The European Commission has vowed to make the application process for technological innovation funding easier and more efficient.
On Monday, Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner M
FP7 has funded almost 8,000 projects out of more than 40,000 applications since 2007. Nearly all European universities participate and about 15 percent of the participants are SMEs. The budget for FP7 is more than
Three concrete changes were announced on Monday. More flexibility was allowed for how personnel costs are calculated so that grant holders can use their usual accounting methods when requesting reimbursement, rather than having to set up an entire second accounting system just for FP7.
In addition, SME owners whose salaries are not formally registered can now be reimbursed on an hourly rate for their work on research projects. This will vary from about
Finally, a new steering group will be set up to coordinate the various Commission departments involved in research funding. These include Research and Innovation, Information Society and Media, Enterprise and Industry, and the Research Executive Agency, among others.
In most cases the Commission will allow participants in ongoing projects to benefit immediately from these changes. "A pre-requisite for delivering the best results is that research programs are highly attractive and accessible to researchers, European industry and entrepreneurs, universities and other research and innovation actors. This requires clarity of objectives and instruments, consistency and stability of rules, and lightness and speed of administrative procedures," explained the Commission.
The new measures must be approved by the European Council and the European Parliament.