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Document 51994PC0068(10)

Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION adopting a specific research, technological development and demonstration programme in the field of agriculture and fisheries (including agro-industry, food technologies, forestry, aquaculture and rural development) (1994-1998)

/* COM/94/68 final - CNS 94/0088 */

OJ C 228, 17.8.1994, p. 131–142 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT)


Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION adopting a specific research, technological development and demonstration programme in the field of agriculture and fisheries (including agro-industry, food technologies, forestry, aquaculture and rural development) (1994-1998) /* COM/94/68FINAL - CNS 94/0088 */

Official Journal C 228 , 17/08/1994 P. 0131

Proposal for a Council Decision adopting a specific research, technological development and demonstration programme in the field of agriculture and fisheries (including agro-industry, food technologies, forestry, aquaculture and rural development) (1994-1998) (94/C 228/10) (Text with EAA relevance) COM(94) 68 final - 94/0088(CNS)

(Submitted by the Commission on 30 March 1994)


Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 130 I (4) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament,

Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee,

Whereas, by its Decision . . ./. . ./EC, the Council and the European Parliament adopted a Fourth Framework Programme for Community activities of research, technological development and demonstration (hereinafter RTD), for the period 1994 to 1998, specifying, in particular, the activities to be pursued in the field of agriculture and fisheries (including agro-industry, food technologies, forestry, aquaculture and rural development);

Whereas this Decision should be taken in the light of the grounds set out in the preamble to the aforesaid Decision;

Whereas Article 130 I (3) of the Treaty stipulates that the Framework Programme is to be implemented through Specific Programmes developed within each activity; whereas each Specific Programme shall define the detailed rules for implementing it, fix its duration and provide for the means deemed necessary;

Whereas this programme is implemented mainly through shared cost and concerted actions and accompanying and support measures;

Whereas in accordance with Article 130 I (3) of the Treaty, it is appropriate to make an estimate of the means deemed necessary for the realization of this specific programme; whereas the funds effectively available shall be determined by the budgetary authorities according to the relative priorities given within the First Action of the Fourth Framework Programme;

Whereas the Decision . . ./. . ./EC (Fourth Framework Programme) foresaw that the overall maximum amount available for the Fourth Framework Programme will be reviewed no later than 30 June 1996 in view of being increased, and that as a result of this review, the amount deemed necessary to implement the present programme could be supplemented;

Whereas in order to attain the objectives and meet the challenges, in the field of agriculture and fisheries (including agro-industry, food technologies, forestry, aquaculture and rural development), a programme of RTD should support:

- guaranteeing the competitiveness, efficiency and sustainable development of the agricultural sector (agriculture, horticulture, forestry and fisheries) and the agro-industrial sector (food and non-food, including bioenergy and bioplastics);

- the evolution of community policies (especially agriculture and fisheries);

- responding to societal needs to provide a wide range of healthy and nutritional food products and non-food products compatible with the environment;

- contributing to sustainable development, the preservation and improvement of rural and coastal development.

Whereas this programme can contribute markedly to the stimulation of growth, to the reinforcement of competitiveness and to the development of employment within the Community as indicated in the White Paper 'Growth, Competitiveness and Employment' (1).Whereas the contents of the Fourth Framework Programme for Community RTD activities have been defined in conformity with the principle of subsidiarity; whereas this programme further sets out detailed contents of activities to achieve in conformity with this principle in the field of agriculture and fisheries (including agro-industry, food technologies, forestry, aquaculture and rural development);

Whereas the Decision . . ./. . ./EC (Fourth Framework Programme) foresees that a Community activity is required if, among other reasons, the research contributes to the economic and social cohesion of the Community and encourages the overall harmonious development of the quality of its science and technology and that the present programme is supposed to contribute to the realization of these objectives;

Whereas this programme and its implementation should contribute to improving the synergies between the RTD activities in the field of agriculture and fisheries (including agro-industry, food technologies, forestry, aquaculture and rural development), by research centres, universities and industry, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), established in the Member States, and between these and the corresponding Community RTD activities;

Whereas the rules for the participation of industry, research centres (including the JRC) and universities, as well as the rules governing the dissemination of research results, are laid down in the measures provided for in Article 130 J;

Whereas for the implementation of this programme, besides associating the countries which are members of the European Economic Area (EEA), other international cooperation activities might be necessary, in accordance with Article 130 M, with other third countries and international organizations;

Whereas the implementation of this programme also implies activities for the disseminaton and exploitation of RTD results, in particular towards small and medium sized enterprises, particularly those located in Member States or regions which have the lowest participation in the programme, as well as activities to promote mobility and training of researchers carried out within this programme developed in this present programme and in so far as necessary for its adequate implementation;

