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Sixth Framework Programme
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The 'FP6 step by step' section is a structured walk- through of what FP6 participation entails.
 You are here: Home Page > What's new in FP6? >Instruments and project types
Site overview
What's new in FP6?
Finding your research theme
Preparing to make a proposal
The proposal
What happens after submission
Managing a project

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Instruments and project types

Reference documents and sites

 Introducing the concept of instruments

design feature

An ‘instrument’ refers to a politically and legally authorised means of Community financial intervention. In practice this means the specification of a type of project that can be financially supported.

The type of instruments to be used are always specified in the Work Programme of each activity, and each specific call for proposals will state clearly what instruments are available under that call.

The ‘new’ instruments
The first, called Integrated Projects, is designed to create the knowledge required to implement the priority thematic areas of FP6, by integrating a critical mass of activities (research, demonstration, training, innovation, management) and resources (staff, skills, competences, finances, infrastructure, equipment etc.). The second, called Networks of Excellence, is an instrument for directly tackling the fragmentation of research activities in Europe in a given thematic area.

In addition a third instrument, known as ‘Article 169’, a reference to the treaty establishing the Framework Programmes, is new in the sense that it will be used for the first time. This Article 169 instrument allows the Commission to support the opening and joining of national research programmes of Member States.

The ‘traditional’ instruments
The ‘shared-cost research projects’ of earlier Framework Programmes are now represented by ‘Specific Targeted Research Projects’, improving existing or developing new products, processes or services or contributing to meet the needs of society or Community policies. These STREPs will have some  differences in areas such as contractual and IPR rules.

Concerted actions and thematic networks have been replaced by ‘Coordination actions’ which are essentially additional actions intended to promote and support the networking and coordination of research and innovation activities.

The ‘Accompanying Measures’ of FP5 have been replaced by ‘Specific Support Actions’, which are actions the Commission may wish to take in support of the Framework Programme. They can comprise needs studies, input to policy, showcasing research results, seminars, groups etc.

Special SME instruments
For SMEs (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) there are now two special forms of project they may use, in addition to the traditional ‘collaborative’ projects where the partners do the research themselves.

    Briefly, these are:
  • Cooperative research projects (CRAFT) where the SME partners commission  external research performers (research institute, university etc.) to do the research work.
  • Collective research projects where industrial associations/groupings  commission external research performers to carry out research on behalf of large communities of SMEs.

Special instruments for mobility and training (Marie Curie actions)
These actions provide a variety of possibilities for individual researchers in different stages of their career as well as for institutions acting as hosts for these researchers. The Marie-Curie actions typically require transnational mobility, i.e. a researcher cannot apply for a fellowship in his/her country of origin or residence.

Special instruments for research infrastructures
These instruments are promoting the development of a fabric of research infrastructures of highest quality and performance in Europe and their optimum use on a European scale. Support is provided for transnational access to major research infrastructures, networking, joint research, design studies, communication network development and construction of new infrastructures.

  Reference documents and sites:

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Gathering information The main actions under Integrating Research Strengthening actions Structuring actions Overview of FP6 structure General advice Who can participate Choosing the instrument Consortium building Horizontal issues Understanding the work programme Understanding the call for proposals Using the Guides for Proposers Before the evaluation Evaluation by independent experts Finalisation of the evaluation Contract negotiation Consortium agreement Structure of the model contract Signature, entry into force A well-managed project Running the project Audits Problems Completion of a contract CORDIS