What is the Seventh EU Framework Programme

The Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development are the European Union's main instruments for supporting collaborative research, development and innovations in science, engineering and technology. Since the launch of the first Framework Programme in 1984, EU institutions have played a leading role in initiating and organising multi-disciplinary research and co-operation inside Europe and beyond.

The Framework Programmes are open to EU public and private entities of all sizes and incorporate provision for the participation of non-EU countries.

Participation is on an internationally collaborative basis and must involve European partners. There are no national quotas as the Programmes are operated on a competitive basis with proposals being evaluated by panels of independent experts against set criteria.

EU research initiatives focus on high-quality research with a lasting impact that can strengthen Europe's science and technology. Added value is obtained from trans-national co-operation, the integration of relevant activities and participants, and the concentration of European effort on fewer priorities.

The Framework Programmes offer valuable opportunities for Ireland's small and medium enterprises (SMEs), multinational corporations (MNCs), healthcare professionals and academic researchers to participate in high-quality research collaborations with their European counterparts, with the support of EU funding. The EU agenda complements our national priorities with an emphasis on moving new discoveries and products to commercialisation and approval.

For an overview of the structure of FP7 click here.

Useful documents

Published by the EU Commission, FP7 in brief is a useful reference document.

FP7 in the history of European research

Read an interview with Michel André, an adviser in the EU Commission's Directorate-General for Research to hear the history of EU research and why he thinks we must conserve and pass on the unique wealth of knowledge and experience accumulated by the Commission ofver 40 years of research policy.

Click here to read the interview published in RTD info June 2007

Leading Ireland's
Participation In FP7

Enterprise Ireland