The Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development, also called Framework Programmes or abbreviated FP1 through FP8, are funding programmes created by the European Union in order to support and encourage research in the European Research Area (ERA). The specific objectives and actions vary between funding periods.
Conducting European research policies and implementing European research programmes is an obligation under the Amsterdam Treaty, which includes a chapter on research and technological development. Since even entire Member States find it increasingly difficult to play a leading role in many important areas of scientific and technological advance, international cooperation is needed.
It was estimated in 2006 that the contribution of 7 billion/year might generate a GDP increase of 200 billion/year in the 2030s. Proponents gave the intangible incentive to face the intrinsic complexity of international collaborations. Diversity introduces additional costs, but it facilitates addressing competitors in an even more diverse world. Changes triggered by research policy directly affect people and enterprises, which experience broader horizons and experience the advantages of international collaboration. This complements the institutional activities of the EU, building a community united in diversity capable of facing the challenges of a globalized world.
To advise the European Commission on the overall strategy to be followed in carrying out the Information and Communication Technology thematic priority, the Information Society Technologies Advisory Group (ISTAG) was set up. It reflects and advises on the definition and implementation of a coherent policy for research in and on ICT in Europe.
Framework Programme projects are generally funded through instruments, the most important of which are listed below.
- Integrated Project (IP)
- Medium- to large-sized collaborative research projects funded in FP6 and FP7. They are composed of a minimum of 3 partners coming from 3 different countries from Associated states but can join several tens of partners. The typical duration of such projects is 3 to 5 years but there is not a defined upper limit. The budget granted by the Commission can reach several tens of million euros, paid as a fraction of the actual costs spent by the participants.
- IPs specifically aim at fostering European competitiveness in basic research and applied science with a focus on "addressing major needs in society" defined by the Priority Themes of the Framework Programme. Like STRePs (see below), IPs ask for a strong participation of small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to ascertain the translation of research results into commercially viable products or services.
- Network of Excellence (NoE)
- Medium-sized research projects co-funded by the European Commission in FP6 and FP7. These projects are "designed to strengthen scientific and technological excellence on a particular research topic through the durable integration of the research capacities of the participants."
- NoE projects require the minimum participation of three different EU member nations, however, projects are usually expected to involve at least six countries. Projects are provided grants for a maximum of seven years. The budget granted by the Commission is 1-6million per year depending upon the number of researchers involved.
- An NoE project should not strictly be considered as a research project, since its aim is not to conduct research, but rather to contribute to the clarification of the concepts in the covered field.
- Specific Targeted Research Projects (STReP)
- Medium-sized research projects funded by the European Commission in the FP6 and FP7 funding programs. STReP projects are composed by a minimum of 3 partners coming from 3 different countries from Associated states. The typical duration of such projects is 2 to 3 years and are generally involving between 6 and 15 partners. The budget granted by the Commission is usually around 2million.
The framework programmes up until Framework Programme 6 covered five-year periods, but from Framework Programme 7 on, programmes will run for seven years. The Framework Programmes, and their budgets in billions of euros, have been and will be:
||budget in billions
||50.521 over 7 years
+ 2.7 for Euratom over 5 years
Framework Programme 6
The Sixth Framework Programme took place from 3 June 2002 until 2006.
The largest project was BEinGRID (Business Experiments in Grid), started in June 2006 and concluded in 2009.
The Advanced risk assessment and management for trustable grids project (AssessGrid) project started in April 2006 and ended in March 2009.
The eGovernment-oriented Access-eGov project (Access to e-Government Services Employing Semantic Technologies) started in January 2006 and concluded in 2009.
The Access to KnOwledge through the GRId in a MObile World project (Akogrimo) project started in July 2004 and ended in October 2007.
The Argumentation as a foundation for the semantic grid (ARGUGRID) project started in 2006 and ended 31 May 2009.
The Adaptive Services Grid project did research on service-oriented architecture, completed on 28 February 2007.
The Designing Advanced network Interfaces for the Delivery and Administration of Location independent, Optimised personal Services (DAIDALOS) project on mobile phone systems started in November 2003 with a second phase from 2006 to 2008.
