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The CEA's expertise within the European Research Area

Published on 31 March 2017

​European Research and Development Framework Programmes

As part of its European collaborations, the CEA is extensively involved in the framework programme for research and technological development. These funding framework programmes (FPs) were set up by the EU to support and encourage European research and support the competitiveness of industry, in accordance with the Treaty and, more recently, with the objectives of the European Research Area (ERA). The objectives and actions vary depending on the funding period. European projects under the FP system have existed since 1984.

7th Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP7): 2007-2013

The European Union's 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development (or FP7 for short) ran from 2007 to 2013. It was managed by the European Commission and its work continues today under the 2014-2020 programme entitled Horizon 2020.
FP7 consisted of a series of Europe-wide actions and programmes. As with FP6, which preceded it, its main objective was to build a European Research Area (ERA). Its objectives were:

  • To raise European research and technology to the highest level.
  • To stimulate creativity and excellence in European research.
  • To develop and strengthen human potential in European research.
  • To improve research and its capacity for innovation across Europe.

FP7 brought together all the European research initiatives in order boost efforts to promote jobs, growth and competitiveness in Europe. It was complemented by the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), education and training programmes and the structural funds. The budget for the seven-year period was €50.5 billion for non-nuclear research, and the 2007-2012 Euratom budget (for nuclear research) was €2.7 billion.

The CEA's achievements under the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP7)

The CEA has been a major player in FP7, submitting 2405 projects in all subject areas. Of those 2405 projects, 773 were accepted; of those, 183 were coordinated by teams at CEA.

The CEA is one of the five leading players in FP7 with one of the highest success rates (32%).

8th Framework Programme (Horizon 2020): 2014-2020

The Horizon 2020 framework programme for research (2014-2020) brings together, for the first time within a single programme, European research and innovation programmes such as the Framework Programme for Research and Development, Euratom, the innovation actions of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme, and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. It has a budget of nearly €80 billion to support projects across the whole innovation chain: from the initial idea for fundamental research to the new product, service or process for the market and society. It is helping to build the European Research Area and to implement the Europe 2020 strategy and its flagship 'Innovation Union' initiative. It aims to stimulate growth and jobs by making the European economy more competitive through innovation.

The CEA's achievements in 2014-2015 under Horizon 2020

The CEA has been heavily involved in Horizon 2020 from the outset. In the programme's first two years, the CEA's teams submitted 953 projects, 204 of which have been accepted. The CEA's success rate is therefore running at 21%, well above the European average. It has been Europe's third largest beneficiary in this period.

The European Research Council (ERC)

The mission of the European Research Council (ERC) is to support top exploratory research in Europe with very competitive calls for projects and selective funding. ERC's bottom-up type of research encourages initiative by researchers from all scientific fields. The quality and originality of an idea is more important than the subject field. The objective is to encourage scientific discovery and new technologies that will create new markets and jobs, as well as innovations that will benefit society. Over several years, the projects receive significant funding awarded individually to researchers, who are selected in an international competition by top-notch scientists.

ERC projects at the CEA

In France, CEA is among the top three organizations hosting the most ERC recipients. So far, 85 ERC projects have been conducted or are underway, including 82 in CEA's Fundamental Research Division (DRF) in the fields of physics, engineering and life sciences, and three at CEA Tech, the division responsible for technological research.

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the ERC, discover some of the researchers who carry projects selected by the European Research Council in CEA laboratories or in joint supervision.