Two new executive agencies to manage European research

Two new agencies to manage projects funded under the EU’s research framework programmes were created on 14 December, the European Research Council Executive Agency will help to manage the
projects funded by the European Research Council (ERC), established under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), it will be responsible for around ?7 billion over the course of FP7 (2007 to
2013).

The Research Executive Agency will administer the Marie Curie fellowship schemes, research programmes designed for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and parts of the space and security
research themes. The arrangement is particularly suited to these areas of FP7 as they involve large numbers of relatively small grants, and are unlikely to involve much policy input. The agency
will manage funding of ?6.5 billion.

The agencies are intended to improve the efficiency of research management by the European Commission, providing the best possible service to the European research community.

‘These agencies are good news for European research,’ said EU Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik. ‘Our aim is to make sure that as much of the Framework Programme as possible is
dedicated to research. We already have one of the lowest levels of administrative expenditure internationally for a research programme. I have made it a priority to ensure that FP7 gives great
service to the research community for less cost, and that as much money as possible can be used to finance research activities.’

Other FP7 measures intended to reduce the administrative burden include a reduction in reporting requirements, a new registration facility and a more streamlined computer system within the
Commission.

The two agencies were proposed in the legal document establishing FP7, and were approved by both the Member States and the European Parliament in November. Both agencies will be based in
Brussels.

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