Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, announced the final and biggest work programme of the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme for research and development (FP7). The call’s work programme will inject over €8 billion into Europe's research and innovation system to stimulate competitiveness and boost Europe's prospects for growth and jobs.
Announcing the call Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: "Knowledge is the currency of the global economy. If Europe wants to continue to compete in the 21st century, we must support the research and innovation that will generate growth and jobs, now and in the future. The high level of competition for EU funding makes sure that taxpayers' money goes to the best projects that tackle issues that concern all of us."
The calls will target both innovation and a range of societal challenges, building a bridge to Horizon 2020, the next funding programme for EU research from 2014-2020. In total €4.8 billion is dedicated to thematic research priorities. Industrial innovation will be supported through close-to-market activities such as piloting, demonstration, standardisation and technology transfer. Special attention will be given to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in a package worth up to €1.2 billion.
SusChem welcomes this challenge-based approach that brings together resources and knowledge across different fields, technologies and disciplines, including social sciences and the humanities. The platform particularly welcomes the reinforced focus on innovation-related activities, such as piloting, demonstration, test-beds, and support for public procurement and closer-to-market activities in Horizon 2020.
SusChem will be running a dedicated FP7 Brokerage day on September 18 at the Sheraton Hotel, Place Rogier, Brussels covering these calls. SusChem will be joined by a range of other Technology Platforms and research associations to make this SusChem's biggest brokerage event yet.
Some calls of particular interest to SusChem and partners are innovative technological solutions to address the challenge of managing fresh water resources, which will be supported with €98 million of funding including some €40 million to be devoted to a Water European Innovation Partnership in 2013 where SusChem is heavily involved. Enhanced investment on research and innovation is critical for the European water industry to consolidate its position in the global market.
In addition, €75 million is dedicated to maintaining a sustainable supply of raw materials to the EU for its industry and society as a whole and with a budget of €358 million, the 2013 FP7 work programme also promotes efficiency in the processing of biological resources, development of bio-based products and processes with the aim of building a bio-resource efficient Europe.
Around €365 million is also available for technologies that will transform urban areas into sustainable "Smart Cities and Communities".
Most of the calls for proposals will be published tomorrow (10 July), with some further specific calls to follow in autumn 2012.
It is expected that the €8.1 billion announced today will leverage an additional €6 billion of public and private investment in research. This in itself will generate 210,000 new jobs in the short-term and boots growth by an estimated €75 billion over a 15 year period.
When it was launched, FP7 was the largest research funding programme in the world with a budget of €55 billion for 2007-2013.
For further information a press release on the funding announcement and an associated memo are available.