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The Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development, also called Framework Programmes or abbreviated FP, are funding programmes created by the European Union in order to support and encourage research in the European Research Area (ERA). The specific objectives and actions vary between funding periods.

Contents

Background

Conducting European research policies and implementing European research programmes is an obligation under the Amsterdam 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.

EU research programs generate high return on investment. It is estimated that current Community contribution of € 7 billion/year might generate a GDP increase of € 200 billion/year in the 2030s.[1] There are also the intangible result of providing 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[2].

Criticism

A number of potential shortcomings of Framework Programmes impair the whole idea are staff maladministration, a lengthy process of agreeing the areas that will be funded and on the extent of the funding. EU grants in aid of research and development often involve big companies mixed with big universities organised in unwieldy consortia, and so leaving aside progressive research companies. The selection process and the process of negotiating contracts can take in excess of a year or more which means that the drive to innovate is often stifled by the bureaucracy. Not infrequently the EU will be making decisions about funding while technologies will have moved into the market place. This is the case with many web technologies which the EU has funded but which have been overtaken by events (search engines and social software are good examples of where the EU has been by-passed by the market).

The successive programmes

The Sixth Framework Programme took place from 3 June 2002 until 2006. The funding of the Seventh Framework Programme started in 2007. The framework programmes up until FP6 covered five-year periods, but from FP7 on, programmes will run for seven years.

List of Framework Programmes and budget in million Euros[3].

References

  1. ^ Muldur, U., et al., “A New Deal for an Effective European Research Policy,” Springer 2006 ISBN 978-1-4020-5550-8 [1]
  2. ^ Stajano, A. "Research, Quality, Competitiveness. EU Technology Policy for the Knowledge-based Society," Springer 2009 ISBN 978-0-387-79264-4 [2]
  3. ^ Artis, M. J. and F. Nixson, Eds. "The Economics of the European Union: Policy and Analysis" (4th ed.), Oxford University Press 2007

See also

External links

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