Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Irish priorities for the Fifth Framework Programme

The Irish government has published its initial position paper on the formulation of the Fifth RTD Framework Programme which is due to come into effect at the beginning of 1998. The Irish paper, as with those from other Member States, will be an important contribution to the de...
The Irish government has published its initial position paper on the formulation of the Fifth RTD Framework Programme which is due to come into effect at the beginning of 1998. The Irish paper, as with those from other Member States, will be an important contribution to the debate in the run-up to the Commission's submission of the formal proposal in early 1997.

The Irish government stresses the success of the EU Framework Programmes and underlines their importance in helping Europe overcome the problems and challenges facing it with the advent of the Information Society: "The Framework Programme is now established as a vital tool in bringing together experts and institutions from every part of the Union to tackle the technological challenges facing us." (...) Science and technology are global and no one Member State can hope to cope with all the technical challenges facing it."

The Irish paper notes that the EU will be required to exploit the potential of science and technology to provide the standard of living and quality of life to which Europeans aspire. Particular challenges identified include:

- Unemployment;
- The transformation to the Information Society;
- Maintaining relevance to the citizen;
- Improving economic and social cohesion;
- Increasing innovation;
- Improving conditions for participation of SMEs;
- Improving the management of RTD programmes.

The paper calls for increased flexibility in the management of the programmes to allow them to cover new areas of importance as and when they emerge. It recognizes that the establishment of the Commission Task Forces has served a useful purpose in focusing attention on emerging themes of importance under the Fourth Framework Programme but expresses the opinion that the formulation of the Fifth Framework Programme should allow all important themes to be taken into account without the necessity for new management structures. The Irish, however, see a role for the Task Forces in inter-programme coordination - an area it sees as needing particular attention under the Fifth Framework Programme.

The Irish paper lays down a number of priorities for action, stressing the need to strengthen the scientific and technological bases for European industry to make it competitive at international level. In this context, particular emphasis is placed on the telecommunications and telematics sectors. The management of natural resources is also identified as a priority area. Specific priorities are set out for each of the specific programmes of the Fourth Framework Programme.

Source: CORDIS Information Collection Unit
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