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€1.75 billion of new research money available for European projects

The European Commission is today issuing calls for proposals in 32 research areas, making available about €1.75 billion from the 7th Research Framework Programme.

Areas for support include environmental issues such as sea-level rise and the impact of climate change on Arctic Ocean eco-systems, the impact of UV radiation on human health and modelling the future impact of energy use on the environment. In the food, agriculture & fisheries and biotechnology theme, projects are sought to promote a better understanding of obesity and also find new methods for the production of clean and carbon-efficient bio-fuels.

Funds will be made available for the Marie Curie International Staff Exchange scheme, which will strengthen the relationships of European research organisations with their international counterparts, and there are specific calls for proposals working with researchers in India on materials and Russia on energy.

"There is no time to lose in research" said European Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik. "The EU's research framework programme has seen a smooth start in 2007, mobilising researchers from across Europe and beyond to compete with their best ideas and to cooperate in tackling many challenges. Today, we are continuing this effort and we call on all researchers to participate."

The European Commission, which manages the EU's 7th Research Framework Programme, has today made available to researchers information on calls for proposals in 32 areas of research. These range from environmental science to sustainable transport, from biotechnology to nanotechnology.

There is a strong emphasis on international scientific collaboration in the 7th Framework Programme, with all areas of research being open to partnerships including countries from outside the European Research Area. In addition there are some specific activities identified, such as joint research with India on materials science and with Russia on power generation from biomass and tools for large power systems. This year will also see the creation of the Marie Curie International Staff Exchange Scheme, to strengthen research partnerships through staff exchanges and networking activities among research organisations within and outside Europe.

At the same time the European Research Council will be unveiling its new funding initiative, the Advanced Grant Scheme, opening the ERC for the first time to established researchers.

Other areas covered are: research infrastructures; regions of knowledge; the role of science in society; and support to small and medium-sized companies.

A network of national contact points is available ( to help researchers identify areas of interest and to help create the partnerships that are generally required for accessing European funding.

Virginia Mercouri | alfa
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