The Grid-enabled Know-how Sharing Technology Based on ARC Services and Open Standards project developed a Grid software solution based on the original architecture of the Advanced Resource Connector (ARC) and open community standards. As a result, ARC became one of the solutions used in the European Grid Infrastructure.
The Preservation and Long-term Access through Networked Services project addressed core digital preservation challenges. The primary goal for Planets was to build practical services and tools to help ensure long-term access to digital cultural and scientific assets. The outputs of the project are now sustained by the follow-on organisation, the Open Planets Foundation.
The Semantic AudiovisuaL Entertainment Reusable Objects (SALERO) project started in January 2006 and ended 31 December 2009.
The Semantics Utilised for Process management within and between EnteRprises (SUPER) project started in April 2006 and ended 31 March 2009.
The Ubiquitous Security and Sensing in the European Homeland project studying wireless sensor networks started in January 2006 and ended in December 2008.
Understanding and Providing a Developmental Approach to Technology Education (Update), studied science and technology teaching from 2007 to 2009.
Framework Programme 7
The funding of the Seventh Framework Programme started in 2007.
The project CoMiFin, running from September 2008 for 30 months, supplied "Communication middleware for monitoring financial CI".
EDENext, Biology and control of vector-borne infections in Europe, is a research project dedicated to investigating the biological, ecological and epidemiological components of vector-borne diseases particularly their introduction, emergence and spread and the creation of new tools to control them. It was officially launched in March 2011 and brings together 46 partners from 22 countries.
EJOLT or Environmental Justice Organizations, Liabilities and Trade runs from March 2011-2015. The project supports the work of Environmental Justice Organizations, uniting scientists, activist organizations, think-tanks, policy-makers from the fields of environmental law, environmental health, political ecology, ecological economics, to talk about issues related to Ecological Distribution. Central concepts are Ecological Debts (or Environmental Liabilities) and Ecologically Unequal Exchange. 23 civil society organizations and universities from 20 countries in Europe, Africa, Latin-America and Asia work together on advancing the cause of environmental justice. EJOLT is building up case studies, linking organisations worldwide and making an interactive global map of environmental justice.
EPI-WATER Project (Evaluating Economic Policy Instruments for Sustainable Water Management in Europe, 2011 2013) aims to assess the effectiveness and the efficiency of Economic Policy Instruments in achieving water policy goals, and to identify the preconditions under which they complement or perform better than alternative (e.g. regulatory or voluntary) policy instruments. It bring together 11 partners from 9 countries.
EPOS Project (European Plate Observing System, 2010-2013) aims at creating a single sustainable, permanent and distributed infrastructure, integrating land-based geophysical monitoring networks, local observatories and experimental laboratories in Europe.
EPOS will give open access to geophysical and geological data and modelling tools, enabling a step change in multidisciplinary scientific research into different fields, including seismic and volcanic hazards, environmental changes as well as energy and long-term sustainability.
Long-term sustainability of plate observations, combining a wide variety of solid Earth data and modelling tools are prerequisites to innovative research for a better understanding of the physical processes controlling earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other catastrophic events (landslides, tsunamis) together with those controlling Earth surface dynamics (crustal response to deformation and to global change).
EPOS will enable the scientific community to study the same phenomena from a multidisciplinary point of view, at different temporal and spatial scales, from laboratory to field and plate tectonic scale experiments. EPOS intends to create the prerequisites for Europe to maintain a leading role in solid Earth science research.
The iCardea Project (An intelligent Platform for Personalized Remote Monitoring of the Cardiac Patients with Electronic Implant Devices, 2010-2013) develops an intelligent platform to automate and personalise the follow-up of the cardiac patients with implantable devices.
IDIRA (2011-2015) develops a system of technologies and guidelines for optimal resource planning and operations across national and organisational borders in case of disasters.