Whereas the implementation of this programme requires to provide for measures intended to encourage participation of SME's, in particular technology stimulation measures;

Whereas an assessment should be made of the socio-economic impact of activities undertaken in this programme;

Whereas, on the one hand, this programme's state of implementation should be reviewed in a permanent and systematic way, in order to adapt it, where necessary, to the scientific and technological developments in this field; and on the other hand, an independent evaluation should be conducted, in due time, on the results achieved by the programme, in order to provide every appropriate information as necessary to determine the goals of the Fifth RTD Framework Programme; whereas, a final evaluation will be necessary at the end of the programme to assess the results obtained in terms of the objectives defined in this Decision;

Whereas the JRC may participate in the indirect actions covered by this programme;

Whereas the JRC shall also contribute through its own direct actions programme to the implementation of the research included in the present programme;

Whereas the Scientific and Technical Research Committee (CREST) has been consulted.


Article 1

A Specific Programme of research, technological development and demonstration in the field of agriculture and fisheries (including agro-industry, food technologies, forestry, aquaculture and rural development) as defined in Annex I is hereby adopted for a period beginning on (date of adoption) and ending on 31 December 1998.

Article 2

1. The funds estimated as necessary for the execution of the programme amount to ECU 607 millions, including 7,3 % for staff and administrative expenditure.

2. An indicative allocation of funds is set out in Annex II.

3. The funds estimated as necessary as indicated above may be increased. As a result of and in conformity with the Decision mentioned in article 1 of paragraph 3 of the Decision . . ./. . ./EC (Fourth Framework Programme).

4. The budgetary authority shall lay down the available appropriations for each financial year in agreement with the scientific and technological priorities fixed by the Fourth Framework Programme.

Article 3

Detailed rules for the implementation, besides those provided for in Article 5, are set out in Annex III.

Article 4

1. The Commission shall continually and systematically monitor, with appropriate assistance from independent, external experts, the progress within this programme in relation to the objectives set out in Annex I, and in particular whether the objectives, the priorities and the funds are still adequate to the changing situation. Where necessary, this review shall be accompanied by proposals to adapt or complete this programme, in accordance with the review's conclusions.

2. In order to contribute to the global assessment provided for in Article 4 (2) of the Decision adopting the Fourth Framework Programme, an evaluation of the management and the results achieved by the activities undertaken in the field covered by this programme, during the five years preceding the evaluation, shall be conducted in due time for the Commission by independent experts.

3. At the end of this programme, the Commission shall conduct a final evaluation by independent experts of the results obtained concerning the objectives defined in Annex III of the Fourth Framework Programme and in Annex I of this Decision. It shall submit the final evaluation report to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee.

Article 5

1. A work programme shall be drawn up by the Commission in accordance with the objectives outlined in Annex I and will, as required, be implemented. It will define in detail the scientific and technological objectives and identify the steps for the implementation of the programme as well as the necessary finance for each method of implementation.

The work programme can also allow participation in some activities originating from the Eureka framework.

2. The Commission shall make calls for proposals for projects on the basis of the work programme.

Article 6

1. The Commission shall be responsible for the implementation of the programme.

2. For measures foreseen in Article 7 (1), the Commission shall be assisted by a Committee, composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by a representative of the Commission.

The representative of the Commission shall submit to the committee a draft of the measures to be taken. The committee shall deliver its opinion within a time limit which the chairman may lay down according to the urgency of the matter. The opinion shall be delivered by the majority provided for in Article 148 (2) of the Treaty as regards adoption of Decisions which the Council is required to adopt on a proposal from the Commission. The votes of the representatives of the Member States within the committee shall be weighted in the manner set out in that Article. The chairman shall not vote.

The Commission shall adopt the measures envisaged when they are in accordance with the opinion of the committee.

When the measures envisaged are not in accordance with the committee's opinion, or if no opinion is delivered, the Commission shall withut delay submit to the Council a proposal relating to the measures to be taken. The Council shall act by qualified majority.

If, on the expiry of a period of one month from referral of the matter to the Council, the latter has not acted, the proposed measures shall be adopted by the Commission.

Article 7

1. The procedure laid down in Article 6 (2) shall apply to:

- the preparation and updating of the work programme referred to in Article 5 (1),

- the assessment of the projects proposed for a Community contribution and of the estimated amount of this contribution on a project basis, where this amount exceeds ECU 0,5 million,

- the measures to be undertaken to evaluate the programme,

- any adaptation of the indicative breakdown of the amount set out in Annex II, not having been decided through the budgetary procedure.

2. The Commission shall inform the committee, for each of its meetings, of the current state of implementation of the programme as a whole.

