Tuesday, 6 January 2009

EU Law: Research participation and dissemination

One of the aims of the European Community’s (European Union’s) Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) was to streamline the procedures for participants.

The European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009 started a few days ago with the objective to raise awareness of importance of creativity and innovation for personal, social and economic development, to disseminate good practices, stimulate education and research, and promote policy debate and development:

http://create2009.europa.eu/

We take a peek at the treaty level provisions concerning EU research and technological development (RTD) activities, especially secondary legislation with regard to participation and dissemination of research results.

Participants are invited to comment on how successful the FP7 streamlining exercise has been.

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Article 167 TEC

Article 167 (ex Article 130j) of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC) concerns rules for the participation in the multiannual framework programme for research and technological development and rules governing the dissemination of results.

The current Article 167 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC), as published in the latest consolidated version of the treaties, OJEU 29.12.2006 C 321 E/122:

(TITLE XVIII
RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT)

Article 167 TEC

For the implementation of the multiannual framework programme the Council shall:

— determine the rules for the participation of undertakings, research centres and universities,

— lay down the rules governing the dissemination of research results.



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Original Lisbon Treaty (ToL)

Article 2, point 138 of the Lisbon Treaty amended Article 167 TEC (OJEU 17.12.2007 C 306/86):

139) In Article 167, the words ‘the Council’ shall be replaced by ‘the Union’.



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Renumbering the Treaty of Lisbon (ToL)

The Table of equivalences of the original Treaty of Lisbon tells us that Title XVIII first became Title XVIII with the addition of space in the TFEU (ToL), and later renumbered Title XIX Research and technological development and space in the consolidated version.

Article 167 TEC initially became Article 167 TFEU (ToL) before the renumbering of the treaty made it into Article 183 TFEU in the consolidated version of the Lisbon Treaty (OJEU 17.12.2007 C 306/217–218).


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Lisbon Treaty consolidated

Article 183 TFEU

After one specific amendments and renumbering Article 183 TFEU appears like this in the consolidated version of the Treaty of Lisbon (OJEU 9.5.2008 C 115/130):

(TITLE XIX
RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT AND SPACE)

Article 183 TFEU
(ex Article 167 TEC)

For the implementation of the multiannual framework programme the Union shall:

— determine the rules for the participation of undertakings, research centres and universities,

— lay down the rules governing the dissemination of research results.




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Overview: EU research funding 2007 to 2013

Before looking at the detailed rules, some readers may want an overview of what the European Union has to offer in the area of research funding generally.

The Commission has published the booklet Competitive European regions through research and innovation – Practical guide to EU funding opportunities for research and innovation (Revision 2, 2 December 2008; 59 pages), available here:

ftp://ftp.cordis.europa.eu/pub/fp7/docs/practical-guide-rev2_en.pdf

At the Community level, the Union possesses three key funding instruments to support research and innovation: Cohesion policy which is funded through the Structural Funds and Cohesion Fund; the Research Framework Programme (FP7) and the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP).

The Practical guide offers information about EU funding opportunities.


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CORDIS

CORDIS – the Community Research & Development Information Service – offers a wealth of information about the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), accessible from here:

http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/home_en.html

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FP7 in Brief

The Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (2007 to 2013) is presented in an introductory brochure called FP7 in Brief – How to get involved in the EU 7th Framework Programme for Research (a pocket guide for newcomers):

http://ec.europa.eu/research/fp7/pdf/fp7-inbrief_en.pdf


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FP7 – Seventh Framework Programme (2007–2013)

After the background presented above, it is time to mention the main legal act concerning the FP7.

Decision No 1982/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013), published in OJEU 30.12.2006 L 412/1, is available here:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2006:412:0001:0041:EN:PDF


FP7 themes

The research and technological development (RTD) activities within the Seventh Framework Programme from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013 are carried out in the following thematic areas (Article 2):

(a) Health;

(b) Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology;

(c) Information and Communication Technologies;

(d) Nano-sciences, Nano-technologies, Materials and New Production Technologies;

(e) Energy;

(f) Environment (including Climate Change);

(g) Transport (including Aeronautics);

(h) Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities;

(i) Space;

(j) Security.

(ii) Ideas: supporting ‘investigator-driven’ research carried out across all fields by individual national or transnational teams in competition at the European level.

(iii) People: strengthening, quantitatively and qualitatively, the human potential in research and technological development in Europe, as well as encouraging mobility.

(iv) Capacities: supporting key aspects of European research and innovation capacities such as research infrastructures; regional research driven clusters; the development of a full research potential in the Community's convergence and outermost regions; research for the benefit of small and medium-sized enterprises (‘SMEs’); ‘Science in Society’ issues; support to coherent development of policies; horizontal activities of international cooperation.

2. The Seventh Framework Programme shall also support the non-nuclear direct scientific and technical actions carried out by the Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’) as defined in Annex I.

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The Decision offers some general rules and and its Annexes present thematic objectives, reasons, activities, a breakdown of available financial resources etc.


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Rules for participation and dissemination

The specific objective of this post is to point to the rules on participation in FP7 activities and the dissemination of research results.

The rules for participation mentioned in the first indent and for dissemination of research results mentioned in the second indent of Article 167 TEC (and Article 183 TFEU) are set out in Regulation (EC) No 1906/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 laying down the rules for the participation of undertakings, research centres and universities in actions under the Seventh Framework Programme and for the dissemination of research results (2007-2013), published OJEU 30.12.2006 L 391/1, available here:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2006:391:0001:0018:EN:PDF

Article 1 of Regulation 1906/2006 indicates the scope:

Article 1
Subject matter

This Regulation lays down the rules for the participation of undertakings, research centres and universities and other legal entities in actions undertaken by one or more participants by means of funding schemes identified in part (a) of Annex III to Decision No 1982/2006/EC, hereinafter ‘indirect actions’.

It also lays down rules, in accordance with those laid down in the Financial Regulation and the Implementing Rules concerning the Community financial contribution to participants in indirect actions under the Seventh Framework Programme.

As regards the results of research carried out under the Seventh Framework Programme, this Regulation lays down rules for the disclosure of foreground by any appropriate means other than that resulting from the formalities for protecting it, and including the publication of foreground in any medium, hereinafter ‘dissemination’.

In addition, it lays down rules for the direct or indirect utilisation of foreground in further research activities other than those covered by the indirect action concerned, or for developing, creating and marketing a product or process, or for creating and providing a service, hereinafter ‘use’.

In respect of both foreground and background, this Regulation lays down rules concerning licences and user rights thereto, hereinafter ‘access rights’.



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Guidance for participants

CORDIS offers participants further guides and model agreements on the page Find a document:

http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/find-doc_en.html


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Specific programmes

The specific programmes have their own rules, which require compliance.

Cooperation programme

COUNCIL DECISION 2006/971/EC of 19 December 2006 concerning the Specific Programme "Cooperation" implementing the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007 to 2013), published OJEU 30.12.2006 L 400/86, is available here:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2006:400:0086:0242:EN:PDF


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Ideas programme

COUNCIL DECISION 2006/972/EC of 19 December 2006 concerning the specific programme: "Ideas" implementing the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007 to 2013), published in OJEU 30.12.2006 L 400/243, is available here:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2006:400:0243:0271:EN:PDF


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People programme


COUNCIL DECISION 2006/973/EC of 19 December 2006 concerning the specific programme "People" implementing the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007 to 2013), was published in OJEU 2006 L 400, but the link did not lead to the first page of the Decision; look for page 270 manually.


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Capacities programme

COUNCIL DECISION 2006/974/EC of 19 December 2006 on the Specific Programme: "Capacities" implementing the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007 to 2013), published OJEU 30.12.2006 L 400/299, is available here:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2006:400:0299:0367:EN:PDF



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Joint Research Centre


COUNCIL DECISION 2006/975/EC of 19 December 2006 concerning the Specific Programme to be carried out by means of direct actions by the Joint Research Centre under the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007 to 2013), published OJEU 30.12.2006 L 400/368, is available here:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2006:400:0368:0403:EN:PDF


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European research area

The Commission’s Green Paper The European Research Area: New Perspectives (Text with EEA relevance), Brussels, 4.4.2007 COM(2007) 161 final.

The Green Paper raised a number of questions on how to deepen and widen the European Research Area so that it fully contributes to the renewed Lisbon strategy:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2007:0161:FIN:EN:PDF

Based on the consultation, on 2 December 2008 the Council agreed on a European Research Area Vision 2020 and the Commission has launched five new initiatives:

http://ec.europa.eu/research/era/2020_era_vision_en.html

http://ec.europa.eu/research/era/specific-era-initiatives_en.html


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Commission research activities

The Commission’s Directorate-General Research offers news, information and links to activities concerning research and technological development. General and updated information is available here:

http://ec.europa.eu/research/index.cfm

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Community research legislation

The Commission’s web page Research and innovation serves as a portal to summaries of EC (EU) law with regard to research and technological development:

http://europa.eu/scadplus/leg/en/s23000.htm


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Has the Seventh Framework Programme of European Union managed to streamline the rules for participation and dissemination enough, or are they still too heavy?


Ralf Grahn