European R&D: Gehrer promises action during Austrian Presidency

January 31, 2006

On the occasion of the Austrian Council Presidency, the Federal Minister of Education, Science and Culture, Mrs. Elisabeth Gehrer presented the Austrian Research Priorities for the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee of the European Parliament on 31st January 2006.

Minister Elisabeth Gehrer explained the main challenges and opportunities ahead for the next six months of 2006 for science and research in Europe. One of the main objectives will be the timing of the launch of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP7). According to Minister Gehrer: "Researchers expect the EU to deliver a new and ambitious Programme by the end of this year. We have to avoid a gap between the current Framework Programme, which runs out at the end of 2006, and the new Programme."

The presentation to the ITRE Committee facilitated further understanding and brought closer positions on issues such as: increasing the financial resources for R&D in Europe, establishing an independent European Research Council, improving the framework conditions for SME participation, and reducing red tape through simplification.

Minister Gehrer highlighted the need for a strategy to stimulate research and innovation at regional, national and European level. According to her, "we need to address market barriers to research and innovation in a systematic way, and through life-long learning we should promote a culture that encourages entrepreneurship and risk-taking. It is time for action".
Presentation in ITRE Committee by Austrian Federal Minister Elisabeth Gehrer
Date: 31 January 2006
Time: 15.00
Presentation of Austrian Presidency Research Priorities
Location: European Parliament

For further information please contact:

Marta Czerniawska
Rue Wiertz, 50/28
B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 401 61 47
Fax: +32 2 401 68 68

Editor's note

Austrian Council Presidency Priorities in the Field of Research

7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7)
  • Ensure FP7 starts on time.
  • Assist the implementation decisions concerning Specific Programmes, Rules of Participation, Joint Research Centre, and envisaged activities according to Articles 169 and 171 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community.

    3% Action Plan
  • Observe and promote the implementation of the 3% Action Plan, a vital element of achieving the goals of the re-vamped Lisbon Agenda, which foresees investing 3% of GDP in research.
  • Prepare the ground for a Pact for Research and Innovation in Europe.

    ITER - International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor
  • Mediate the discussions on the legal aspects of and the international agreement over the planned construction of ITER in Cadarache (France).

  • Continue the talks on the European Space Programme and on Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), promoted by the Competitiveness Council on November 2005.

    International Cooperation
  • Support the Western Balkan countries in their endeavours to improve research and technology co-operation with the European Union (steering platform).
  • Discuss European R&D relations with Latin America and the Caribbean, with the aim of facilitating an improved support network (National Contact Points) for researchers from both regions.

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