Skip to main content
European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Programme Category

Content archived on 2023-03-27

Article available in the following languages:


Specific research and technological development programme (EEC) in the field of biotechnology (BRIDGE), 1990-1994

Part of the Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (1987-1991) under subactivity 4.1.: "Biotechnology".

Through collaboration with Member States, other Community programmes and a range of concertation activities, including impact assessments, the Commission is encouraging the effective application of biotechnology to the social and economic objectives of the Community and its Member States.

The first and second Community programmes in this field (BEP, 1982-1986, and BAP, 1985-1989) promoted the development of a network for training and transnational collaborative research in the form of "European Laboratories without Walls" (ELWW).
To mark the properties of living cells and secure their exploitation by agriculture and industry in the interest of consumers by accelerating the production of biotechnological data, materials and methods, establishing safety and regulatory guidelines and creating collaborative networks of biotechnological competence throughout the Community.
Two actions:

-Research and training:
. Information infrastructure:
Culture collections; processing and analyses of bio(techno)logical data;
. Enabling technologies:
Protein design / molecular modelling; biotransformation; gene mapping; genome sequencing; and novel cloning methods;
. Cellular biology:
Physiology and molecular genetics of industrial microorganisms; basic biology of plants and associated organisms; and biotechnology of animal cells;
. Prenormative research:
Safety assessments associated with the release of genetically engineered organisms and in vitro evaluation of the toxicity and pharmacological activity of molecules.

The following COST actions are associated with this action:
. Marine primary biomass;
. In vitro cultures for the purification and propagation of plants;
. Methods for early detection and identification of plant diseases;
. Vesicular-arbuscular (VA) mycorrhizae;
. Development of vaccines against coccidiosis.

- Concertation:
. Monitoring R&D, improving the development of biotechnology in Europe, disseminating information and helping to boost the involvement of small firms.
The Commission, assisted by an advisory committee composed of the representatives of the Member States and chaired by the Commission representative, is responsible for implementing the programme.

Participation is open to industrial undertakings, universities and research institutions established in the Community or, under certain conditions, in the EFTA countries.

Training actions are implemented through training contracts and courses, the total cost of which is borne by the Community. Research actions are implemented through shared-cost contracts, in which case the Community may bear up to 50% of total expenditure or, where universities and research institutes are involved, up to 100% of the marginal costs.

Two types of transnational research projects are foreseen:
- N projects: for the integration in adapted Community structures (European Laboratories Without Walls (ELWW)) of research efforts in areas where the main bottlenecks result from gaps in basic knowledge. The Community contribution shall not exceed 400.000 ECU/year per project;
- T projects: for the removal, by significant investment of skills and resources, of major bottlenecks resulting from structural and scale constraints. The Community contribution may vary from 1 to 3 million ECU/year per project.

The contracts entered into by the Commission shall regulate the rights and obligations of each party, in particular the methods of disseminating, protecting and exploiting research results.

The Commission is authorized to negotiate agreements with non-Member States and international organizations, with a view to associating them wholly or partly with concerted actions in the programme. This applies in particular to those countries participating in European cooperation in the field of scientific and technical research (COST) and to those which have concluded framework agreements for scientific and technical cooperation with the Community. Where such framework agreements exist, organizations and enterprises established in those countries may participate in a project undertaken within the programme.

Implementation of COST actions takes place through the organization of meetings, the consultation of experts, the production of publications, the exchange of research workers between laboratories, and coordination contracts.

In the third year of implementation the Commission will review the programme and submit a report to the European Parliament and to the Council, making any necessary proposals for modification or prolongation. A final evaluation of the results achieved will subsequently be submitted.