EUROPE: EUR6 billion for research and innovation

European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn (pictured) will announce tomorrow a EUR6 billion (US$7.7 billion) fund for research and innovation. Geoghegan-Quinn will give details of the main fields of research and innovation to be covered and will call for proposals.

A release from her office says the scale of funding for 2011 alone will provide a significant boost to jobs and economic growth in "cutting-edge sectors across the European Union at a time when many countries are struggling to cope with the fallout from the world-wide economic crisis".

The European Union currently funds the world's largest single research programme: the Seventh Framework Programme with a budget of more than EUR53 billion from 2007-2013.

In the past three years, the programme has provided more than EUR12 billion for research. Adopting the Europe 2020 strategy, Europe's political leaders have put research and innovation at the top of the political agenda, making it the cornerstone of plans for investment in sustainable growth and jobs.

Next September, Geoghegan-Quinn will launch Europe's Innovation Union Strategy aimed at creating an innovation economy, or i-conom, to create jobs and sustainable economic growth.