Seventh Framework Programme
The complete name is 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7). It will last for seven years from 2007 until 2013. The programme has a total budget of over € 50 billion. This represents a substantial increase compared with the previous Framework Programme FP6 (41% at 2004 prices, 63% at current prices), a reflection of the high priority of research in Europe. FP7 is a key tool to respond to Europe's needs in terms of jobs and competitiveness, and to maintain leadership in the global knowledge economy.
This money will (for the most part) be spent on grants to research actors all over Europe and beyond, in order to co-finance research, technological development and demonstration projects. Grants are determined on the basis of calls for proposals and a peer review process, which are highly competitive.
In order to complement national research programmes, activities funded from FP7 must have a “European added value”. One key aspect of the European added value is the transnationality of many actions: research projects are carried out by consortia which include participants from different European (and other) countries; fellowships in FP7 require mobility over national borders. Indeed, many research challenges (e.g. fusion research, etc), are so complex that they can only be addressed at European level.