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Research: Europe's €52 billion Research Programme to be simplified. Maria da Graça Carvalho MEP (EPP Newsletter)

2010-11-11

"Promoting research and innovation, making applications for EU grants easier and facilitating their management will now be possible following the adoption of my proposals by a very large majority in the European parliament today", declared Maria da Graça Carvalho MEP, who had been tasked by the European Parliament to draft its position on this important Resolution.

Mrs Carvalho also said that this Report "will play a fundamental role in the Europe 2020 Growth and Jobs Strategy, so researchers will feel motivated to participate. It will also make the rules and processes simpler, clearer and more transparent in order to facilitate participation". The EPP Group Portuguese MEP stressed: "This Report is particularly timely and it is of special relevance in these times of economic crisis. This is the right time to develop mechanisms to create jobs and provide a new stimulus to the economy."

Maria da Graça Carvalho, Member of the Industry Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) of the European Parliament, was appointed Rapporteur for 'Simplifying the implementation of Research Framework Programmes' in May 2010.

The Report on simplifying rules for the participation of existing and future European science and innovation programmes was adopted with the support of all political groups (553 votes in favour, 12 votes against, and 7 abstentions) at today's plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels.

This Report will redefine the rules of participation not only in the existing Research Framework Programme (€52 billion) but also in all other science and research programmes. The rules imposed in the field are currently very complicated and the goal is to facilitate participation and increase execution rates. The Report aims to provide guidelines for participation in existing and future programmes after 2013.

Priorities:

  • A financing system based on scientific excellence, simplifying financial control;
  • Harmonising the rules and procedures for the different instruments used in the programmes of the Commission, with their own rules for research centres and universities, industry and SMEs;
  • Simplifying the financial rules through a more trust-based and risk-tolerant approach.

In preparing the Report, Maria da Graça Carvalho opened a process of public consultation with different partners, universities, research centres and enterprises. The aim was to discuss the main rules of participation in the European Programmes of Science and Innovation, as well as to consider their weaknesses and hence to determine any necessary changes. Two seminars took place in Oporto and Lisbon and a Hearing was held in the European Parliament, Brussels to conclude the process. Carvalho's website served as a platform to receive proposals and contributions that then contributed to this Report.

According to Carvalho, the involvement of citizens has been "very significant, something that shows that scientific research is of great importance on the European scene. This involvement is also a sign that it is necessary to redefine the existing model. The Report deals with one of the greatest drivers of growth and we have to make participation and continuity easier for the work of our researchers."

Maria da Graça Carvalho MEP was also invited to present her Report last July to the 27 EU Ministers of Science.

Report by Maria da Graça Carvalho on simplifying the implementation of the Research Framework Programmes (A7- 0274/2010)