IDPbyNMR is an infrastructure project aiming to improve research capabilities within the region. Is supporting several research groups through Europe in order to bring light in a hot-spot field in lifesciences. Recent evidence shows that a large number of proteins gain functional advantages by remaining natively unstructured, either completely or partially, thus challenging well-established concepts in structural biology. In this frame NMR plays a strategic role to characterise at atomic resolution the highly dynamical properties of such intrinsically unstructured proteins, and follow their (possible) reorganisation by interacting with partners in environments as complex as whole cells.
IKS (Interactive Knowledge Stack, 2009-2012) develops an open source stack for knowledge management, broadens the reach of semantic CMS technology and serves as a collaboration and software development hub for the semantic CMS community.
iProd (Integrated management of product heterogeneous data) is a Framework Programme 7 project with the general aim to improve the efficiency and quality of the Product Development Process of innovative products by developing a flexible and service oriented software framework that, reasoning and operating on a well-structured knowledge, will be the backbone of the computer systems associated with current and new product development processes. iProd addresses PDP in a general way for manufacturing companies, but wants to prove the approach and methodologies in three well defined application areas, i.e., the aerospace, the automotive and the home appliances industries. These three areas generate the largest impact in European economy and are here addressed as the main targets for the iProd application.
ManuVAR (Manual Work Support throughout System Lifecycle by Exploiting Virtual and Augmented Reality) is an integrating project, which aims at improving high knowledge high value manual work (i.e. the type of work that cannot be offshored or automated because it constitutes the core of the business operation that has to be made locally and manually with highly experienced and knowledgeable personnel) by combining product lifecycle management (PLM), virtual and augmented reality technology, and ergonomics methods. It covers five industrial domains: terrestrial satellite assembly, design of assembly lines in small and medium enterprises, maintenance in the railway sector, training on non-destructive techniques in power plant maintenance, and heavy machinery productization and maintenance.
Multi-cores Partitioning for Trusted Embedded Systems (MultiPARTES) is a collaborative research STREP project supported by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme in the area of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). MultiPARTES started on 1 September 2011, and will last for 3 years. The project aims at developing tools and solutions for building trusted embedded systems with mixed criticality components on multicore platforms. It is based on developing an innovative open-source multicore-platform virtualization layer based on the XtratuM hypervisor. A software development methodology and its associated tools will be developed in order to enable trusted real-time embedded systems to be developed as partioned applications in a timely and cost-effective way.
NovelTree is a tree breeding initiative to investigate the potential of using the most up-to-date high-tech genetic screening techniques to improve genetic gains of economic traits and operational efficiencies. It is coordinated by the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (France) with partial funding coming from the respective consortium partners which consist of 15 public and private European organisations.
ONTORULE project (ONTOlogies meet business RULEs) is a large-scale integrating project partially funded by the European Union's 7th Framework Programme under the Information and communication technologies Call 3 (ICT-231875). Project ran from January 2009 to December 2011. The project aimed to integrate some pieces of knowledge and technology, such as the acquisition of ontologies and rules from appropriate sources, including natural language documents; their separate management and maintenance; and their transparent operationalization in IT applications.
The Project Parsifal (Protection and Trust in Financial Infrastructures) began in September 2008 for 18 months. It supported the European Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection (EPCIP) in the research area financial Infrastructure security. Two workshops took place in Frankfurt in 2009. The project yielded eight recommendations for further research, published by Springer in 2011 in the book "ISSE 2010 Securing Electronic Business Processes". The project also contributed to the "Trust-terms ontology for defining security requirements and metrics".The German DIN Deutsches Institut f r Normung based its "Consultation on an Industrial Policy for the Security Industry" on results of Parsifal, among others, for the topic "5.1.c) Introducing the ethical/societal dimension in security technologies".
The main objective of the "Lightweight Technologies for Exploration Rovers" project (ROV-E) is the development of the technologies required to obtain "lightweight fully integrated equipments and subassemblies for exploration rovers based on multifunctional structures".
The aim is to give a step forward in the multifunctional technology, integrating not only structural and thermal functions in the component but also electrical, health monitoring, EMI-EMC shielding, mobility functions for rover driving and steering, power generation and storage.
