Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Structure of the Fourth Framework Programme

The Commission proposal for a Council Decision establishing the Fourth Framework Programme of Community RTD activities, 1994-1998 (COM(93) 276 of 16.6.1993), sets out the structure of the programme and specifies the research areas it will comprise. During the implementation of...
The Commission proposal for a Council Decision establishing the Fourth Framework Programme of Community RTD activities, 1994-1998 (COM(93) 276 of 16.6.1993), sets out the structure of the programme and specifies the research areas it will comprise. During the implementation of the Framework Programme, all Community research, technological development and demonstration actions will fall under one of four headings (Activities), as follows:

(1) First Activity: RTD and demonstration programmes:

Information and communications technologies, development of the information and communications infrastructure:
- telematic technologies in support of applications of general interest;
- technologies for integrated information and communications systems;
- technologies for advanced communications services;
- information technologies.

Industrial technologies:
- design, engineering, and systems technologies and technologies for the human-centred organization of production;
- materials and materials processing and recycling technologies;
- advanced propulsion systems;
- standardization-related research, measurement and testing.

Environment:
- natural environment and global change;
- innovative environmental protection technologies.

Life sciences:
- biotechnology;
- biomedicine, health and drugs;
- application of life sciences and technology in agriculture, forestry, rural development, agro-industry and fisheries.

Energy:
- technologies for cleaner and more efficient production and use of energy;
- nuclear safety;
- controlled thermonuclear fusion.

Research for a European transport policy:
- evaluation and integration of technological innovation.

Targeted socio-economic research:
- evaluation of science and technology policy options.
- research on education and training;
- research into problems of social integration;


(2) Second Activity: Cooperation with third countries:

- scientific and technological cooperation in Europe;
- scientific and technological cooperation with non-European industrialized countries;
- scientific and technological cooperation with developing countries.

(3) Third Activity: Dissemination and application of results:

- dissemination and utilization of results;
- transfer of technology;
- the financial environment of technology transfer;
- scientific services for Community policies.

(4) Fourth Activity: Stimulation and mobility of researchers:

- training and mobility of young research scientists.

The activities making up the Fourth Framework Programme, set out above, are designed to support the common policies and are primarily aimed at strengthening the Community's scientific and technological bases and those of its industry in order to help it compete more effectively at international level. In the light of industrial policy and in order to meet growing social needs, a number of Community public-interest objectives are also identified. Where each research area is concerned, particular attention will be paid to integrating national, Community and European policies.

To conduct the research, two main avenues will be used:

- focusing financial resources on a limited number of subjects selected for their specific added-value (shared-cost activities);

- encouraging the integration of national, Community and European activities.

Alongside the traditional networks established in the context of Community actions, this integration will be supported by:

- Thematic networks of excellence. These will bring together for a given technological or industrial objective manufacturers, users, universities and research centres to facilitate the integration and transfer of knowledge and technologies and ensure that greater account is taken of the needs of the market;

- Concertation networks. Here the Member States will play an important role by identifying the national laboratories or institutes which are to take part in the activity decided on, while the Commission takes responsibility for concertation;

- Consortia for integrated projects (along the lines of the fusion programme). The Member States will identify the laboratories or institutes which will take part in integrated projects supported by pooling financial resources from the Community.

In the implementation of this new approach, the Commission considers the JRC well placed (in the scientific and technical areas where its competence lies) to take up the role of organizer, of focal point for networks bringing together public and private laboratories in the Member States, and to act as a centre of gravity for European research consortia in specific areas.

Source: Commission, Service du Porte-Parole, Press Release

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