Busquin calls for EU Framework increase
Feb 23, 2001
The European Commission has proposed a 17% increase in the budget of the next framework programme for research and innovation. Philippe Busquin, the commissioner for research, has called for a budget of EUR 17.5 billion for the sixth Framework programme, which will cover the period 2003-2006. The proposal will be discussed at the EU summit in Stockholm on March 23 and 24.
Busquin has identified seven key emerging technologies and research priorities: genomics and biotechnology for health; information society technologies; nanotechnologies, intelligent materials and new production methods; aeronautics and space; food safety and health risks; sustainable development and global change; and citizens and governance.
Busquin is also proposing special measures for innovation, the mobility of researchers, and the networking of national research programmes. It is also hoped that the participation of small- and medium-sized companies (SMEs) will increase from 10% in the current Framework to 15% in the sixth programme.
The European fusion programme is also funded through the Framework programme. At an informal meeting last month European research ministers recommended that the EU maintain its current spending on fusion research throughout the sixth Framework, thereby giving the green light to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). France, Japan and Canada are currently vying to host ITER.