reflects and advises on the definition and implementation of a coherent policy for research in and on ICT in Europe.
Framework Programme projects are generally funded through instruments
, the most important of which are listed below.
Integrated Project (IP): Medium- to large-sized collaborative research projects funded in FP6 and FP7. They are composed of a minimum of 3 partners coming from 3 different countries from Associated state
An associated state is the minor partner in a formal, free relationship between a political territory with a degree of statehood and a nation, for which no other specific term, such as protectorate, is adopted...
s but can join several tens of partners. The typical duration of such projects is 3 to 5 years but there is not a defined upper limit. The budget granted by the Commission can reach several tens of million euros, paid as a fraction of the actual costs spent by the participants.
- IPs specifically aim at fostering European competitiveness in basic research
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and applied science
Applied science is the application of scientific knowledge transferred into a physical environment. Examples include testing a theoretical model through the use of formal science or solving a practical problem through the use of natural science....
with a focus on "addressing major needs in society" defined by the Priority Themes of the Framework Programme. Like STRePs (see below), IPs ask for a strong participation of small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to ascertain the translation of research results into commercially viable products or services.
Network of Excellence (NoE): Medium-sized research projects co-funded by the European Commission in FP6 and FP7. These projects are "designed to strengthen scientific and technological excellence on a particular research topic through the durable integration of the research capacities of the participants."
- NoE projects require the minimum participation of three different EU member nations, however, projects are usually expected to involve at least six countries. Projects are provided grants for a maximum of seven years. The budget granted by the Commission is €1-6million per year depending upon the number of researchers involved.
- An NoE project should not strictly be considered as a research project, since its aim is not to conduct research, but rather to contribute to the clarification of the concepts in the covered field.
Specific Targeted Research Projects (STReP): Medium-sized research projects funded by the European Commission in the FP6 and FP7 funding programs. STReP projects are composed by a minimum of 3 partners coming from 3 different countries from Associated states. The typical duration of such projects is 2 to 3 years and are generally involving between 6 and 15 partners. The budget granted by the Commission is usually around €2million.
The framework programmes up until Framework Programme 6 covered five-year periods, but from Framework Programme 7 on, programmes will run for seven years. The Framework Programmes, and their budgets in billions of euros, have been and will be:
| Framework Programme || period || budget in billions
|| €50.521 over 7 years
+ €2.7 for Euratom
The European Atomic Energy Community is an international organisation which is legally distinct from the European Union , but has the same membership, and is governed by the EU's institutions....
over 5 years
|| €80 (estimated)
The largest project was BEinGRID (Business Experiments in Grid), started in June 2006 and concluded in 2009.
The Advanced risk assessment and management for trustable grids project (AccessGrid) project started in April 2006 and ended in March 2009.
The eGovernment-oriented Access-eGov
Access-eGov is a 36-month STReP research and development project, co-funded by the European Commission within the Sixth Framework Programme under the Information Society Technologies priority, contract No. FP6-2004-27020...
project (Access to e-Government Services Employing Semantic Technologies) started in January 2006 and concluded in 2009.
The Access to KnOwledge through the GRId in a MObile World project (Akogrimo) project started in July 2004 and ended in October 2007.
The Argumentation as a foundation for the semantic grid (ARGUGRID) project started in 2006 and ended 31 May 2009.
The Adaptive Services Grid project did research on service-oriented architecture
In software engineering, a Service-Oriented Architecture is a set of principles and methodologies for designing and developing software in the form of interoperable services. These services are well-defined business functionalities that are built as software components that can be reused for...
, completed on 28 February 2007.
The Designing Advanced network Interfaces for the Delivery and Administration of Location independent, Optimised personal Services (DAIDALOS) project on mobile phone systems started in November 2003 with a second phase from 2006 to 2008.
The Semantic AudiovisuaL Entertainment Reusable Objects (SALERO) project started in January 2006 and ended 31 December 2009.
The Semantics Utilised for Process management within and between EnteRprises (SUPER) project started in April 2006 and ended 31 March 2009.
The Ubiquitous Security and Sensing in the European Homeland project studying wireless sensor network
A wireless sensor network consists of spatially distributed autonomous sensors to monitor physical or environmental conditions, such as temperature, sound, vibration, pressure, motion or pollutants and to cooperatively pass their data through the network to a main location. The more modern...
s started in January 2006 and ended in December 2008.
Understanding and Providing a Developmental Approach to Technology Education (Update), studied science and technology teaching from 2007 to 2009.
The project CoMiFin, running from September 2008 for 30 months, supplied "Communication middleware for monitoring financial CI".
EDENext, Biology and control of vector-borne infections in Europe, is a research project dedicated to investigating the biological, ecological and epidemiological components of vector-borne diseases – particularly their introduction, emergence and spread – and the creation of new tools to control them. It was officially launched in March 2011 and brings together 46 partners from 22 countries.
EPI-WATER Project (Evaluating Economic Policy Instruments for Sustainable Water Management in Europe, 2011–2013) aims to assess the effectiveness and the efficiency of Economic Policy Instruments in achieving water policy goals, and to identify the preconditions under which they complement or perform better than alternative (e.g. regulatory or voluntary) policy instruments. It bring together 11 partners from 9 countries.
Further info at: http://www.epi-water.eu