News archive - Experts Evaluate 7th Framework Programme

Starting in spring 2010, ten independent experts evaluated the ongoing 7th EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. The Expert Group – chaired by Rolf Annerberg, Director General of the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning – concluded that FP7 generally fulfills its ambitions despite of difficulties in some areas.


In the report, FP7’s vast and impressive scope, its largely reached principle of excellence, its support for mobility and training of researchers and its positive effect on Research Infrastructures were identified as key strengths of the funding programme. According to the expert analysis, most improvement is needed in reducing administrative burdens which are frustrating researchers, making FP7 more accessible for SMEs which are easily deterred by complex procedures and delays in contracts, and in combating the “glass ceiling” which hampers the participation of female scientists.

The Interim Evaluation Report also points out a set of “new concerns and dilemmas”: coordination of research funding between Member States and EU level; low success rates in many areas which lead to waste of resources in failed applications; lower success rates in certain states disclosing a need to forster capacity building, as well as a lack of clarity how innovation should be incorporated in FP7. Furthermore, the evaluators call upon the EU to focus future research funding on the “Grand Challenges” and to make sure that society at large profits from the impacts of science.

 Key recommendations of the Interim Evaluation

 The following ten recommendations were made for the remaining years of FP7 and for its successor programme:

  1. To advance ERA and Innovation Union objectives,
  2. To develop and implement high quality research infrastructures,
  3. To maintain the level of funding,
  4. To elaborate an innovation strategy encouraging the participation of enterprises,
  5. To implement simplification measures and a more trust-based approach,
  6. To provide a good mix of funding measures,
  7. To consider a moratorium on new instrument,
  8. To increase female participation,
  9. To increase participation of underrepresented Member States and
  10. To integrate the international perspective into all programmes and instruments.

The evaluation results will be considered by the EC when planning the remaining years of FP7 and its successor programme.

Geographical focus
  • European Union (EU 27)
  • SEE
  • Western Balkans

Entry created by Ines Marinkovic on May 28, 2011
Modified on May 24, 2011