The Programme is the EU's main instrument for funding research in Europe and it runs from 2007 to 2013. FP7 supports research in selected priority areas - the aim being to make, or keep, the EU as a world leader in those sectors.
FP7 is made up of 4 main blocks of activities forming 4 specific programmes plus a fifth specific programme on nuclear research, Euratom:
- Cooperation is the largest subarea of FP7, and supports transnational research ventures within Europe and between EU countries and third countries. Cooperation covers 10 themes, and different project forms. The programme is intended to promote collaboration between universities, industry, research institutes and national authorities.
- Ideas must support frontier research in Europe within all areas of research and technology. It is not a requirement that the collaboration cross national borders, but that it promote creativity and excellence in European research. The programme has been implemented through the European Research Council (ERC).
- People supports researcher mobility and career development for researchers in Europe and in third countries. The programme is implemented through different instruments in the Marie Curie Actions. They all entail researcher mobility across national borders, and can support individual mobility, larger networks and conferences.
- Capacities must stimulate realization of Europe's research potential for a viable knowledge economy. The activities cover several areas – such as research infrastructures, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Europe's regions and competence development in third countries.
- Euratom promotes pacific use of nuclear research and technology. It comprise research, technological development, international cooperation, dissemination of technical information, and exploitation activities, as well as training.
- Joint Technology Initiatives are long-term public-private partnerships that pursue ambitious common research objectives. They support large-scale multinational research activities in areas of major interest to European industrial competitiveness and issues of high societal relevance.
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