Science - May 12, 2005

Ambitious EU framework programme

The new European framework programme for research (FP7) will run for seven years and will have almost double the old budget. Agriculture is also once more a research priority.

At least that is the proposal from the European Commission: the member states and the European Parliament are likely to demand a large number of adjustments before the programme gets under way in 2007. ‘For example it is not certain whether the ministers of finance will agree to the considerable rise in the budget,’ comments Willem Wolters, manager of the Europe Desk at Wageningen UR. The commission wants a total budget of just over 73 billion euros, almost double the annual budget of the sixth framework programme (FP6), which has lasted five years.

The content of FP7 will to a large extent be a continuation of the present framework programme. The important themes for Wageningen in FP6, Food quality and safety, and Sustainable development, global change and ecosystems will have new names: Food, agriculture and biotechnology, and Environment and climate change. This marks the return of agriculture as a research theme. There is also a new programme for fundamental, pioneering research that will fall under the European Research Council.

The European framework programmes are an important source of income for Wageningen UR. In 2004 Wageningen UR received 22.5 million euros from the European Union: 9.6 million for the university and 12.9 for DLO.
/ GvM

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