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Mix and match: new EU guide to encourage combining research funding sources
The EU supports research and innovation activities through a range of programmes, including the Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) and Structural Funds. Now the European Commission is developing a guide to help researchers select the right programme for their activities and even combine funds from different sources. A draft version of the guide is now ready and the Commission is keen to receive feedback on the document from the research community.
At the heart of the guide is a six-point checklist designed to help researchers identify the most relevant funding source for their needs. Questions cover the eligibility of the organisation or company, the eligibility of the planned activity, the timeframe for the project, the type of financial support needed and the identity of any other partners involved.
With a budget of over €50 billion for the period 2007 to 2013, FP7 is the EU's main instrument for the support of research and development activities. Meanwhile the €3.6 billion CIP initiative aims to boost the competitiveness of European businesses, with a focus on eco-innovation, information and communication technologies (ICTs) and renewable energies and energy efficiency.
Structural Funds are designed to reduce disparities in the level of development among regions and Member States. Although the amount of funding allocated to research and innovation varies from region to region, it is estimated that the total amount allocated to these activities will top the €99 billion mark for the period 2007 to 2013.
The guide explains how funds from these three sources can be combined to best effect, without falling foul of co-financing rules (which require recipients of most EU funds to finance part of their project from non-EU sources). The trick, according to the guide, is to use complementary financing.
'For example, separate but related activities or parts of a project can be funded by the Structural Funds, FP7 or the CIP,' the guide reads. 'Equally, the different funding sources may support different phases of the development of a technology over time, starting from basic research, to applied research, to demonstration or to pre-competitive market introduction.'
A series of examples illustrates how different organisations might draw on different funds for different activities or phases of their projects.
The guide also notes that now is a good time to combine funds from these three sources. They share a common timeframe (2007 to 2013), and thanks to the Lisbon Strategy, research and innovation are now seen as crucial for regional development, a fact which is reflected in the Structural Funds. At the same time, the role of the regions in research is taken into account in both FP7 and CIP.
The Commission is keen to receive comments and suggestions by the end of April on how the guide can be made even more practical and user-friendly. Once finalised, the online version of the guide will be updated regularly and will also include links to the relevant national and regional programmes.
Contact person:For more information, and a copy of the draft Practical Guide, please visit:
Data Source Provider:European Commission
Document of reference:Based on information from the European Commission
Subject index:Coordination, Cooperation,Innovation, Technology Transfer,Project management methodologies ,Policies,Scientific Research
Programme Acronym: FP7 , CIP
Record control number (RCN):29273