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Agreement over stem cell research clears way for FP7

The Council reached political agreement by qualified majority on the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) when ministers reached an agreement on funding for stem cell and nuclear research. The agreement clears the way for a second Parliament reading and the timely launch of the programme on 1st January 2007. Five countries (Austria, Lithuania, Malta, Poland and Slovakia) voted against for ethical reasons.

FP7, the EU's chief instrument for funding scientific research and technological development over the period 2007 to 2013, aims to contribute to realising the Lisbon agenda for growth and competitiveness. It will be the successor to the current FP6 which is due to run until the end of 2006.

The budget for FP7 will be €55.6 billion. The framework programme will be divided into four specific programmes:

  • Cooperation – collaborative research;
  • Ideas – includes the establishment of a European Research Council;
  • People – for human resources;
  • Capacities – research capacity of small and medium sized enterprises.

The lion share of the budget - €32.365 billion – will go into the Cooperation Programme. Research in 10 thematic areas will receive funding: health; food, agriculture and biotechnology; information and communication technologies (ICT); nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials and new production technologies; energy; environment; transport; socio-economic sciences and the humanities; space; and security. The other three programmes will have a budget ranging between €4.217 billion (Capacities) and €7.46 billion (Ideas).

Press release Council meeting