In November, the European Commission published seven calls for proposals under the EU Seventh Framework (FP7) CAPACITIES programme, which aims to enhance research and innovation capacities throughout Europe.
The CAPACITIES programme has a budget of EUR 4,097 million to covers seven areas: research infrastructures, research for the benefit of SMEs, regions of knowledge, research potential, science in society , support to the coherent development of research policies, and international cooperation. The 'Regions of knowledge' initiative specifically aims to strengthen the research potential of European regions, in particular by encouraging and supporting the development, across Europe, of regional 'research-driven clusters', associating universities, research centres, enterprises and regional authorities which, will allow regions to intensify the role of research and technological development (RTD) in economic development and to invest better and more in RTD through cultivating innovative 'research-driven clusters' at a local and regional level.
There are two calls under this 'regions of knowledge' theme, the first call has a budget of EUR 9.3 million and concerns the analysis, mentoring and integration of research agendas and the definition of joint action plans. The second call has a budget of EUR 8 million and is concerned with facilitating the emergence of new regional research driven clusters and the mutual exchange of information. (closing date for both: 14 March 2008)
There are two calls for proposals for research potential. The first has a budget of EUR 29 million and is concerned with unlocking and developing the research potential of research entities established in the EU's convergence regions and outermost regions and the second, which has a budget of EUR 1 million, is concerned with providing evaluation facilities for research entities in the EU's convergence regions and outermost regions (closing date for both: 14 March 2008). The three other calls are for research for the benefit of SMEs with a budget of EUR 92.72 million (closing date: 11 April 2008), a call for activities in the field of science in society with a budget of EUR 28.08 million (closing date:18 March 2008) and a call for proposals for research infrastructures with a budget of EUR 90.08 million concerned with local development and research (closing date: 9 February 2008). Further details at: http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/home_en.html