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UK Organisations staking their claim on Billions of European Union R&D Funding

Early indications from the European Commission suggest that the level of project applications for funding under the EU's Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Development which involve a UK partner is encouragingly high. However, FP6UK, which was set up by the Office of Science and Technology and the DTI to promote the FP6, would like to see even more participation by UK organisations.

Paul Leeks, Project Director for FP6UK explained, The UK has done very well out of previous EU Framework Programmes and we would like to do even better in the current Framework 6. We know there is no shortage of quality, cutting edge R&D projects out there. We want to ensure that all those excellent projects and organisations are aware of the large amount of funding available and, where appropriate, get involved in a project bid. FP6, the current Framework Programme, which runs to the end of 2006 has a total budget of 19 billion and aims to strengthen European research and technological development capability and encourage Europes international competitiveness. The FP6UK service was developed in recognition of the vital importance of this type of research if UK business and industry is to remain competitive on the world stage. Central to the activity of FP6UK is a helpline (0870 600 6080) and a website, http://fp6uk.ost.gov.uk which put the needs of UK organisations first. They both offer a single entry, one stop information service for all areas covered by the Programme. They give direct, quick and efficient access to the whole raft of support services offered by the UK Government on the EU Framework Programme either by phone or on-line. The websites simple navigation pulls together a wide range of information, previously scattered over numerous smaller, and sometimes unrelated sites. The FP6UK website provides clear and effective guidance for users on how to access the answers they need to help them decide if and how they may qualify for funding. Other information available through the website, and associated links, includes news; case studies highlighting how current and previous Framework funding has helped other UK Organisations; answers to frequently asked questions; guidance in the application process; a basic library of relevant EU and UK documents; a signposting section indicating where and how to access potential project partners; and the wide range of expert advice provided by the National Contact Points (NCPs). Visitors to the site who register their interest in FP6 on a central database are alerted to events and calls for funding applications and kept informed on general FP6 issues. Paul Leeks concludes: If your organisation is involved in research and technology development click onto the website http:///fp6uk.ost.gov.uk or ring the helpline 0870 600 6080. You have nothing to lose and perhaps a lot to gain.,The EUs Framework Programmes are the worlds largest, publicly funded, research and technological development programmes. The Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) covers the period 2002-2006 and is the European Unions main instrument for the funding of collaborative research and innovation. It is open to public and private entities of all sizes in the EU and a number of non-EU countries. It has an overall budget of 19 billion. Most of the budget for FP6 is devoted to work in seven priority thematic areas:,? Life sciences, Genetics and Biotechnology for Health;,? Information Society Technologies;,? Nanotechnologies and Nanosciences, Knowledge-based Multifunctional Materials and New Production Processes and Devices;,? Aeronautics and Space;,? Food Quality and Safety;,? Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems; and,? Citizens and Governance in a Knowledge-based Society. There is also a focus on the research activities of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) across all seven thematic areas. The services of FP6UK are provided by the Office of Science & Technology (OST) / Department of Trade & Industry (DTI).,

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