The 6th EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development

The 6th EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP6) was a European Union program which coordinated quite a sizable fraction of all scientific and research funding in the Union into thousands of projects on The Continent throughout years 2002 to 2006. Among the FP6 grantees was the MarinERA project to which this website is dedicated.

How important is scientific research to the European Union?

Very. The subject of scientific research and development in European Union member states takes up one full chapter of the Treaty of Maastricht, which, together with its companion document the Treaty of Rome (also known as – and this truly displays all the splendor of history’s largest bureaucracy – the Trety on the functioning of the European Union), certainly comprise the most massive such document ever signed.

Official documentation for the FP6 stated emphatically that “Research and Technological Development (RTD) is an essential element in the functioning of industrialized countries […]. The competitiveness of companies and the employment they can provide depend to a great extent on RTD; and RTD is also essential for the support of other policies such as consumer protection or the protection of the environment. In short: The individual and collective wellbeing of citizens depends on the quality and relevance of RTD.”

How do EU Framework Programs work?

As with government contracting in many other nations, a certain amount of funding is made available and defined parties (in this case, essentially anyone even residing in an EU or aspirant EU nation) may submit a proposal to receive funding.

The interesting thing about EU FPGs is that the end result of a massive round of funding is a list of grantees which may include private organizations, public organizations, NGOs, thinktanks, individuals and university-centered groups. Many quality controls and checks are performed on each individual entity awarded with funding; in general, this system has been shown to achieve at least some results, though with a unit as gigantic as the European Union, easy generalizations cannot be made.

What was the time period and budget for EU FP6?

The 6th EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development ran from 2002 to 2006 and packet a budget of €17.5 billion. This figure represents up to 5% of the total expenditure on technology R&D within the European Union for any single year within the five-year span.

What was different about the 6th Framework Programme?

For the 6th Framework Programme, EU officials made it requisite that any medium- to large-sized funded project involve at least three EU nations, as “The main objective of FP6 is to contribute to the creation of the European Research Area (ERA) by improving integration and coordination of research in Europe.” Of course, this integration and standardization was all with an eye to European competitiveness on the open market.

During the FP6 funding period, the MarinERA project was one such awarded program. For FP7, various elements of the MarinERA program were reassembled and/or spun off so as to put in independent bids for funding in the 2007-2011 period.