European parliament adopts report on FP7

The European Parliament has adopted the report outlining the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) by an overwhelming majority. This endorses the structure of FP7. The report now gives broad support to the European Commission's proposed work programme, which will have a budget of EUR 50,521 billion. The Parliament also adopted, by a large majority, the report on the proposed European Atomic Energy Community's seventh Framework Programme (EURATOM).

Although EUR 50,521 billion is lower than both the Commission and many MEPs wanted, it is substantially higher than the EUR 16 billion budget of the current Framework Programme. MEPs were happy with the nine thematic areas outlined by the Commission, but voted to split the 'security and space' theme into two separate headings. They also stipulated that two thirds of the Energy budget should go towards research into renewable energy activities, energy efficiency and savings, and made some other adjustments to the allocation of funds among the different parts of the programme.

The votes on amendments referring to stem cell research were extremely close. In the end, the MEPs voted by a majority of just 25 votes to follow the line suggested by the Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), i.e. research on the use of both adult and embryonic human stem cells may be funded by FP7, subject to national laws and strict licensing rules. Italian MEP Marco Cappato, who is strongly in favour of stem cell research, described the vote as 'a success for a secular and tolerant Europe.' The result will be a disappointment to pro-life groups which have argued strongly against funding stem cell research.

The Parliament was enthusiastic about the creation of the European Research Council (ERC), but wanted to be sure it would enjoy real autonomy. They suggest it should be set up as an Executive Agency, before becoming an independent structure, after a brief transition phase. The Parliament asked the Commission to present a proposal to both the Parliament and Council, to "implement the ERC as a permanent, legally independent structure." An independent review of the ERC, will be held in 2008, when its structures and mechanisms may be modified.

"The programme is designed to respond to the competitiveness and employment needs of the EU," said Jerzy Buzek, the Polish MEP who drafted both the reports presented to the European Parliament. "It is my hope that the speed at which we have worked on the Seventh Framework Programme will be sustained. The European community of scientists and industry is looking forward to the successful start of the programme. All of us in the EU are waiting for the success of the Lisbon Strategy."

In a statement, the European Commission welcomed the vote, commenting that it remained largely in line with the original Commission proposal.

The document will now be debated by Member States, before a second reading in the Parliament later this year. The spokesperson for European research Commissioner, Janez Potocnik, welcomed the vote, saying it went very much in favour of the Commission's original proposal.

For further information, please visit: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/default.htm

Most Popular Now

Novartis and Microsoft Announce Collabor…

Novartis announced an important step in reimagining medicine by founding the Novartis AI innovation lab and by selecting Microsoft as its strategic AI and data-science partner for this effort. The...

Guerbet and IBM Watson Health Announce a…

Guerbet, a global specialist in contrast agents and solutions for diagnostic and interventional medical imaging, announced that it has signed a new agreement with IBM Watson Health to co-develop and...

Bayer Inks Deals with Eleven Startups un…

Bayer announced today that the company has signed collaboration agreements with eleven digital health startups. As part of the program, Bayer will support these startup companies aiming for longer-term collaborations...

Orion Health Delivers the First Health I…

The first Health Information Exchange (HIE) in the Middle East, Malaffi, went live at the end of July just six months after contracts were signed between the project company, Abu...

Joined Up Health and Care 2019 to Explor…

Professionals from across the country will come together to seek real answers on how to deliver closely integrated services, as the Joined Up Health and Care conference returns for its...

IMS MAXIMS Wins Healthcare Innovation Aw…

Health technology specialist IMS MAXIMS has been recognised for its innovative work in the UK and Irish healthcare market in the 2019 CV Business Innovator Awards. The company has been...

Almirall Takes a Leap into Dermatology D…

Almirall, S.A. (ALM) has launched its first call for innovation to start-ups focused on dermatology digital health. This initiative is the first step in the creation of an accelerator programme...

Health Tech Marketing and PR Agency Incr…

Highland Marketing, a full service agency for health techmarketing, PR and communications, has appointed Tia Dissanayake to a new account executive role,in which she will support the team withher life...

Brain-Computer Interfaces without the Me…

It sounds like science fiction: controlling electronic devices with brain waves. But researchers have developed a new type of electroencephalogram (EEG) electrode that can do just that, without the sticky...

Up-Close and Personal with Neuronal Netw…

How our brain cells, or neurons, use electrical signals to communicate and coordinate for higher brain function is one of the biggest questions in all of science. For decades, researchers...