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First multiannual programme (EEC) for biotechnology-based agro-industrial research and technological development (ECLAIR), 1988-1993

Part of the Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (1987-1991) under subactivity 4.2.: "Agro-industrial technologies".

The idea is to examine how closer collaboration between agriculture and industry can help increase added value in the whole agro-industrial sector. The studies examine the development of agricultural products for commercial exploitation in industry as well as the scope for new industrial inputs (e.g. in the field of pesticides and fertilisers) of benefit to agriculture. Conservation and environmental protection are systematically taken into consideration.

The programme constitutes a logical complement to the Community research programmes in the areas of biotechnology and agriculture, promoting the application of their results to the social and economic objectives of the Community.
To promote in Europe the useful exploitation by both agriculture and industry of recent developments in the life sciences and biotechnology, having regard to environmental safety, by means of precompetitive research and technical development projects.
Three areas:

- Evaluation trials and production of new species or organisms:
Test trials at the appropriate scale and under various conditions into novel or modified species or organisms (plants, livestock and other);

- Industrial products and services:
More precise and effective inputs to agriculture; more precise and effective extraction, transformation and production processes;

- Integrated approaches:
Development of systems for harvesting the whole of a crop; studies and development projects for the integrated use of new technologies.
The Commission, assisted by an advisory committee composed of the representatives of the Member States, is responsible for implementing the programme through shared-cost research, development actions and coordination activities. Training/mobility grants are also included to facilitate the assembly of relevant skills at appropriate locations for work on projects and to promote effective diffusion of the knowledge resulting from them.

Participants may be industrial and agricultural enterprises, either individually or in the form of associations or cooperatives, research institutions, universities or combinations of these, which are established in the Community. Research institutes and universities should participate in a group together with one or more industrial or agricultural organizations. Research institutes which are funded principally or exclusively by industrial organizations will be considered industrial partners.

Proposals for projects are submitted in reply to a call for proposals and will, as a rule, involve the participation of at least two independent partners not established in the same Member State. Each proposal shall include an environmental impact statement, indicating the possible effects of the project on man, fauna, flora, soils, water and air and on the interactions between these. The statement must also include an undertaking to respect existing national safety regulations.

In the case of projects carried out by shared-cost contracts, the Community may bear up to 50% o f total expenditure or, where universities and research institutes are involved, up to 100% of the marginal costs.

The Commission will review the programme in the third year of its implementation and submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council. A final evaluation of the results achieved shall also be submitted.