Objectives & Strategy
When preparing your proposal, you should proceed as follows:
Economic and political developments in Europe have resulted in greater prosperity, increased life expectancy and better working conditions. These improvements have, however, been accompanied by challenges, such as higher health-care costs, an ageing population, environmental degradation and heightened ethical concerns. A gap has become increasingly evident between the availability of natural resources and human activities. Paradoxically, this has occurred just as there is an "explosion" in the knowledge base concerning the structure and function of all living things, pointing towards new developments in, for example, health-care, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and food.
This programme aims to unlock the resources of the living world and improve the quality of life. To achieve this, the links between discovery, production and end-use must be consolidated. The needs of society and the requirements of the consumer are paramount and research must lead to quantifiable future wealth and job creation, while respecting the principles of sustainable development.
The strategy of this programme is to focus on specific areas where the growing knowledge base should provide solutions to some of the pressing needs of society that need to be tackled on a European scale. Fundamental ethical values must be respected.
Based on the criteria laid down for selecting the major research themes for the Fifth Framework Programme, emphasis in this programme will be placed on the following:
European added value
. This will be achieved by addressing specific cross-border challenges, such as improving health and managing and exploiting renewable natural resources. Themes such as drug abuse, biosafety, bioethics and issues related to agriculture, forestry and fisheries should reinforce the scientific base in support of Community policies. Indeed many of the activities addressed in the programme, such as genomic research, neurosciences, infectious diseases, ageing and disabilities sustainable management and utilisation of forestry resources, fish management and human, animal and plant diseases, due to their size and complexity, are more meaningful if they are addressed at the European level.
. Research must be developed which promotes health and quality of life, secures safe and wholesome food, preserves and restores a healthy environment, stimulates rural and coastal communities, improves response to consumer needs and facilitates information flow to the consumer.
. The huge potential for economic growth and job creation must be realised, both in the traditional industries, including primary production and in the rapidly growing high technology industries dominated by small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). To contribute effectively to European competitiveness and employment, results must be transferred from research into commercially successful products and processes. Intrinsic to this approach is the effective use of demonstration, training, dissemination and exploitation of research results, along with stimulation of innovation and entrepreneurship.