The Seventh Framework Programme
The Framework Programmes (FP) for Research and Technological Development are the European Union's main instruments for supporting collaborative research, development and innovations in science, engineering and technology. Since its launch in 1984, the Framework Programmes have played a lead role in multidisciplinary research and cooperative activities in Europe and beyond. The current seventh FP started in 2007 and runs to 2013 and is both larger and morecomprehensive than earlier Framework Programmes. The programme has a total budget of over € 50 billion.
The Framework Programmes for Research have two main strategic objectives:
- to strengthen the scientific and technological base of European industry;
- to encourage its international competitiveness, while promoting research that supports EU policies.
The priorities in FP7 are contained within several specific programmes. The core of FP7 and its largest component, the Cooperation programme, fosters collaborative research across Europe and other partner countries, under ten key thematic areas. One of these thematic areas is 'Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology' with the primary aim to build a European Knowledge Based Bio-Economy.
The Framework Programmes offer valuable opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), multinational corporations (MNCs), healthcare professionals and academic researchers to participate in high-quality research collaborations with their European counterparts. The programme also provide for the participation of non-EU countries.