The European Commission adopted open calls as the basic participation mode for the four programmes that constitute FP7. Thus, calls for proposals are constantly being opened for every action under the four defined programmes (Cooperation, People, Ideas and Capacities). Each call considers three basic reference documents. They are: Work Programmes, Guide for Applicants and the Call itself.
The Cooperation Programme is definitely the broadest and with the highest budget amongst the four existing programmes; it has established Work Programmes with the applicable Guides and calls for the ten thematic areas.
Participation modalities in this section, where actions for research and development in the established thematic fields are concentrated, are the following:
A minimum of three European institutions from three different Member States;
One or more institutions from third countries (non-members of the European Union).
Selection criteria are: scientific and technological excellence of participants, coherence with the call requirements, and pertinence of the chosen subject according to the grounds set up in the thematic Work Programmes.
The research proposal (collaborative project) coordinator shall always be an institution of the Member State, for which liaison with peer institutions of excellence is paramount.
Specific Participation Modalities for Third Countries
Unlike the previous Framework Programme, which had an independent international collaboration programme (INCO), international collaboration in FP7 is incorporated in every thematic field -unless otherwise specified in a particular call- and also in specific actions (SICA).
Participation of third countries is open to every area, except for restrictions announced in the calls.
Participation of third countries institutions is conducted on equal terms with their European peers.
Third countries institutions are only allowed to participate in association with European counterparts from one or more Member States or Associated States.
Participation of the third country institution must be relevant to the project and the parties. Every participation is based on the principle of mutual interest and benefit.
As for participation in specific calls (SICAs), the minimum requirement is to have two institutions from different Member States and two from different third countries.
FP7 differs from its predecessors in its almost total openness to international cooperation with third countries. Under this view, the European Commission invited third countries to be part of the National Contact Points (NCPs) network for the first time.
Click here to access the official list in CORDIS of Chile’s National Contact Points (NCPs).
The ten broad theme areas proposed by the EU to be developed are: Health; Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Biotechnology; Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs); Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and New Production Technologies; Energy, Environment (including Climate Change); Transport (including Aeronautics); Socio-Economic Sciences and Humanities; Security; and Space.
Each programme included in FP7 incorporates an international dimension of itself.
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