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Updated guidelines on EU research and innovation funding: To be continued…

“How do I obtain support for my research, innovation and entrepreneurial ideas?” With this basic question as the critical starting point, the European Commission has recently published its New practical guide to EU funding – opportunities for research and innovation. The aim is to provide guidance to potential recipients of EU funding for research and innovation available across a multitude of its support mechanisms and programmes through 2013. Unlike the initial guide of 2008 that covered only three major R&D funding instruments at the EU level, the new publication provides a full, up-to-date picture of existing opportunities, extending its reach to the five following instruments supporting research and innovation: 
  • the Research Framework programme (the Seventh Research and Euratom Framework programmes);
  • the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework programme (CIP); 
  • the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund within the Cohesion policy (SF); 
  • the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, and 
  • the European Fisheries Fund within the Rural development policy and the Common Fisheries policy.
In addition, the new guide, which was produced in collaboration with 14 commissioners who are jointly responsible for the related EU funding schemes, includes information on the Lifelong Learning Programme and international cooperation in the field of education, as well as LIFE+ in the environmental field. Finally, this publication describes the research and innovation funding opportunities offered to countries and territories beyond the EU, in the framework of Pre-accession assistance and within the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument. The immediate practical value of this new publication is undeniable. However, the guide’s applicability beyond the mid-term is limited, given that the EU research and innovation landscape will be revamped fairly soon, with the new Horizon programme coming into effect after 2013. Nevertheless, the idea behind this guide—“to make EU funding more effective and increase its impact, while making it easier to access for participants”—will likely be a central focus of future publications by the European Commission in this vein. Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS