Select Committee on Science and Technology Written Evidence


MEMORANDUM 12

Submission from the Office of Science and Innovation

ANSWERS TO FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS RAISED BY THE COMMITTEE AT THE SCIENCE QUESTION TIME ORAL EVIDENCE SESSION ON 18 OCTOBER 2006

Division of funding within the thematic priorities of the Co-operation Programme, Framework Programme 7

  Following Lord Sainsbury's "Science Question Time" appearance before the Science & Technology Select Committee on 18 October 2006, the Committee asked for further information on the division of funding within the thematic priorities of the Framework Programme 7 (FP7) Cooperation Specific Programme. In particular the Committee asked about the budget split across the Environment (including climate change) theme; the Energy theme; and research funded under the Euratom Programme.

  I enclose at Annex A the budget allocation across all the thematic priorities and the Euratom Programme which forms the basis of the Finnish Presidency's negotiations with the European Parliament, where their aim is to reach a Second Reading deal shortly. Whilst the process of scrutiny of the European Parliament has not yet concluded, it is unlikely that these figures will change significantly as a consequence of their deliberations. It is worth noting that all the thematic priorities will see an increase in budget from FP6 to FP7, with the Cooperation Specific Programme receiving approximately 65% of the total FP7 budget.

  During Lord Sainsbury's appearance before the Committee, some concern was expressed about the relative budget of the Environment (including climate change) thematic priority in comparison with other thematic priorities. It is important to note that only looking at the budget allocations per thematic priority does not necessarily give the full picture of funds available or an indication to the relative importance of any one policy area or sector. FP7 offers the opportunity for cross-disciplinary research, enabling researchers to access funding from multiple thematic priorities. The Energy thematic priority is a good example where activities and objectives aimed at research that are relevant to wider environmental issues such as climate change and energy efficiency are given clear priority—the Committee might be interested to note that the European Parliament has asked that a strong emphasis be given to renewables within this thematic priority. I should add that the rational and efficient use of energy has also been identified as a cross cutting theme across the entire FP7 Cooperation Programme.

November 2006


 
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