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EC invests €6.4bn in research and innovation

Research organisations, universities and industries across Europe are to be able to bid for grants worth almost €6.4bn in total

The European Commission has announced a package that offers research organisations, universities and industries across Europe, the ability to bid for research and innovation grants worth almost €6.4bn in total.

Funding will come from the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (the largest single research programme in the world, with a budget of €50.5bn) and will be divided by policy area. Over €600m has been set aside for health grants while there is €1.2bn in the pot for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) research. 

In addition, more than €1.3bn is available to the best creative scientists, as determined by the European Research Council, and Marie Curie Actions has provided mobility grants for 7,000 researchers at a cost of €772m. 

Around €206m of the funding allocated for health research, will be spent on investigator-driven clinical trials to get new medicine to market more quickly. The €207m allocated to nanotechnologies will focus on research that could lead to patenting and commercialisation opportunities.

"Investment in research and innovation is the only smart and lasting way out of crisis and towards sustainable and socially equitable growth," said Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn. "We are offering researchers and innovators €6.4bn for cutting-edge projects focusing on big economic and societal challenges: climate change, energy and food security, health and an ageing population. This is a huge and efficient economic stimulus and an investment in our future," she continued.

The grants will be allocated through 'calls for proposals' (invitations to bid) over the next 14 months. These calls for proposals will form part of Europe's Innovation Union Flagship, which will be launched by Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn in the autumn.

22nd July 2010

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