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International Cooperation in FP7

During the next years, from 2007 to 2013, the 7th European Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development and Demonstration (FP7) will be the key instrument of the European Commission to further develop the European Research Area (ERA). Author Evelina Santa reports on aspects of international cooperation in FP7.

  • Posted on: 18.08.2006

During the next years, from 2007 to 2013, FP7 will be the key instrument of the European Commission to further develop the European Research Area (ERA). It is focused on reaching the Lisbon targets, thus strengthening Europe’s competitiveness and economic growth by investing in research and science.
In order to become the 'most competitive and dynamic knowledge-driven economy by 2010', a strong and coherent international research and technology policy will be necessary. Therefore, fostering the international dimension in FP7 is a crucial issue and combines two objectives:

  • Support European competitiveness through strategic partnerships with third countries in selected research areas and through attracting top quality researchers from these countries for conducting research in Europe
  • Address specific problems that third countries face or that have a global character, on the basis of mutual interest and mutual benefit
  • S&T cooperation will also be used to reinforce the Community’s external relations and other relevant policy areas.

International cooperation is envisaged mainly in the Programmes

  • ‘Cooperation’: international cooperation in specific thematic research areas
  • ‘People’: international measures to promote human resources
  • ‘Capacities’: horizontal support actions for international cooperation
  • (see below for more information on international cooperation and follow the links here for a short description of the programmes)

Steps were also taken to enhance the participation in FP7. In the Commission Staff Working Document 'Simplification in the 7th Framework Programme' the authors develop a set of concrete measures for the facilitation of the processes. An important measure concerning international cooperation is a clearer and more user-friendly style of information material for better accessibility to non-specialists and first-time applicants.

Further Information: http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/

International Cooperation in the Specific Programme ‘Cooperation’:

1. All activities carried out in the nine thematic areas are open to researchers and research institutions from the Western Balkans
2. Specific cooperation actions in each thematic area are dedicated to third countries in case of mutual interest in cooperation on particular topics, such as
- Health: pandemics, global health issues, AIDS, etc. (see further information here)
- Information and Communication Technologies (more information here)
- Energy: measures to reach the millennium development goals, environmental consequences of energy policies, etc.
- Environment: climate change, biodiversity, desertification, etc.

International Cooperation in the Specific Programme ‘People’:

As a fundamental component of human resources in R&D in Europe, international cooperation is addressed through dedicated actions in terms of
1. Career development measures for researchers from EU member states and associated countries, such as 'outgoing international fellowships' with mandatory return and 'return and international reintegration grants' for experienced researchers after an international mobility experience
2. Strengthening international cooperation through 'incoming international fellowships' to attract highly-qualified third-country researchers to Member States and through partnerships between several research organisations in Europe and one or more organisations in countries covered by the European neighbourhood policy and countries with which the EU has an S&T agreement

International Cooperation in the Specific Programme ‘Capacities’:

The international dimension in this programme is supported via specific action lines for international cooperation, which include:
1. Regional definition of core issues and strategies for scientific-technological cooperation
2. Strengthening and upgrading of partnerships for S&T cooperation including structural measures and networks
3. Supporting the coordination of national strategies and measures for international S&T cooperation, including evaluation of the efficiency of ongoing bilateral initiatives

Article published in eJournal summer 06.

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