RTD info MAYO 2005 - Surt
6 RTD info No. 45 May 2005E U R O P E A N R E S E A R C H P O L I C YProfile of the SeventhFramework Programme“Building the European Research Area of knowledge for growth”. Thiscentral theme is inspired directly by the stated desire to make the‘Lisbon Strategy’ a success and to set out the ‘growth triangle’formed by research, education and innovation policy. TheCommission’s proposal to establish the Seventh FrameworkProgramme has been before the Council and European Parliamentfor examination since the beginning of April 2005.the development of scientific co-operationand international technologies (a theme thatwill also be incorporated in all the aforementionedresearch actions).To trigger growth and competitiveness,characterised by a strengthenedEurope of knowledge andcommitment to the excellence needed toachieve this: that is the primary inspirationbehind the new Framework Programme. It isbuilt on five core priorities: to resolutely support research able to createindustrial applications and establish Europeas a key player in a global and sustainableeconomy; to give a new Europe-wide impetus to ‘pioneering’scientific research as a source of futureinnovation (priority expressed by the creationof the European Research Council – ERC); to help the research world recruit humanresources attaining a higher standard and toequip it with the most effective common toolsand infrastructure possible; to strengthen coordination between researchefforts at national and regional level; to simplify and render more efficient the operatingmethods of the Framework Programmeand the procedures for participating in it.These ambitions will be realised by meansof a Framework Programme consisting of fourmajor sub-programmes:CO-OPERATION – This will cover all supportfor research or coordination projects under thenine scientific and technological priorities. Theprogramme includes Euratom research (nuclearfission and protection and the ITER internationalprogramme on nuclear fusion).RESEARCHERS – Going from strength tostrength with each successive programme,this component concerns the continuation ofand building on present and future MarieCurie mobility actions, as well as efforts toimprove conditions for carrying out researchoccupations.CAPACITIES – This covers: support for research infrastructures; specific actions in favour of SMEs; efforts by the regions and for convergence inthe quest for excellence throughout the Union; support for highlighting the role of ‘science insociety’ and its perception by the generalpublic;Proposed breakdown betweenthe principal FP7 programmes(On the basis of a global budget of €68.5 billionfor the 2007-2013 period)9%12%15%6%58%The changes brought to the Seventh FrameworkProgramme are very much in keeping withthe spirit of its predecessor in terms of priorityresearch subjects. There is also a desire for continuityin the forms of support, the so-called‘instruments’. At the call for proposals stage,however, the choice will be rendered less predeterminedand thus more flexible.Nevertheless, a limited number of new formsof action have been introduced: support for ‘joint technological initiatives’ thatcan be put into place on the basis of variousstrategic avenues of innovation identified bythe ‘Technology platforms’ in various industrialor pre-industrial sectors; EU support for ‘variable geometry’ projectsinvolving a limited number of Member States,as provided for in the Treaties; the promotion of a new private financialdynamism for the development of researchwith a high innovation potential, through theRisk-Sharing Finance Facility device, developedwith the European Investment Bank(EIB).As for the rest, there will be strengthened synergybetween the Framework Programme andthe other policies pertinent to the Lisbon Strategy,ranging from the Structural and CohesionFunds to education, and including Europeanenterprise and innovation policy and trans-European networks.IDEAS – This programme is dedicated to thenew dimension of ‘pioneering research’ (supportfor the ERC).Co-operationIdeasResearchersCapacitiesEuratomTo find out more0 europa.eu.int/comm/research/future/index_en.cfm0 http://www.cordis.lu/fp7/
T E X T I L E I N D U S T R Y RTD info No. 45 May 20057TEXTILESPastBraiding machine – IFTH prototype ©IFTHPresentFUTUREClose to the body, inextricably linked to our wellbeing,a means of expressing our personality, andpresent in a thousand ways in our day-to-dayactivities: textiles occupy a truly unique position interms of man’s relationship with matter. One could saythey are part of the fabric of human society. From theartisanal production of the distant past to the adventof modern industry, textiles have remained a field inwhich a flair for creativity and the search for innovationhave been a constant source of inspiration andinventiveness.Europe has always been a key player in the everchangingworld of textile innovation. Throughout the20th century, it was the sector’s number one producerand trader at each of the many stages of fabricproduction, as well as in garment making and in thefashion industry – which acts like a dynamo for theentire sector.Over the past two decades, however, this industrialfortress has been subject to constant wear and tear. Thecompetitive battle began primarily in the labourintensiveclothing sector, whole areas of which havemigrated to low-wage countries.More recently, an even more important change, thistime affecting the complete chain from fibre productionto the woven finished products, has come to threatenthe industry as a whole. All the systems for controllingworld textile trade – known as multifibre agreements –have been progressively revised. In this respect, 2005is a pivotal year. It marks the beginning of a new andcompletely liberalised world textile trade, completingthe process of quota dismantling that began a decadeago during the Uruguay Round of world trade talks.In the new conditions of an increasingly multipolarglobal economy and the growing industrial strength ofemerging countries – such as China, India, Pakistanand Brazil – the textile sector seems to be a particularlysensitive point for Europe. (1)In meeting the formidable challenge of globalcompetition, this sector – which employs 2.5 millionpeople in the EU-25 – will have to draw on a widerange of EU competences in the field of social,enterprise, regional and international relations policies.At the same time, attention – and the hope of saving,or rather reinventing, the sector – is turning to theresearch and inventiveness that Europe can harness tobounce back and remain a market leader. After thecontinuous innovation of the past century, there aredoubtless still some surprises in store.(1)At the request of several Member States, the European Commission launched aprocedure to implement safeguard measures aiming to counterbalance Chinesetextile imports at the end of April.