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FAIR programme - 132 new research projects launched

A total of 132 new research projects in the agriculture, fisheries and agro-industrial sectors have been launched by the European Commission as a result of the fifth call for proposals under the Community's FAIR programme.

Published on 17 December 1996 (OJ No S 244 of 17.12.1...
A total of 132 new research projects in the agriculture, fisheries and agro-industrial sectors have been launched by the European Commission as a result of the fifth call for proposals under the Community's FAIR programme.

Published on 17 December 1996 (OJ No S 244 of 17.12.1996), the fifth call for proposals for FAIR targeted the following areas:

- RTD on "Integrated production and processing chains", "Agriculture, forestry and rural development" and "Fisheries and aquaculture";

- Demonstration projects and horizontal issues (such as "Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects") and objectives addressed by concertation.

The response rate to the call was high, with some 631 proposals submitted by the closing date of 20 March 1997. The 132 projects selected for funding following the evaluation procedure will receive EU funding of ECU 95 million. They will address the programme's objectives of strengthening the competitiveness of the European food and non-food industries by:

- Improving and harmonizing research activities within the agro-industrial sector;
- Developing the scientific and technical bases for the preparation, monitoring and control of EU policies relating to agriculture, forestry and rural development;
- Providing a sound scientific basis for the balanced, sustainable exploitation of the fisheries resources of the Community and the controlled development of aquaculture.

Production of heat and power from biomass; industrial utilization of calendula oil; developing a network for the supply of BSE tissue and fluid samples; and engineering rice for resistance to insects are just some of the topics covered by the selected projects.

The FAIR programme stresses the importance of industry-research cooperation in order to contribute to the development of new markets, products and manufacturing processes in the areas of agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture. The strong industrial participation in the projects selected is worth noting, in particular in the "Integrated production and processing chain" area, where industrial penetration (i.e. the percentage of proposals involving at least one industrial participant) amounted to 100%. Industrial partners include both SMEs and major companies from the paper, chemical, pharmaceutical and forest-industry sectors.

Source: European Commission, DG XII

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