Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development – FP7 is the biggest research and development program of the European Union, and it is the basic mechanism for research financing in the period from 2007 to 2013. The total budget of the Seventh Framework Programme amounts over 50 billion euros.
Support to research and technological development involves:
funding of research projects, whose consortia are comprised of companies and research centres from different countries;
support to research teams involved in basic research;
individual grants aimed at “most promising” researchers;
improvement of European research capacities or enhancement of research infrastructure or establishment of special regional networks of research centres.
FP7 is structurally divided into four basic programme blocks:
Cooperation involves the following sub-divisions: (1) Joint Technology Initiatives, (2) Collaborative research – 10 themes, (3) Coordination between national research programmes and (4) International cooperation. Collaborative research involves the following themes: Health; Food, Agriculture, Fishery and Biotechnology; Information and Communication Technologies; Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production Technologies; Energy; Environment (including Climate Change); Transport (including Aeronautics); Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities; Space; and Security.
Within the programme Ideas, funds are allocated for research programmes falling under the European Research Council, whereas the programme People involves exchange of scientists and researchers under the Marie Curie sub-programme. The programme Capacities involves the following sub-programmes: (1) Research infrastructures; (2) Research for the benefit of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs); (3) Regions of knowledge; (4) Research potential; (5) Science in society; (6) Activities of international co-operation; (7) Support for the coherent development of research policies.
Moreover, Seventh Framework Programme also dedicates assets for the following:
European Atomic Energy Community – Euratom
Joint Research Centre – JRC
In June 2007, Serbia signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the European Union, and thereby gained the status of an Associate Member, and became an equal participant in the Seventh Framework Programme; the research organizations and companies from Serbia can propose projects, participate in project consortia, and become partners in projects or their coordinators, under the same terms as the EU Member Countries.
Project application and assets approval is organized through the Calls for projects, which contain detailed information regarding the research objectives within the Call (within the so called Working programs), financing methods and deadlines for submission of project proposals. Participation in FP7 is possible for research groups at universities, research institutes, individual researchers, small and medium enterprises, big companies, as well as for other governmental, non-governmental and private organizations and institutions which deal with the research work.
The currently open Calls for Proposals can be found here.