Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

  • European Commission
  • Programmes
  • Specific research, technological development and demonstration programme in the field of cooperation with third countries and international organizations - Scientific and Technological Cooperation with Developing Countries -, 1994-1998

Framework programme


Previous programme


Programme funding

EUR 40 million

Official Journal Reference

L 334 of 1994-12-22

Legislative Reference

807/94/EC of 1994-11-23
To enable developing countries, whose levels of development differ widely, to be associated with the generation of knowledge and innovative and appropriate technologies needed to solve their specific problems and to attain sustainable economic development.


In accordance with the provisions in Title XV of the Treaty on European Union (Article 130f to 130p), international cooperation activities in the area of RTD are carried out under multiannual framework programmes. For the period 1994-1998, these activities are conducted under a single specific RTD programme in the field of cooperation with third countries and international organizations (INCO), which implements the second activity of the Fourth Framework Programme.

"Scientific and technological cooperation with the developing countries" (INCO-DC) is one of three elements of the INCO programme. The other two concern scientific and technological cooperation in Europe divided into: Cooperation with other fora for European S&T cooperation, including COST, EUREKA and cooperation with other international organizations (Section A1) and Cooperation with the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe and with the New Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (Section A2) and Cooperation with non-European industrialized third countries (Section B).

INCO-DC builds on, and considerably expands, the activities carried out under the 1990-1994 specific RTD programme in the field of the life sciences and technologies for Developing Countries (STD 3). Priorities for either "global" or "regional" research activities under the programme are worked out within three sectors of general importance and other areas of mutual interest (see the "Subdivisions" section of this record).

All the activities conducted under the programme are geared towards:

- Promoting the role of relevant high-quality RTD in development and economic cooperation;
- Encouraging scientific collaboration between Europe and developing countries, between developing countries, and within Europe;
- Helping to reinforce and maintain RTD capacities, including human capital, in developing countries;
- Contributing to maintaining a competence in Europe in scientific sectors of mutual interest and in those pertinent to problems of developing countries;
- Capitalizing on the experience gained during the implementation of previous Community S&T cooperation activities;
- Taking into consideration the political obligations of the European Union and the recommendations of international fora such as the Rio conference (UNCED-Agenda 21) concerning research in developing countries.


Areas covered:

- Sustainable Management of Renewable Natural Resources:
The principal objective of research in this sector is to promote the conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources, compatible with long-term economic growth and enhancement of productive capacity, which is equitable and environmentally acceptable. Three subject areas will be treated, separately or in various combinations, according to the nature of the problem being studied and its regional or overall scope. These cover:
. Policy research;
. Basic natural resources;
. Research on ecosystems (forests, coastal areas, wetlands, drylands, oceans and mountain areas and highlands);

- Sustainable Improvement of Agricultural and Agro-Industrial Production:
Research is focused on helping Developing Countries to confront the major challenges facing their agricultural sectors in the decades to come, namely: improving the quality and quantity of food for an increasing population; improved management of, and respect for, the natural resources used in agricultural production; and contributing to economic development. In this context, research is to focus on:
. Production systems;
. Social and economic sciences applied to agricultural and agro-industrial development;
. Processing and utilization;
. Crop production;
. Animal production;
. Silviculture;

- Health:
The selection of research areas is based on existing and newly identified health needs in Developing Countries and on the capacity to cope with these needs through research. The tools and systems developed for the control of health problems in Europe are not always directly applicable in developing countries. Specific aspects of health care policy, of health care delivery and the natural history of diseases require approaches adapted to Developing Countries. Adequate and timely ethical clearance should be obtained whenever appropriate:
. Research on health systems in the context of health sector reform;
. Research on tools for the prevention and control of predominant diseases;
. Research on the biology of diseases;
. Complementary research areas aimed at bridging science and applications;

- Additional sectors of mutual interest:
This sector covers additional areas of S&T cooperation which are of importance to Developing Countries, especially those with comparatively advanced research systems. Sectors to be covered include:
. Information and communication technology;
. Non-nuclear energy;
. Biotechnologies;
. Materials and production technologies.


The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the programme within the framework of the specific RTD programme in the field of cooperation with third countries and international organizations (1994-98).

The programme is open to all natural persons and national or regional organizations established in the Member States of the European Union and in Developing Countries (industrial firms of all sizes, universities, higher education institutes, research organizations, etc.), and to the Joint Research Centre (JRC). If a non-Member State has signed an agreement with the Community associating it with the INCO programme, legal entities from that country can participate in the programme and will receive a financial contribution from the Community.

Participation in the activities covered by the programme, without financial support from the Community, is also possible on a project-by-project basis provided that the participation is in the interests of Community policies and that the minimum number of legal entities from the Community, and any state associated with the programme, are involved. Such participation applies to:

- Legal entities established and carrying out RTD activities in a European third country;
- Legal entities established and carrying out RTD activities in a country having a scientific and technological cooperation agreement with the Community covering the activities of this programme;
- International organizations.

The programme is implemented through research projects (shared-cost and concerted actions) and a number of accompanying measures (workshops/seminars) which may be financed both as integral parts of shared-cost research projects or as separate events. The objectives of the accompanying measures are as follows:

- To establish the state-of-the-art in particular subject areas and permit RTD proposals to emerge;
- To disseminate the results of RTD activities to scientists, decision-makers and, where appropriate, to other actors in development;
- To critically analyse, evaluate and monitor research projects as part of the quality control process;
- To assist with regional priority setting, refining major research themes of mutual interest and identifying RTD weaknesses within these themes;
- To enhance general coordination between scientists working in related areas, with the aim of improving efficiency of RTD utilization. (In addition, multidisciplinary and more integrated approaches suitable to solving particular problems will be encouraged.);
- To provide RTD training opportunities.

Selected studies on development trends and RTD opportunities and requirements in relation to specific economic or social problems, research themes and related issues are also envisaged. In addition, the programme may, in certain cases where there is a clear element of EU added value, consider supporting existing networks ("cooperative association of research laboratories, bodies or governments that have agreed to work together") and, if there is a clear need, assist with the establishment of new networks. Such networks would normally cover broader subject areas than those covered by concerted actions.

Proposals submitted for support under the programme must be of a transnational nature, comprising:

In the case of shared-cost project proposals:

- At least two non-affiliated participants from different EU Member States or from at least one Member State and one state associated with the programme;
- At least one participant from a Developing Country. Strong preference will be given to projects involving at least two non-affiliated partners from separate Developing Countries in the same region (certain individual countries such as China, by their geographic or demographic dimension, can be considered as a region).

In the case of concerted actions:

- At least three non-affiliated participants from different EU Member States or states associated with the programme, involving at least one Member State;
- At least three non-affiliated participants from different Developing Countries (in the case of research topics falling within a regional priority, at least two of these participants must be from the region concerned).

For shared-cost projects, the Community's financial participation is not more than 50% of the total project costs. The Community may, however, fund up to 100% of the additional costs of thematic networks and the training and mobility of researchers. For concerted actions, the Community covers up to 100% of the coordination costs (e.g. meetings, travel, etc.) and up to 100% of the foreseen costs for preparatory, accompanying and support measures.

Activities conducted under the programme will be implemented in close liaison with other Community initiatives or other fora for cooperation, such as the Lomé Convention, the new Mediterranean policy and the regulation on financial and technical assistance to, and economic cooperation with, the Developing Countries in Asia and Latin America, in order to permit cross-fertilization between the efforts and results of these activities on the one hand and cooperation in the framework of Community RTD policy on the other.
Record Number: 582 / Last updated on: 2014-03-05