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The Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development, also called Framework Programmes or abbreviated FP1 to FP7 with "FP8" being named ""Horizon 2020", are funding programmes created by the "European Union/"European Commission to support and foster research in the "European Research Area (ERA). The specific objectives and actions vary between funding periods. In FP6 and FP7 focus was still in technological research, in Horizon 2020 the focus is in innovation, delivering economic growth faster and delivering solutions to end users that are often governmental agencies.



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. The programmes are defined by Commission civil servants that are aided by various official advisory group and lobby groups. E.g. 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.[1]

The framework programmes[edit]

The framework programmes up until Framework Programme 6 (FP6) covered five-year periods, but from Framework Programme 7 (FP7) on, programmes run for seven years. The Framework Programmes, and their budgets in billions of Euros, are presented in the table below.[2] For FP1–FP5, program expenditures were made in "European Currency Units; from FP6 onward budgets were in Euros. The values presented below are in Euros.

ID Framework Programme period Budget (billions of €)
FP1 First[3] 1984–1987 3.8
FP2 Second[4] 1987–1991 5.4
FP3 Third[5] 1990–1994 6.6
FP4 Fourth[6] 1994–1998 13.2
FP5 Fifth[7] 1998–2002 15.0
FP6 Sixth[8] 2002–2006 16.3
FP7 Seventh 2007–2013 50.5 over seven years
+ 2.7 for "Euratom over five years[9]
FP8 "Horizon 2020 (Eighth)[10] 2014–2020 77[11]

Funding instruments[edit]

FP6 and FP7[edit]

Framework Programme 6 and 7 (2002–2013) projects were generally funded through instruments, the most important of which included:

Note also the FP7 Joint Technology Initiatives (JTI) in partnership with "industry.[17]

Horizon 2020[edit]

Horizon 2020 is the eighth framework programme funding research, technological development, and innovation. The programme's name has been modified to "Framework Programme for Research and Innovation". The framework programme is implemented by the European Commission, the executive body of the "European Union, either by various internal directorate general (DGs), such as the directorate general for research and innovation (DG RTD) or the directorate general for communications networks, content and Technology, or by executive agencies such as the "Research Executive Agency (REA), the "Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME), or the "ERC Executive Agency (ERCEA). The framework programme's objective is to complete the "European Research Area (ERA) by coordinating national research policies and pooling research funding in some areas to avoid duplication. Horizon 2020 itself is seen as a policy instrument to implement other high-level policy initiatives of the European Union, such as "Europe 2020 and Innovation Union. The programme runs from 2014–20 and provides an estimated "80 billion of funding,[18][19] an increase of 23 per cent on the previous phase.[20]

Horizon 2020 provides grants to research and innovation projects through open and competitive calls for proposals. Legal entities from any country are eligible to submit project proposals to these calls. Participation from outside the European Union is explicitly encouraged.[21] Participants from European Union member states and countries associated to Horizon 2020 are automatically funded. Associated countries have signed an association agreement for the purposes of this framework programme. To date, 14 countries are associated to Horizon 2020.[22] Switzerland is considered as "partly associated" due to the "2014 referendums held by "Switzerland, which free movement of workers between Switzerland and the EU. Swiss organisations continue to be active participants in Horizon 2020, however, their participation is sometimes covered by national funding. "Israel is an "associated country" to Horizon 2020. A central point of negotiation was funding to projects beyond the "Green Line;.[23] Israel published its views in an Appendix to the official documents. Horizon 2020 supports "Open access to research results,[24] in order to create greater efficiency, improve transparency and accelerate innovation.[25]

Horizon 2020 is also implementing the "European environmental research and innovation policy, which is aimed at defining and turning into reality a transformative agenda for greening the economy and the society as a whole so as to achieve a truly "sustainable development.

The programme consists of three main research areas that are called "pillars": The first pillar, "Excellent Science", focuses on basic science. It has a budget of 24 billion euro. The second pillar is "Industrial Leadership", with a budget of 14 billion euro. It is managed by DG Enterprise and based on Europe 2020 and Innovation Union strategies. The third pillar funds potential solutions to social and economic problems, "Societal challenges" (SC).

The structure follows the previous framework programme (FP7, 2007–13) to the level of the sub-programmes under the pillars. In the industrial pillar the goal is to find ways to modernize European industries that have suffered from a fragmented European market. In societal challenges the goal is implementation of solutions, less on technology development.

