A new Government initiative was launched today to help UK organisations benefit from European Union funding for research and development projects.
According to the DTI, the Framework Programme is the EU’s main way of providing funding for collaborative research and innovation. It aims to strengthen European research and technological capability and encourage Europe’s international competitiveness.
The current Framework Programme, called FP6, has an overall budget of 17.5 billion Euros and will run until the end of 2006.
Most of the budget for FP6 is devoted to work in seven priority thematic areas, including IT; aeronautics and space; nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices.
The Government, recognising the importance of this research to the UK economy, has provided a wide range of expert help and support to UK organisations seeking funding under the many areas of Framework Programmes through its network of National Contact Points (NCPs).
The launch of FP6UK will reportedly make it easier for UK organisations to become aware of the opportunities offered by FP6 and will, for the first time, enable them to access this wide range of NCP experts through a single, centralised information and promotion service.
‘The EU funding is a vital resource for universities and businesses. Our new service will provide seamless support for applicants from their initial enquiry through to, hopefully successful, final awards,’ said Lord Sainsbury, Minister for Science and Innovation.
FP6UK can be contacted online or through a central telephone support number, 0870 600 6080, which can answer all general enquiries about FP6 as well as point callers directly to the relevant NCPs covering their specific area of interests.