FP7 is the short name for the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. This is the EU's main instrument for funding research in Europe. The programme will run from 2007-2013. It is a key pillar for the European Research Area (ERA).
The broad objectives of FP7 have been grouped into four categories: Cooperation, Ideas, People and Capacities. For each type of objective, there is a specific programme corresponding to the main areas of EU research policy. All specific programmes work together to promote and encourage the creation of European poles of (scientific) excellence.
The Specific Programmes constitute the five major building blocks of FP7:
The core of FP7, representing two thirds of the overall budget, is the Cooperation programme. It fosters collaborative research across Europe and other partner countries through projects by transnational consortia of industry and academia. Research will be carried out in ten key thematic areas:
- Food, agriculture and fisheries, and 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
The Ideas programme will support “frontier research” solely on the basis of scientific excellence. Research may be carried out in any area of science or technology, including engineering, socio-economic sciences and the humanities. In contrast with the Cooperation programme, there is no obligation for cross-border partnerships. Projects are implemented by “individual teams” around a “principal investigator”. The programme is implemented via the new European Research Council
The People programme provides support for researcher mobility and career development, both for researchers inside the European Union and internationally. It is implemented via a set of Marie Curie actions, providing fellowships and other measures to help researchers build their skills and competences throughout their careers:
- Initial training of researchers - Marie Curie Networks
- Industry-academia partnerships
- Co-funding of regional, national and international mobility programmes
- Intra-European fellowships
- International dimension - outgoing and incoming fellowships, international cooperation scheme, reintegration grants
- Marie Curie Awards
The Capacities programme strengthens the research capacities that Europe needs if it is to become a thriving knowledge-based economy. It covers the following activities:
- Research infrastructures
- Research for the benefit of SMEs
- Regions of Knowledge
- Research Potential
- Science in Society
- Specific activities of international cooperation
The programme for nuclear research and training activities will comprise research, technological development, international cooperation, dissemination of technical information, and exploitation activities, as well as training. Two specific programmes are planned:
- the first programme includes: fusion energy research (in particular ITER), and nuclear fission and radiation protection;
- the second programme covers the activities of the Joint Research
Centre (JRC) in the field of nuclear energy
Total budget is 50,5 billion Euros.
More than € 610 million is foreseen for funding Socio-economic and Humanities theme within Cooperation specific programme over the duration of FP7.