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European Union publishes “Practical Guide to EU Funding”

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RAPID, a database of press releases run by the European Union’s DG Communication, this week announced the “Practical Guide to EU funding opportunities for Research and Innovation” to help all stakeholders find their way around all the different existing EU funding mechanisms.

As the RAPID press release points out, if the impact of the 7th Research Framework Program (or FP7 for short), the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Program and the Structural & Cohesion Funds, which are meant to support research, technological development and innovation (RTDI), is to be maximized, it is essential that EU sources of funding are used in a coherent way. 

The “Practical Guide to EU funding” provides user-friendly information on combining the different funding sources; it includes a description of each fund, advices for policy makers and an innovative Checklist and Scorecard. The Checklist and Scorecard allow potential beneficiaries to quickly identify exactly how they can access European funding at every stage of the development and implementation of a project.

As mentioned above, the EU possesses three key funding instruments to support research and innovation: the 7th Research Framework Program; the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Program and Cohesion policy which is funded through the Structural Funds and Cohesion Funds.

RAPID advises that “[w]hen operating individually, these three funding sources already act as effective tools in support of RTDI. However, their value can be further enhanced by combining them.”

The Practical Guide arises directly from the conclusions of the European Commission’s Communication “Competitive European Regions through Research and Innovation,” adopted in August 2007, which examined the current situation in relation to EU funding for research and innovation and called on Member States and regions to make more effective use of the available funding instruments.

The official text of the Practical Guide is available for download in English from CORDIS, the official portal of FP7.

RAPID states that the Guide will soon be available in the other Community languages and will also be developed as a user friendly web based application.