It is a little known fact that there are more universities, businesses and other organisations participating in European programs for research and development from the UK than from any other country.
It is also a vast amount of public money – the EU budget for Framework 7 which runs from 2007 to 2013 is €51 billion. Indeed, the amount of money spent in the UK on R&D from EU budgets is roughly equal to the entire amount of support given domestically through R&D tax credits.
The European system of Framework Grants has a reputation for being the most bureaucratic and complex system in the world. Nevertheless, supporting research and development is vital for innovation and fundamental to future economic growth.
In light of this I have volunteered to be one of a small group of MEPs, and the only UK member, on a working group looking at simplification of framework grants and future strategy.
I would be interested the experiences and opinions of readers who have been involved in Framework funding projects in the past. Please email comments to email@example.com.