Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Monitoring 2004 - Implementation of activities under the EC and Euratom Framework Programmes and corresponding specific programmes

Funded under: FP6-EURATOM, FP7-EURATOM


Part A: Report of the 2004 Monitoring External Expert Panel, Part B: Response of the Programme Management to the External Monitoring report
In 2004 the Research Framework Programmes (FPs) had their 20th anniversary. From their inception in 1984 until now, with the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), the FPs enjoyed steady growth and might, if present intentions for the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) become true, experience even higher growth in the future. The record of the FPs is truly astounding. What was inconceivable when the European Union (EU) was founded is now daily practice in the European RTD community: enterprises, universities and research institutions from all member states collaborate with great ease to create new scientific and technological knowledge for the good of society.
Competition for scarce resources paired with collaboration creates - as we know from evolution - a hotbed where innovation can flourish. The fundamental concepts of FPs have been highly successful not only through their continuous enabling of RTD hotbeds on a European scale but also as role models for member states¿ RTD programmes. The firm establishment of competition and collaboration within the emerging European Research Area (ERA) through today's FP asks for enormous learning efforts from researchers and involved institutions alike. In particular, the invention of new instruments to enable RTD endeavours of a size and complexity rarely found in Europe before FP6 has caused (and is still causing) some stress due to the major shifts it has required actors to take along learning curves. This is a good sign, indicating the positive effect FP6 is having on learning and innovation.
So successful has FP6 been so far that in some areas the competition for funding has far exceeded the availability of funds. However, competition for funding is only stimulating up to a certain level. If this threshold is passed, actors might retreat and possibilities could be lost.

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