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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Europe Asks Researchers for Funding Ideas
9 February 2011 2:06 pm
The European Commission is asking for help designing—and renaming—its next research and innovation funding program. The current program, Framework Programme 7, will spend €53.3 billion over 7 years before it ends in 2013. The next program is due to start that year. Today the commission laid out the broad outlines of its post-2013 plans, asking researchers for feedback on how the current setup can be improved. They are even asking researchers to help name the new program—the commission will launch a contest later this month for one more inspiring than "Framework 8."
The draft "green paper" released today marks the start of a 3-month consultation process. The process "will not be a cosmetic exercise," promised research commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn at a press conference introducing the paper. She said she wants an "innovative and transparent process," and noted that the commission plans to solicit comments and suggestions on its "Innovation Union" Facebook page as well as other internet portals. Incoming suggestions will be publicly posted on a blog "to stimulate further debate," she said. The deadline for comments is 20 May. The winner of the naming contest will be announced in June at a conference to discuss the collected feedback.
In the meantime, the paper calls the program the "Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding." As Geoghegan-Quinn announced Monday, it proposes combining several current funding schemes to make a sort of Super-Framework. That will give researchers and innovators a one-stop shop, Geoghegan-Quinn says, with simplified and rules and application procedures for all participants.
European researchers have long complained about the bureaucracy that comes with European funding, and Geoghegan-Quinn, who took office a year ago this week, says that she has heard that complaint loud and clear. "We need to release researchers and innovators from red tape," she told the press conference. "Lump-sum payments are likely to be an important element" in the simplified granting procedures, she said. Under previous framework programs, researchers have had to submit complex accounting paperwork for reimbursement. That is because the European Union has rigorous accounting rules that apply to all types of funding. Geoghegan-Quinn says she is hopeful that new rules will be in place by the time the new program takes effect.