New initiatives to pool national research and development funding in the areas of metrology [the science of measurement] and research into Baltic Sea ecosystems were announced by the European Commission on 4 January.

The initiatives are examples of ERA-NET Plus projects, a new kind of activity being funded under the 2007-2013 7th Framework Research Programme. Both will involve collaboration between public funding bodies across different member states. These bodies will pool their R&D funding and allocate it to projects through joint calls for proposals. The ERA-NETs will also receive top-up funding' from the Commission to spend on this R&D work.

The metrology project (iMERA-Plus) is due to run until 2010, and will bring together the National Metrology Institutes of 32 European countries. They will pool a total of 42 million, to be allocated through a joint call for proposals. In addition, 21 million of top-up funding will be supplied by the Commission.

The Baltic Sea project (Bonus+) involves eight EU member states (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden), as well as Russia. They have allocated 18.7 million to the initiative, to be combined with 9 million of Commission top-up funding.

ERA-NET Plus projects are similar, in how they pool national and EU funding, to the so-called Article 169 initiatives' that have already been launched or proposed by the Commission (see Europolitics 3420 and 3270). The main difference between ERA-NET Plus projects and Article 169s are the scale. The existing European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) was allocated 200 million from the Community budget when it was set up in 2003. It is estimated that Eurostars (a future Article 169 which is currently in the pipeline) will have a budget of around 400 million for the period up to 2013, 100 million of which will be supplied by the Commission. Another difference is that Article 169s need to be created using the co-decision procedure between the European Parliament and Council, while ERA-NET Plus projects can be set up by the Commission following a simple...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT