Research Framework Program

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The Research Framework Program ( FRP ) is a funding program of the European Commission . Since the beginning of 2014, the research framework programs have been combined with other programs in the Horizon 2020 program.


The European Union traditionally bundles its research, technological development and demonstration programs in time-limited research framework programs. The procedure by which the member states decide on a research framework program is regulated in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) (Art 182 TFEU). However, there is a special basis for the part of atomic research . This is based on the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community ( Euratom ). Both programs are proposed by the European Commission and decided by the European Council (Council) and European Parliament (EP).

The primary aim of the research framework program is to strengthen the scientific and technological foundations in the Community and to promote the development of its international competitiveness as well as to support all research activities that are deemed necessary by other Community policies. It is primarily about cross-border research and development , which lays the foundation for an innovative European economy and at the same time brings direct benefits for the citizens.

Formally, a research framework program consists of an EU regulation (or a resolution before Horizon 2020), the specific program (s) and participation guidelines based on it, as well as the more precise work programs. The specific programs and participation guidelines form the framework for a research framework program, the work programs specify the activities for each individual funding line .

Funding for previous research framework programs

The funding has increased continuously since the first research framework program (1984–1987):

  • 1. Research Framework Program (1984–1987) 3.3 billion euros
  • 2. Research Framework Program (1987–1991) 4.4 billion euros
  • 3rd Research Framework Program (1991–1994) 6.6 billion euros
  • 4th Framework Program for Research (1994–1998) 13.1 billion euros
  • 5th Framework Program (1998–2002) 15.0 billion euros
  • 6th Framework Program for Research (2002–2007) 17.5 billion euros
  • 7th Research Framework Program (2007-2013) 50.5 billion euros
  • Horizon 2020 (2014–2020) 70.2 billion euros (plus inflation growth of around 80 billion euros)

6th Research Framework Program

The 6th Research Framework Program (FP6) ran from June 3, 2002 to 2006. The budget was 17.5 billion euros and included the following priorities:

Structurally and formally, the FP6 came up with a few changes compared to its predecessor programs. In the context of the idea of ​​creating a European Research Area , which was in the foreground at FP6 , larger project associations, the Networks of Excellence (NoE) and Integrated Projects (IP) were introduced. Furthermore, more ownership was transferred to the consortia made up of at least three member states. Financial audits were introduced to continuously monitor the use of funds.

7th Research Framework Program

The 7th Research Framework Program (FP7) ran from January 1, 2007 to 2013. The annual budget was on average 41% higher than for FP6 (price level 2004), but also included subject areas that were not yet included in FP6. The preliminary total budget over the term was approx. 50.5 billion euros. For the first time, the duration was not four, but seven years, linked to the financial perspective , i.e. the planning of the entire EU budget . In January 2011, the European Commission decided on three immediate measures for the administration of funds in the current FP7, which in particular should facilitate the calculation of personnel costs and thus reduce the bureaucratic burden.

The FP7 was divided into four specific programs:


The specific program Cooperation is endowed with a total of 32,413 million euros and thus forms the core of FP7. Research projects are supported in which partners from different European countries create new knowledge in given subject areas. The focus is on the social usability of the results. The program is divided into the thematic areas:


The Ideas specific program supports individual scientists doing basic research with a total of 7,460 million euros . The granting of funds is organized and designed by the European Research Council (ERC).


The People specific program has a total volume of 4,728 million euros. It focuses on promoting the mobility of young researchers under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions .

Research capacities

The specific program for research capacities (Capacities) has a total budget of around 4,200 million euros and supports projects that serve to expand the European research area:

  • Research infrastructure (1,800 million euros),
  • Research for the benefit of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (1,300 million euros),
  • Knowledge-oriented regions (126 million euros),
  • Research potential (370 million euros),
  • Science in Society (280 million euros),
  • Support for the coherent development of research policies (70 million euros),
  • and Special International Cooperation Activities (185 million euros).

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The separation into the framework program and specific implementation programs means that the application of the subsidies is only regulated in more detail in the specific application programs.
  2. Within the framework of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom, EAGV), there is no separation into framework program and specific implementation programs within the meaning of Art 7 EAGV
  3. Less paperwork for researchers, press release of the European Commission, January 24, 2011  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as broken. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  4. Immediate reduction in bureaucracy for researchers and SMEs. EU research and innovation funding, January 4, 2011, accessed on July 19, 2020 .