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Meetings Calendar 2006
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Responsibility for the New Framework Programme

 

In June 2004 the European Commission launched an open discussion process on the Seventh Research Framework Programme. For the first time an EU Framework Programme will include a separate budget for basic research. For this purpose a European Research Council will be established. The concept of the Joint Technology Initiatives is another innovation. These are designed to bring together business enterprises, research institutes, the financial world and authorities at the European level in order to define a joint research programme with critical resource volumes in specific areas of major European public interest. The Seventh Research Framework Programme will continue to fund trans-national projects, and co-ordination of national research programmes will be further strengthened with the help of the ERA-Networks. New research infrastructures to serve European interests in research areas with a medium and longterm focus are also to be created. Other proposals put forward by the Commission include simpler and faster administrative procedures and improving the dissemination of research results.

The Research Framework Programmes, and especially the forthcoming Seventh Research Framework Programme, are important points of reference for Austrian research. Austria therefore broadly welcomes many aspects of the European Commission’s proposal. However, given the specific characteristics of its economy and research, Austria hopes that more money will be made available for small-scale research projects and that SMEs will be able to participate more easily and profit to a greater extent from the instruments than in the past. Existing instruments should be retained, but should become more manageable as is the case in the Integrated Projects and Networks of Excellence. Austria attaches as much priority to the continuation of thematic areas in the field of “Co-operation” supplemented by new areas of research such as security research as it does to improving links between industry and research, expanding the ERA-networks and comprehensive measures to promote women in science.

In April 2005 the European Commission created the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) to complement the Framework Programmes. As an element of the new Lisbon strategy, CIP merges diverse initiatives such as the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme to promote entrepreneurial spirit and innovation, the ICT Policy Support Programme to promote the use of information and communications technologies and the Intelligent Energy Programme to form an integrated approach.

 

Date: 30.12.2005