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Several FP7 calls launched [2007-11-30]

The European Commission has published a number calls for proposals under all four specific programmes of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) namely Cooperation, Ideas, People and Capacities. There is also a call for proposals under the Euratom Specific Programme.

The calls address the following areas:

- Food, agriculture and fisheries and biotechnology;
- Nanoscience, nanotechnologies, materials and new production technologies (seven calls);
- Energy (four calls);
- Environment (including climate change) (two calls);
- Transport (including aeronautics) (four calls);

- ERC (European Research Council) advanced grant
- IDEAS coordination and support action

- Marie Curie European reintegration grants;
- Marie Curie international reintegration grants;
- Researchers night
- Marie Curie international research staff exchange scheme;
- Marie Curie industry-academia partnerships and pathways.

- Research infrastructures;
- Research for the benefit of SMEs;
- Regions of knowledge;
- Research potential;
- Science in society

The Euratom call concerns nuclear fission and radiation protection.

To see the full details of the calls, please consult the following web address: http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/calls/

1. Israel joins CIP [Date: 2007-11-05]

Israel has become the EU's first neighbouring country to join the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP), designed by the European Commission to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and growth among small and medium-sized enterprises.

The agreement was signed in Tel Aviv by European Commission Vice President Günter Verheugen, and Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Eliyahu Yishai. 'Competitiveness and innovation are joint challenges for Israel and the EU,' said Mr Verheugen. 'There are many areas of entrepreneurship and innovation policy in which Israel and the EU have a lot to offer, and where cooperation in joint projects and business and innovation networks will create a win-win situation. In today's world the key to success is not isolation but cooperation.'

Israel will initially join the first CIP pillar, on entrepreneurship and innovation. This should link Israeli actors to innovation clusters in European networks. Israel is also interested in joining the other two CIP pillars, on information and communication technologies (CIP) and intelligent energy.

CIP will run from 2007 until 2013 with a budget of €3.6 billion.

For further information on CIP, please visit:http://ec.europa.eu/cip/index_en.htm

2. Corporate R&D investments still rising

Corporate investments in research and development (R&D) by EU-based companies rose year on year from 5.3% in 2005 to 7.4% last year.

Private sector investment in R&D currently stands at around 1.2% of Europe's GDP, compared to 1.9% in the US and more than 2% in Japan.

This year American pharmaceutical company Pfizer topped the list of companies ranked by their total R&D investment, with a total spend of €5.8 billion. Three European companies made it into the top ten; DaimlerChrysler came in at number five with €5.2 billion, and GlaxoSmithKline and Siemens made it to positions seven and eight respectively.

Looking at sectors, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector overtook the technology hardware and equipment sector to take the top spot. The chemicals sector also showed strong growth, as did aerospace and defence.


3.EU R&D spending remains unchanged [Date: 2008-03-11]

Research and development (R&D) spending in Europe has remained unchanged for the last three years, according to the latest figures released from Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities

R&D expenditure in the EU27 in 2006 stood at 1.84% of GDP - the same as in 2004 and 2005. These figures are cause for concern given that the European Union has set itself the target of investing 3% of GDP in research by 2010.

However, some Member States show that achieving the target is possible. In 2006, the best in the class were Sweden and Finland, spending 3.82% and 3.45% of their GDP on R&D respectively. Just behind them were Germany, Austria and Denmark, which all reported R&D intensities well above the 2% mark.

In contrast, spending remained low in many of newer Member States such as Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania, which all reported R&D expenditure below 0.5%. But some newcomers showed the highest increase in R&D spending between 2000 and 2006 - In Estonia, R&D intensity went from 0.61% to 1.14%, while in the Czech Republic spending went from 1.21% to 1.54%.

Statistics are also provided on the R&D labour force, which stood at 4.8% of the total labour force in 2006. The countries employing the highest shares of scientists and engineers were Belgium with 7.9%, Ireland with 6.8% and Finland and Sweden with 6.7% and 6.5% respectively.