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The international S&T cooperation of the European Union (INCO) has a 20-year history of promoting excellence in scientific and technological cooperation with third countries in all parts of the world. Such cooperation aims to contribute knowledge-intensive solutions to societal problems through investing in people and their institutions for sustainable development.

The programme is based on dialogue with partner regions and promotes the development of long-term durable research partnerships and uptake of their research results. It increases coordination with Member States bilateral cooperation and supports the implementation of Community policies with respect to third countries and other international commitments. Its overarching objective is to help stimulate sustainable socio-economic development and global competitiveness. It pursues this objective by:

  1. enhancing the added value and cost effectiveness that joint research projects can generate by exploiting the resources and scientific excellence of all partners,
  2. funding new research that reflect EU and partner priorities,
  3. exchanging know-how and transfer technologies whenever possible,
  4. providing on-the-job training and work experience

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Routes and Budget

There are three major routes to international cooperation in FP6, i.e.

Specific measures in support of international cooperation (mutual interest activities) involving developing countries, Mediterranean countries (including the Western Balkans), and Russia and the New Independent States (NIS), 346 million € (This amount is a combination of the initial FP6 Council Decision and funds stemming from the 2004 enlargement)

Focussing and integrating Community Research towards the participation of third-country organisations in the seven thematic priorities and in the specific activities covering a wider field of research, 285 million €

Section 2.2 "Human resources and mobility" makes additional funds available for research training of third-country researchers in Europe. For more information, please see the Marie Curie Actions websites: /fp6/mobility.htm and

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A general brochure about the international dimension of the European research area can be found here .

Also, for more detailed information about eligibility, please see the following PDF brochures:


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INCO Partner countries

INCO partner countries are listed in Annex C of the INCO Work Programme and grouped in the following regions:

  1. Developing Countries (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP), Asia, Latin America)
  2. Mediterranean Partner Countries;
  3. Western Balkan Countries;
  4. Russia and the other New Independent States (NIS);
  5. Multilateral Co-ordination of National RTD Policies and Activities.

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INCO Activity Areas:

List of all research priorities foreseen for the Specific measures in support of International Cooperation (INCO) for 2002-2006 (FP6)

A. Developing countries


  • A.1.1. Reproductive health and child and nutrition
  • A.1.2. Healthcare systems, policy and management
  • A.1.3. Knowledge and technologies to improve control of neglected communicable diseases



  • A.2.1. Managing humid and semi-humid ecosystems
  • A.2.2. Reconciling multiple demands on coastal zones
  • A.2.3. Managing arid and semi-arid ecosystems



  • A.3.1. Health of livestock populations
  • A.3.2. Bio-diverse, bio-safe and value added crops
  • A.3.3. Aquatic farming systems


B. Mediterranean partner countries


  • B.1.1 Comprehensive policy for integrated water planning
  • B.1.2 Improving the water consumption efficiency and effectiveness by users and uses. Plant breeding for efficient crop water and nutrient use
  • B.1.3 Advanced water treatment, re-use and energy implications
  • B.1.4 Environmental Risks
  • B.1.5 Renewable energy



  • B.2.1 Materials, artefacts, monuments and sites: new technologies and characterisation
  • B.2.2 Simulation re-creation comparative preservation methodology
  • B.2.3 Risk assessment and preventive conservation



  • B.3.1 Communicable diseases
  • B.3.2 Health care systems
  • B.3.3 Disorders of genetic origin and genetic problems
  • B.3.4 Trauma and conflict


C. Western Balkan countries


  • C1.1 Integrated management of regional water resources planning and policy
  • C1.2 Industrial and municipal wastes
  • C1.3 Renewable energy and hybrid systems



  • C2.1 Post conflict and post trauma
  • C2.2 Management of health systems related to post-conflict and post trauma


D. Russia and the other NIS


E. Multilateral coordination of national RTD policies and activities.

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INCO in the Thematic Priorities:

Priority thematic areas of research

  1. Life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health
  2. Information Society Technologies
  3. Nano-technologies and nano-sciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials, and new production processes and devices
  4. Aeronautics and Space
  5. Food Quality and Safety
  6. Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems
    1. Sustainable Energy Systems
    2. Sustainable Surface Transport
    3. Global Change and Ecosystems
  7. Citizens and governance in a knowledge-based society


Specific activities covering a wider field of research

  1. Research for policy support
  2. New and emerging science and technology (NEST)
  3. Horizontal research activities involving SMEs


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Multilateral Cooperation

INCO is responsible for Multilateral Cooperation and relations with Russia, Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia . Its tasks comprise the management of INTAS and non-proliferation programmes. INCO Multilateral Cooperation also includes managing the European Initiative for Agricultural Research for Development .

Science and Technology relations with Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia

  • Management of INTAS

    The policy of scientific partnership promotes the direct involvement by researchers from Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia in the thematic research of FP6 and other European programmes. Relevant for promoting direct Science and Technology relations with these countries is the 'International Association for the promotion of cooperation with scientists from the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union', which is better known as ( INTAS ).

  • Non-proliferation (non-FP6)

    Weapons scientists from the former Soviet military research programmes are converted to civil peaceful research through the International Science & Technology Centres based in Moscow ( ISTC ) and the Science & Technology Centre in Ukraine ( STCU ) in Kiev. These centres are intergovernmental organisations dedicated to the non-proliferation of technologies and expertise related to weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

    The European Commission supports "collaboration projects" that are carried out by scientists in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia with scientific collaborators from the EU. Both centres also support so called "partner projects" which are directly funded by industry and other organisations.

European Initiative for Agricultural Research for Development ( EIARD )

  • INCO manages the executive secretariat of EIARD, the European Initiative for Agricultural Research for Development. The main function of EIARD is to facilitate the coordination of European policy and support for Agricultural Research for Development.

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Support Materials

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Previous Research

Related research programmes implemented under the:

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INCO Info-point

The INCO info-point aims to provide information on international scientific cooperation activities within the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).

Requests for information should be sent to: (email removed)

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