Illustrative projects[edit]


IMPETUS (Information Management Portal to Enable the inTegration of Unmanned Systems) is addressing the scientific analysis of information management requirements for a safe and efficient integration of "unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in very low level airspace. As a result, technologically and commercially feasible service solutions are elaborated and deployed in an experimental testing environment.

The expected growth of future UAS movements in rural as well as urban areas indicates the need for traffic management solutions, ensuring a normal course of trouble free operations of manned as well as unmanned aviation.[26] IMPETUS contributes by investigating potential "microservices that serve the airspace user’s needs in all phases of the operation life cycle, from strategical planning over pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight data provision. Since "information management is an infrastructural prerequisite of future unmanned traffic systems, the results support the European goal to gain in prosperity by means of the job and business opportunities of an emerging drone service market.[27]

Ensuring a scalable, flexible and cost efficient system, IMPETUS proposes the application of the "Function as a Service paradigm and Smart Concepts. Concurrently, data quality and integrity is taken into account to guarantee a safe conduct of all operations. To fulfil these purposes, the project started to characterize data processes and services of vital importance for drone operations. Following the requirements derived from this preliminary studies, a Smart UTM Design is drafted in alignment with the U-Space concept, which describes a framework for a progressive implementation of services to “enable complex drone operations with a high degree of automation to take place in all types of operational environments, including urban areas.”[28] Subsequently, specific microservices will be prototyped and laboratory scale tested in a server-less cloud-based environment.[29]

On behalf of the "SESAR Joint Undertaking, IMPETUS is carried out from 2017 – 2019 by a multinational consortium of key stakeholders in unmanned aviation:

Altitude Angel (UK), Boeing Research and Technology Europe (ES), C-Astral (SI), CRIDA (ES), INECO (ES), Jeppesen (DE) and the "Technical University of Darmstadt (DE).


A network of Open Access repositories, archives and journals that support Open Access policies. The OpenAIRE Consortium is a Horizon 2020 (FP8) project, aimed to support the implementation of the "EC and "ERC "Open Access policies.

Its successor OpenAIREplus is aimed at linking the aggregated research publications to the accompanying research and project information, datasets and author information.

Open access to scientific peer reviewed publications has evolved from a pilot project with limited scope in FP7 to an underlying principle in the Horizon 2020 funding scheme, obligatory for all H2020 funded projects. The goal is to make as much European funded research output as possible available to all, via the OpenAIRE portal.

— openaire.eu FAQ[30]

The "Zenodo research data repository is a product of OpenAIRE. The OpenAIRE portal is online.[31]


Scent is a European Union research project funded under the "Horizon 2020 programme. The project runs between 2016 and 2019 and comprises 10 partner organisations across 6 countries.

Scent aims to engage citizens in environmental monitoring and enable them to become the ‘eyes’ of the policy-makers. In doing so citizens will support the monitoring of changes in the environment using their smartphones and tablets. Scent will thus demonstrate the immense potential of citizen science in this field. Europe has the capacity and potential to lead a global citizen movement aimed at land use monitoring through a people-centred observation web. The Scent project will form this movement.

A citizen-led online movement will observe and report changes in land cover and land use through user-friendly tools and technologies, the Scent Toolbox. These will complement existing forms of monitoring such as satellite and remote sensing which are costly and less dynamic.

The Scent Toolbox; a crowd-sourcing platform, gaming applications, an authoring tool, an intelligence engine and numerical models, will allow citizens, policy-makers and other users to freely use Scent technologies to contribute to the aims of the project. The opinions of citizens, policy makers and communication experts are taken into account during the design of the Scent Toolbox to ensure it is practical and user-friendly.

The Scent toolbox will be tested in two large-scale pilots – the urban case of the Kifisos river in Greece and the rural case of the Danube Delta in Romania. The impact of the toolbox in the assessment of flood risks and flooding patterns will be evaluated.

