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Programme Structure and Content
The Fifth Framework Programme (FP5) has two main components:
1. Fifth (EC) RTD Framework Programme , comprising four focused Thematic programmes implementing research, technological development and demonstration activities and three wide-ranging Horizontal programmes;
2. Fifth (Euratom) Framework Programme , comprising a focused Thematic programme implementing research and training activities in the nuclear sector.
Each of the Framework Programmes also contain a specific programme covering the direct RTD actions to be implemented by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) which comprise research, scientific and technical support of an institutional nature.
The four Thematic Programmes cover a series of well-defined problems, and the three Horizontal Programmes respond to common needs across all research areas. Each specific programme has established its own web site on CORDIS:
The Thematic programmes comprise:
(i) "Key actions"
Key actions are problem-oriented and clearly defined on the basis of a common set of criteria . They are specifically targeted to the objectives of each programme and to the desired results, taking into account the views of users. They will have a clear European focus. The "key action" is regarded as a cluster of small and large, applied, generic and, as appropriate, basic research projects directed towards a common European challenge or problem, not excluding global issues.
Key actions are major innovations of the Fifth Framework Programme. All concerned parties, including the user community, will be involved in the definition of the key actions. Concrete deliverables are expected, thereby ensuring that the research efforts are translated effectively into practical and visible results.
The research activities carried out in this context will integrate the entire spectrum of activities and disciplines needed to achieve the objectives, ranging from basic research through development to demonstration. Consideration will be given to appropriate links with relevant national and international initiatives (including complementary European RTD frameworks).
These activities, which are essential to achieve the objectives of the thematic programmes, will be carried out in a limited number of areas not covered by the key actions. Complementing the key actions, their main aim is to help the Community maintain and improve its scientific and technological capability in those areas of research and enabling technologies which should be used widely.
Since the construction and operation of research infrastructure is the responsibility of national authorities, Community support for research infrastructures in line with the objectives of the thematic programmes should contribute to cover two essential requirements at Community level:
The role of the Community should be to provide added value, complementary to national or multinational initiatives. Community support may enhance access to infrastructures and will in particular be provided for research infrastructure networks leading to further complementarity, pooling of efforts and/or specialization at the European level (including the compatibility of databases).
The horizontal themes are at the crossroads of the Community's research policy and its policies for external relations, innovation, SMEs and human resources, and for social and employment issues.
Each of them comprises:
In coordination and interaction with the horizontal programmes, the thematic programmes will take the necessary measures to make an active contribution, in the context of their own activities, towards the achievement of the general objectives of the horizontal programmes.
Community support for research infrastructures in the context of the fourth activity will concentrate in particular on measures enhancing access to such infrastructures.
Joint Research Centre
to be implemented by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) will comprise research and scientific and technical support activities of an institutional character. The JRC may provide support where it has special or even unique expertise and facilities in the Community or where it is entrusted with activities necessary for the framing and implementation of Community policies and tasks incumbent on the Commission pursuant to the Treaty which require the JRC's impartiality (for example in the case of standardization). The JRC will carry out its activities in close cooperation with the scientific community and enterprises in Europe. Exchanges between the JRC and universities, research institutes and industry will be encouraged.
New integrated, problem-solving approach
One essential new characteristic of the Fifth Framework Programme is the integrated, problem-solving approach. Integration is strengthened at three levels: