Europe has a long standing tradition of excellence in research and innovation, and European teams continue to
lead progress in many fields of science and technology. In the past, collaborative actions have been initiated
at European and Community level, but now is the time to bring our endeavours together and to build a research
and innovation equivalent of the "common market" for goods and services. That structure is called the European
Research Area and is regrouping all Community supports for the better coordination of research activities and
the convergence of research and innovation policies, at national and EU levels.
(extracted from http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/era/index_en.html)
The Sixth Framework Programme is a key instrument of ERA. For that reason it has an innovative edge and more
resources than its predecessor. The Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) is at present the Unions main instrument
for the funding of research in Europe. Proposed by the Commission and adopted by the Council and Parliament in
co-decision, it is open to all public and private entities, large or small.
The overall budget covering the four-year period 2003 - 2006 is 17.5 billion, representing an increase of 17%
from the Fifth Framework Programme and making up 3.9% of the Unions total budget (2001), and 6% of the Unions
public (civilian) research budget. There are no national quotas for FP6 funds.
Seven key areas for the advancement of knowledge and technological progress within FP6 have been chosen:
genomics and biotechnology for health; information society technologies; nanotechnologies and nanosciences;
aeronautics and space; food safety; sustainable development; and economic and social sciences. With a view
towards achieving the biggest possible impact, over 12 billion is being allocated to them.
(extracted from http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/fp6/pdf/facts_en.pdf)