News archive - The biggest ever FP7 funding package is published

The European Commission has published the biggest ever funding package within the 7th Framework Programme in order to fund research and boost innovation in Europe, on 20 July 2011. While all of the thematic fields are covered under this package, the focus of the funding is centered around societal challenges, innovation and key enabling technologies. 

The European Commission has published a set of calls on 20 July 2011 to fund research and boost innovation in Europe. This package of calls constitute the biggest ever funding package under the EU's 7th Framework Prorgramme (FP7), with a total of around 7 billion Eur. All thematic fields are covered under this package.

Grants will promote research to tackle the biggest societal challenges facing Europe and the world. The main focus of the calls is the integration of research with innovation to tackle societal challenges and create sustainable jobs and growth by giving Europe a lead in the key technology markets of the future. This will be achieved by providing more support than ever before for activities that help bridge the gap between research and the market, for example by demonstrating that new technologies have commercial potential or can work on a sufficiently large scale to be industrially viable. This market-linked approach is also central to the European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs), set up under the Innovation Union action plan. Each EIP, including the pilot on Active and Healthy Ageing will be supported by FP7 projects.

Universities, research organisations and industry will be among more than 16.000 funding recipients. Special attention will be given to SMEs, including a package close to €1 billion.

In all, €220 million of the €656 million available for Health research and €240 million of the €1.3 billion in funding for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) will be allocated to work aimed at tackling the challenge of providing for an ageing population. The rest of the ICT funding will go to key developments in network and service infrastructures, in nano-/micro-systems, photonics and robotics, in digital content and language technologies and for applications such as ICT for health and ICT for energy-efficiency.

The European Research Council (ERC) will award close to 1.6 billion to the best senior and young researchers working in Europe. To help bridge the gap between frontier research results and commercialisation, a small scale “Proof of Concept” initiative has been introduced. Another initiative is the new 'ERC Synergy Grant' to support a few small groups of researchers working together on the same project.

Around €900 million in support for researchers' mobility and careers will be provided through 'Marie Curie Actions' for around 10,000 highly-qualified researchers. This will include €20 million for a pilot project to fund "European Industrial Doctorates", to stimulate entrepreneurship and cooperation between universities, research institutions and companies.

The €265 million reserved for environment research will help address major challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss or resource efficiency.

In response to the increasing demand for safer, healthier food and sustainable bio-resources, the European Commission will invest over €307 million in building a strong bio-economy that will improve production methods, create new industries and provide jobs.

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME), recognised as vital for innovation, are given special incentives to participate. In addition to newly simplified rules, the investment package of almost €1 billion for SMEs includes pilot schemes both within the Health theme and through the European Investment Bank’s 'Risk-Sharing Finance Facility for SMEs.'

€488 million for nanotechnologies will focus on areas such as factories of the future, green cars and energy efficient buildings.

Research and innovation for cleaner, safer and more efficient transport and mobility will get €313 million.

Finally, the Commission sets aside €40 million for the "Smart Cities initiative" to help find more efficient ways to use energy and provide urban transport.

The researchers from Western Balkan countries are eligible to apply for funds and benefit form this huge package of funding for research and innovation. Since Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, FYROM and Serbia have the Associated Country status in the FP7, the researchers and organizations from these countries can benefit from this funding on equal footing with researchers and organizations from EU Member States. 

The researchers from Western Balkan countries are encouraged to follow the WBC-INCO.NET website in order to be updated about relevant information days and brokerage events as well as other opportunities to consolidate their networks in Europe.

For more information, please visit the EU Research Participant Portal, which is the new source of infromation for all FP7 calls: .

To access European Commission's Research and Innovation webpage, please click here.

To access the 7th Framework Programme Homepage, please click here.

To access the CORDIS Website, please click here.


Source: European Commission Press Office

Geographical focus
  • International; Other

Entry created by Filiz Hayirli on July 23, 2011
Modified on July 23, 2011