On Friday 7 July I went to the launch of the FP7 2013 Work Programmes for the Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology (KBBE) and Environment (including climate change) (ENV) themes call in London.
For those that don’t know, the objective of the Framework Programme (FP) EU research funding scheme is to enable Europe as a whole to compete with the huge research centers of the USA, Japan, China and India. The EU has funded research and technological development across Europe through framework programmes since 1984. The current FP7 call is the final annual call of FP7, which has been running since 2007.
FP7 2013 is broken into research ‘themes’. Each theme is sub-categorised into ‘activities,’ which include several ‘topics’. The two themes outlined at the launch day are the themes most likely to be relevant to the GARNet community.
From Timothy Hall’s presentation on the KBBE theme, I got the impression that as a general rule, most topics will fund a few projects of around €6-10 million each. Some topics will only fund one project. In both themes discussed, it was clear that proposals that fit the scope of multiple topics would be given preference.
The call was published on 10 July, and applicants have 6 months to submit a proposal. Proposed projects must involve at least three independent entities from three different member states, or if absolutely necessary, ‘associated’ states (nearly anywhere else in the world – see Who Can Apply). The EU wants to encourage partnerships between research groups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and some application for funding within certain activities sets out a minimum participation level for SMEs.
National contact points (NCPs) provide free help at all stages of the FP7 application, from assistance putting together a consortium of parties to providing feedback on the draft proposal. The NCPs are listed at the end of this post.
Every presentation emphasised that FP7 starts with an extremely competitive application process. All the speakers agreed that the best proposals have a good consortium of partners, made up of groups with complementary expertise and with no sleeping partners. The project must fit one, or preferably more than one, topic. It must have realistic impact goals – the FP7 funding is a contract and the expected end product, whatever it is, must be delivered. It is essential to read the call carefully and make sure your proposal ticks all the requirements. And they all almost pleaded with the audience not to wait until the last minute to submit.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a more detailed post about the calls. Finally if you weren’t at the ICAR conference, Ruth Bastow who was there for GARNet has collated her tweets so you can pretend you were there!
National Contact Points:
Catherine Holt and Jane Watkins (Beta Technology) KBBE and ENV NCP email@example.com
Ewa Block (Technology Strategy Board) Eco-innovation and Industrial Biotechnology NCP firstname.lastname@example.org