Project partners:

Criticism of the programmes[edit]

The programmes have been criticized on various grounds, such as actually diminishing Europe's industrial competitiveness[32] and failing to deliver fundamental excellence and global economic competitiveness.[33] In 2010, the "Austrian Research Promotion Agency launched a petition calling for a simplification of administrative procedures, which attracted over 13,000 signatories.[34] The numerous other criticisms of the petitioners were later distilled into a "green paper.[35] In Horizon 2020 there are significant simplifications: e.g. fewer funding rates (increasing the funding rates of the large companies), less reporting, less auditing, shorter time from proposal to project kick-off.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ISTAG website". Cordis.lu. 20 October 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Artis, M. J. and F. Nixson, Eds. "The Economics of the European Union: Policy and Analysis" (4th ed.), Oxford University Press 2007
  3. ^ OJ C208 – 04/08/1983
  4. ^ OJ L302 – 24/10/1987; 87/516/Euratom, EEC
  5. ^ OJ L117 – 08/05/1990; 90/221/Euratom, EEC
  6. ^ OJ L126 – 18/05/1994; No 1110/94/EC
  7. ^ OJ L26 – 01/02/1999; No 182/1999/EC
  8. ^ OJ L232 – 29/08/2002; No 1513/2002/EC
  9. ^ "How is FP 7 structured? from FP7 in Brief". European Commission. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  10. ^ Cordis. "The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation". Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Research and innovation funding: making a real difference". European Commission. 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2018. 
  12. ^ "CORDIS Archive : CORDIS FP6: What is FP6: Instruments: Integrated Projects". Cordis.europa.eu. Retrieved 2016-12-27. 
  13. ^ "Provisions for Implementing Integrated Projects" (PDF). Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  14. ^ "What is FP6: Instruments: Network of Excellence". "European Commission. Retrieved 22 June 2009. 
  15. ^ a b "Provisions for Implementing Networks of Excellence", cordis.europa.eu. Retrieved 25 June 2009
  16. ^ "Guide for applicants (Collaborative projects - Small and Medium-scale focused Research Projects - STREP)". "European Commission. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  17. ^ OECD (2008). "2: Main trends in Science, Technology and Innovation policy". OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2008. OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook. OECD Publishing. p. 76. "ISBN "9789264049949. Retrieved 2017-09-01. Joint Technology Initiatives (JTI) [...] are initiatives emerging from European technology platforms and are financed partly by FP7 funds and by industry. 
  18. ^ Grove, Jack (2011). "'Triple miracle' sees huge rise in EU funds for frontier research". "Times Higher Education. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  19. ^ Amos, Jonathan. "Horizon 2020: UK launch for EU's £67bn research budget". BBC. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  20. ^ Rabesandratana, Tania. "E.U. Leaders Agree on Science Budget". ScienceInsider. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  21. ^ "Horizon 2020" (PDF). Ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 2016-12-27. 
  22. ^ "Associated Countries" (PDF). Ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 2016-12-27. 
  23. ^ Elis, Niv (2014). "Israel joins 77 billion euro Horizon 2020 R&D program". "The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  24. ^ "Fact sheet: Open Access in Horizon 2020" (PDF). European Commission. 9 December 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  25. ^ "Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020" (PDF). European Commission. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  26. ^ Union, Publications Office of the European (2017-04-21). "European drones outlook study : unlocking the value for Europe". "doi:10.2829/085259. Retrieved 2017-12-13. 
  27. ^ "Warsaw Declaration: "Drones as a leverage for jobs and new business opportunities"" (PDF). 2016-11-24. Retrieved 2017-12-13. 
  28. ^ "U-space : blueprint". SESAR Joint Undertaking. 2017-11-21. "doi:10.2829/335092. 
  29. ^ "IMPETUS - Information Management Portal to Enable the Integration of Unmanned Systems". 2017-11-20. Retrieved 2017-12-13. 
  30. ^ "Openaire - Faq". Openaire.eu. Retrieved 2016-12-27. 
  31. ^ "OpenAIRE - OpenAIRE". Openaire.eu. Retrieved 2016-12-27. 
  32. ^ Financial Control and Fraud in the Community. House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities, 12th Report. London: HMSO (1994).
  33. ^ H. Matthews, The 7th EU research framework programme. Nanotechnol. Perceptions 1 (2005) 99–105.
  34. ^ "Cerexhe receives petition for the simplification of administrative procedures for researchers". Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  35. ^ "Green Paper "From Challenges to Opportunities: Towards a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation funding"" (PDF). Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), Vienna. May 2011. 

External links[edit]

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