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UK Partners Benefit from 52 Million Euro Boost

Twenty-six UK partner organisations are involved in most of the twelve research projects that have just received funding from a 52 million euro budget package from the EU's Framework Programme to bring Grid networked computing out of research labs and into industry.

Grid technology will be of major importance for the Information Society of tomorrow, providing both the means of addressing hitherto intractable problems and a resource which may change entirely the way in which we use computing and manage information, says Peter Walters, FP6UK National Contact Point for Information Society Technologies. These new projects represent a significant step towards this vision. Together their results will help to place Europe at the very centre of the Knowledge Society. These 26 UK organisations have achieved success in extremely tough competition for these awards. A number of them in are involved in more than one successful proposal and will be playing key roles in the majority of the projects now being launched. This significant achievement by UK Organisations follows ongoing investment by both The Department of Trade and Industry and UKs EPSRC in Grid research in recent years. Grid tools will boost business competitiveness and help create new markets and services by giving everyone access to the immense computing power and knowledge that has so far only been available to the biggest corporations and laboratories. Users of Grids are able to monitor and model everything from climate change to how cars behave in collisions and an improved understanding of such behaviours ultimately helps those responsible to take the necessary steps to improve peoples quality of life. The bulk of the EU funding is going to 4 projects which each are receiving an EU contribution of around nine million euros. Together with 8 smaller projects also now being launched, these bring together dozens of universities, research institutes, large and small companies from across Europe to muster the critical mass of expertise and resources necessary to trigger change. The projects are funded by Information Society Technologies (IST) research, part of the EUs sixth research Framework Programme (FP6). Their approach to Grid research combines technology push (developing underlying technologies and interoperability standards), with application pull (developing the enabling technologies needed for real-world applications, such as modelling, simulation, data mining and collaborative working tools). The current Framework Programme (FP6) runs until 2006 and organisations wanting free information on how to access some of the 19bn available should log on to or call central telephone support on 0870 600 6080.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, Knowledgebased 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). More information can be found on IST Programme ,The IST Priority Thematic Area (PTA) of the 6th Framework Programme (FP6) is the largest of the seven PTA's - with a budget of 3.822bn over the lifetime of FP6. Over 400 projects will arise from the first and second calls, with call budgets of 1070m and 525m respectively. The 3rd Call for proposals was one of three separate calls in the IST domain that have a closing date of 15 October - including a Joint Call with the Nanotechnologies, Materials and Production technologies area. Further calls for 1bn and 800m are expected late 2004 and mid 2005.


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