With FP7 reaching the end of its adoption process (the European Parliament expected to give its green light on 30 November), the European Commission has announced 22 December as the day when the first calls for proposals will open.
The Director General of DG Research, JosÃ© Manuel Silva RodrÃguez, made the announcement at a briefing session on the biggest EU Research programme to date. "Tomorrow's answers start today with the Seventh Research Framework Programme," he said.
He also outlined some of the new elements in the â¬53 billion programme, which will bundle all research-related EU initiatives together under one roof.
Mr RodrÃguez explained how the objectives of FP7 have been grouped into research themes; Cooperation, Ideas, People and Capacities. He went on to explain how the programme will develop research that will meet the needs of European industry through the work carried out by Technology Platforms and the new Joint Technology Initiatives.
The Director General finished on a high note by stating that all procedures would be simplified. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) would be actively encouraged to get involved and the newly established European Research Council (ERC) would fund the best of European fundamental science.
The Seventh Framework Programme will be fully operational as of 1 January and will expire in 2013.
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