ROV-E project is funded by the European Union's 7th Framework Programme under FP7 Cooperation Specific Programme and addresses the objectives of activity 9.2 "Strengthening the foundations of Space science and technology", Area 9.2.1."Research to support space science and exploration. SPA.2009.2.1.04 Space transportation for space exploration. Project started in January 2011 and will run for 3 years
The SCAlable Preservation Environments project will enhance the state of the art of digital preservation in three ways: by developing infrastructure and tools for scalable preservation actions; by providing a framework for automated, quality-assured preservation workflows and by integrating these components with a policy-based preservation planning and watch system. These concrete project results will be validated within three large-scale Testbeds from diverse application areas.
SecureChange (Security Engineering for Lifelong Evolvable Systems) is a research project with the objective to develop techniques and tools that ensure "lifelong" compliance to evolving security, privacy and dependability requirements for a long-running evolving software system.
"Radiation shielding of composite space enclosures" project (SIDER) is funded by the European Union's 7th Framework Programme under Cooperation Specific Programme and addresses the objectives of activity 9.2 "Strengthening the foundations of Space science and technology", SPA.2010.2.3-01 "Security of space assets from space weather events". The project started in December 2010 and will run for 3 years.
Space electronics systems employ enclosures to shield sensitive components from space radiation. The purpose of shielding is to attenuate the energy of charged particles as they pass through the shield material. The standard practice in space hardware is the use of aluminium as both a radiation shield and structural enclosure. The new concepts for lightweight satellite show the possibilities of using advanced designs based on composite housings. Nevertheless, the radiation effect on composites is still scarcely investigated.
The main objective of SIDER is "the development of the technologies and tools required to obtain lightweight, safe, robust and reliable composite structures".
SPREAD Sustainable Lifestyles 2050 - Social Platform identifying Research and Policy needs for Sustainable Lifestyles. What is a sustainable lifestyle? What will a sustainable future mean for the way we live, move, and consume? How do we know if our lifestyles are sustainable or not? How can our aspirations for life and well-being improvements be enabled sustainably (within one planet)? These are some of the underlying questions driving the SPREAD Sustainable Lifestyles 2050 European social platform project.
The TIMBUS project addresses the challenge of digital preservation of business processes and services to ensure their long-term continued access. TIMBUS builds on feasibility and cost-benefit analysis in order to analyse and recommend which aspects of a business process should be preserved and how to preserve them. It delivers methodologies and tools to capture and formalise business processes on both technical and organisational levels. This includes their underlying software and hardware infrastructures and dependencies on third-party services and information. TIMBUS aligns digital preservation with well-established methods for enterprise risk management (ERM) and business continuity management (BCM). 
webinos (Secure Web Operating System Application Delivery Environment) is an EU funded project aiming to develop a secure open source platform for Web applications and services that span a broad range of devices including mobile, tablet, desktop, home media (e.g. television sets) and in-car units. Webinos was launched in September 2010 with over twenty partners spanning academic institutions, industry research firms, software firms, handset manufacturers and automotive manufacturers. The project is scheduled to run for three years as a "Service Platform" project under the EU Framework Programme 7 ICT Programme. webinos extends the web runtime with application programming interfaces that support 1. Discovery of local devices and services independent of the interconnect technology (e.g. WiFi, Bluetooth, USB, Firewire and ZigBee). 2. Discovery of devices and services via social proximity through an extension of social networking concepts. 3. Access to local and remote services in a manner that masks details of interconnect technologies and network address translation. 4. Access to information on the context (user preferences, device status and capabilities, and the environment). Up to now webinos has produced five official reports Use Cases and Scenarios, Requirements & developer experience analysis, User expectations on privacy and security, Industry landscape, governance, licensing and IPR frameworks, The Open Governance Index. In addition, the project has produced research papers and early technical demos. In order to continue work when the EU project funding comes to an end webinos has announced plans to launch a webinos foundation to address this challenge, starting with an affiliate program aimed at attracting further participants to work on the specifications and open source platform.
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