Next EU funding round to release EUR 658 million for health and food research
Brussels, 20 June 2005
With the next calls for proposals for research activities funds of the European Union for the areas of life sciences, genomics, biotechnology, food quality and food safety amount to EUR 658 million. These large calls within the EU's Sixth Research Framework Programme (FP6, 2002-2006) are the last major research funding round before the next Framework Programme (FP7), which is to be adopted in 2006. At the occasion of its participation at the international BIO 2005 International Convention (19 to 22 June, Philadelphia, USA) the European Commission gives an outlook on the forthcoming areas of research funding.
Draft versions of the latest annual work programmes are already available online to indicate the specific areas that will receive funding. The publication of the final version of the work programmes, which are approved by EU Member States and the European Commission is planned later in June 2005 together with the related calls for proposals. The calls are expected to have a deadline of November 2005 (and February 2006 for some parts of the food research calls). Full details and all final texts of the calls for proposals can be found on the CORDIS web pages, after the legal texts have been published in the Official Journal of the EU (series C).
What is an FP6 research project?
Research funds from the EU's Research Framework Programmes are made available during different funding rounds ("calls for proposals") over the course of each multi-annual framework programme. After publication of the call, teams of European and non-EU researchers can submit their research proposals before the deadline. Each eligible proposal will then be evaluated by a panel of independent expert evaluators. Successful proposals will need to negotiate a contract with the European Commission before EU funds are released. In the current programme FP6, a typical EU funded research project in the life sciences involves eight participants and an average financial EU support of around EUR 2.4 million - some of the larger integrated projects receiving EU funds of around EUR10 million.
Health research: EUR 533 million for life sciences, genomics, biotechnology
The next health research call will award EUR 533 million. The objectives of EU-funded health research are to exploit the potential of genome information and to bring basic knowledge through to the application stage, to enable coordinated progress in medicine and improve the quality of life. This call is intended to stimulate the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs ). EUR 171 million of this budget is earmarked for SME-driven projects, where small businesses should take a leading role in the design and management of the project and secure 30-50% of the budget. For topics not under this scheme, 15% SME participation remains a priority. Key topics in health research are:
- fundamental knowledge and basic tools for functional genomics in all organisms (EUR 108 million),
- application of knowledge and technologies in the field of genomics and biotechnology for health (EUR 133 million),
- application-orientated genomics approaches to medical knowledge and technologies (EUR 145 million),
- combating cancer (EUR 74 million),
- confronting the major communicable diseases linked to poverty (EUR 67 million), and
- strategic Specific Support Actions across the thematic priority (EUR 6 million).
Food research: EUR 125 million for food quality and safety
The objective of EU-funded agro-food research is to improve the health and well-being of citizens through higher quality food and improved control of food production and related environmental factors. A total amount of EUR 125 million is allocated via the next call in the area of food quality and safety which will be published later this June. This call for proposals will allocate two thirds of the budget for integrated projects and networks of excellence and has also been designed to enhance involvement from industry and, in particular, from SMEs - at least 15% of the budget of the call is targeted at SME participation. The calls will have two deadlines to accept research proposals: one deadline will be in late September/early October while the deadline for the second stage will be in February 2006.
Topics of the food call include
- the total food chain,
- epidemiology of food-related diseases and allergies,
- impact of food on health,
- traceability processes along the production chain,
- methods of analysis, detection and control,
- safer and environmentally friendly production methods and technologies and healthier food stuffs,
- impact of animal feed on human health, and
- environmental health risks.
- Health research: For the thematic priority on "life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health" in the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) see also: cordis.europa.eu/lifescihealth.
- Food research: For the thematic priority on "food quality and safety" in the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) see also: cordis.europa.eu/food.
- FP6 major projects library: Examples for research projects funded through the EU's FP6 can be found at: europa.eu.int/comm/research/fp6/projects.cfm.
- BIO 2005: Details on the first joint presentation of the European Commission (the EU's executive arm), the European Patent Office (EPO) and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) at BIO 2005 in the USA can be found at: europa.eu.int/comm/research/eubio2005.
Directorate Health, Research DG, European Commission
Brigitte Degen, Tel: +32.2.295 67 75, E-mail: Contact form
Pascale Perrin, Tel. +32.2.296 74 01, E-mail: Contact form
Directorate Biotechnology, Agriculture & Food, Research DG, European Commission
Alessio Vassarotti, Tel: +32.2.295 83 09, E-mail: Contact form
Michael H. Wappelhorst
Press and information officer, Research DG
Tel.: +32.2.298 75 75, Fax: +32.2.295 82 20,
E-mail: Contact form.