EU's Research Executive Agency becomes autonomous
On 15 June, the Research Executive Agency (REA) was officially granted its administrative and operational autonomy by the European Commission.
The REA is located in Brussels, Belgium, and will become the biggest of the 6 existing EU executive agencies with a planned staff of 558 by 2013. It will control a EUR 6.5 billion budget, which represents around 12% of the budget for the current EU Framework Programme for Research (FP7). Although FP7 runs until 2013, the REA is expected to remain in place until 2017 in order to manage projects funded during FP7.
'We are ready and confident that the REA will live up to the high expectations of the Commission and the research community,' said Graham Stroud, Director of the Agency.
Set up under the control of the European Commission, the task of the Research Executive Agency is to manage - literally to 'execute' - specific activities which would normally have been carried out by the European Commission. As the REA concentrates on its management role, and has no policy remit, it can be more effective and more efficient in addressing the needs of the research communities for the following four parts of FP7:
- the PEOPLE programme, including the Marie Curie Fellowships, which help European researchers exploit their potential (mainly by stimulating their career development, especially in terms of training and mobility);
- the part of the CAPACITIES programme which targets European SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and helps them compete by strengthening their innovation capacity on the basis of outsourcing research;
- parts of the COOPERATION programme for cooperative research in the Space and Security themes. These programme parts aim to maximise the benefits of space-based research and increasing civil security in Europe.
In addition, a major role of the REA is to manage the proposal evaluation facilities across almost the entire FP7, assist in the legal and financial validation of participants and manage the FP7 stakeholders' enquiry service.
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Category: General policy
Data Source Provider: European Commission
Document Reference: Based on information from the European Commission
Subject Index: Policies; Scientific Research; Security