BRAINPOoL is funded by the European union’s 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7 for short).
Framework programmes (FPs) are the main financial tools through which the European Union supports research and development activities across different scientific disciplines. FPs are proposed by the European Commission and adopted by Council and the European Parliament. FPs have been implemented since 1984.
The current framework – FP7 – begun in 2007, and will run till the end of 2013, with a total budget of €50 billion. The research element of this has experienced an increase in funding from previous years, and is a reflection of the high priority of research in Europe. Grants are determined on the basis of calls for proposals, and a peer-review process.
FP7 is seen as a key tool to respond to Europe’s needs, in terms of economic competitiveness. A focus has been to encourage multi-disciplinary research on real issues.
The BRAINPOoL consortium came together in response to a call under the Environment Theme of the FP7 ‘Cooperation’ Programme. The call specifically asked for ‘knowledge brokerage activities for engaging in a “beyond GDP” society’.
In 2014, a new phase of European Commission funding will begin under the heading ‘Horizon 2020: The framework programme for research and innovation’. This will continue the focus on interdisciplinary work, but will encourage researchers to focus further on societal problems.