Entries Flood Naming Contest for European Science Funding Program

It hasn’t quite reached the fever of the upcoming EuroVision Song Contest, but the European Commission’s contest to find a more inspiring name for its key science and technology funding program has already received a respectable 1000 entries—a week before the 10 May deadline. The current funding program, called Framework 7, will spend more than €50 billion from 2007 to 2013. It’s an important funding source for researchers across Europe, though Framework 7 and its predecessors have been roundly criticized for weighing participants down in red tape. Europe’s research and innovation commissioner Méire Geoghegan-Quinn said at the beginning of her term that she wanted to find a more inspiring name for Framework 7’s successor, and in March the commission launched the contest.

The new name is part of a “clean break” that Geoghegan-Quinn has pledged for the new program, promising streamlined application procedures and fewer bureaucratic burdens for grantees. The Commission’s proposal for the new program will be released by the end of the year.

The commission has so far received more than 470 responses to its green paper, released in February, which outlined its concept for the new program.

Geoghegan-Quinn issued a statement today saying she was pleased with the response so far, which includes 50 written responses and 420 responses submitted through an online questionnaire.  “I guarantee that every contribution will be taken into account,” she said. The deadline to submit comments and responses is 20 May.

An international panel of judges will pick three finalists in the naming contest, which will then be put to the public for a vote. The author of the winning name will receive an expense-paid trip to the European Innovation Convention in Brussels later this year.

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