Article 8

The Commission is hereby authorized, in accordance with Article 228 (1) of the Treaty, to open the necessary negotiations for the conclusion of international agreements with European third countries, with a view to associating them with all, or part, of the programme.

Article 9

This Decision is addressed to the Member States.

(1) Doc. COM(93) 700 final of 5. 12. 1993.



The Specific Programme fully reflects the approach embodied in the Fourth Framework Programme in terms of the selection criteria and the scientific and technical goals which it pursues.

Paragraph 4.C of Annex III, first activity of the abovementioned Framework Programme is an integral part of this programme.

The economic sectors encompassed by this programme can be divided into four groups: the primary sector (agriculture, horticulture, forestry, fisheries); the 'input' industries (e.g. seeds, juveniles for aquaculture, fishing technology and inputs for fisheries, machinery, chemicals, fertilizers, feed, etc.); and the processing industries (wood, paper, pharmaceuticals, food, sugar and starch industries, bioenergy, etc.) and other rural and coastal activities. These large sectors include large companies and numerous SMEs developing and producing both niche and bulk products which would benefit from the programme as well as the cooperatives, the 10 million farmers, and fishermen and 380 million consumers of the Community.

The major Community policies of agriculture, rural development, fisheries, environment, and the Internal Market apply to primary production and to the final transformation industries. The developments which will arise from activities under this programme will contribute to these policies and the improvement of European primary production in agriculture, fisheries, forestry and the downstream industries and users. The major challenge in this area is to contribute to a better match between the production and utilization of biological raw materials in Europe, in particular through the improvement of their original quality. New markets and products will have to be developed for raw materials produced by agriculture, forestry and fisheries which meet the demands and requirements of the end users.

Research in this aera will provide a strong scientific research base for a competitive, efficient and sustainable primary production and agro-industrial sector; to support the evolving Community policies (especially the major Community policies of agriculture, rural development, fisheries, environment and the Internal Market) and to respond to societal needs for a wide range of healthy and nutritious food, and new non-food products which are produced compatible with the environment.

Research should seek to increase competitiveness, efficiency and viability of the agricultural, fishery sectors and related industry sectors, promote rural development and remove bottlenecks which are hindering the wider use of agricultural, forestry and fishery raw materials for new and improved food and non-food products, and to stimulate the emergence of new environmentally safe products, outlets and processes within the agricultural, forestry, agro-industrial and fisheries sectors. Therefore research must respond to socio-economic issues of rural and coastal communities, to safety, quality, health and environmental implications of new food and non-food products for which it is clear there is a demand from the public.

Prenormative research will be initiated and supported in order to provide a sound scientific base for the setting of standards and regulations relating to the production and use of biological resources.

Demonstration activities will have the objective to prove, in a phase consecutive to that of experimental research and small-scale technological development, the technical viability of systems and methods of production, of new technologies or products, together with, as appropriate, their economic advantage. These projects will be pre-competitive, and should as such focus particularly on the application of new technologies and involve participation by both producers and users. In order to reduce project costs, the scale of operations for demonstration projects will be the minimum scale required to obtain reliable practical information about the performance of new systems and methods of production and of the particular new technologies. These demonstration operations can be implemented in any of the areas covered by this Specific Programme. A bottom-up approach will be applied to identify the best demonstration opportunities.

The association in inter-disciplinary projects of technology producers, technology users, and producers and users of agricultural raw materials, will be pursued in order to ensure an efficient transfer of new technological knowledge for the benefit of manufacturing companies, user services, and related public bodies.

An integrated approach in biomass-bioenergy will be used covering the whole bioenergy chain including production and combined processing of agricultural raw materials, conversion and use of these materials for energy purposes.

In order to improve dialogue and understanding between the main national and sociopolitical bioethical positions, whilst recognizing the cultural differences which exist in Member States, research will be undertaken to investigate ethical, legal and social aspects of the sectors included in this programme.

Measures of technological stimulation based on the experience of the CRAFT action and feasibility awards will be implemented in order to encourage and facilitate the participation of SMEs.

Objectives requiring concentrated means

Integrated production and processing chains:

There is the potential in the agro-industrial sector to create significant new markets which will utilize biological raw materials from Europe. Bio-based non-food products will often have to compete with established products and it is essential to optimize the complete production chains in order to develop economically feasible opportunities and to generate the optimal qualities.

To this end all necessary skills and technologies, particularly biotechnologies, related to the individual links in the production chains will be combined in integrated food and non-food projects addressing those chains for which Europe has a competitive advantage. In terms of participants strong emphasis will be put on the participation of producers and users of biological raw materials in joint projects, closely cooperating with scientists. The wood and biomass production and processing chains, where overall efficiency is most likely to generate significant impact on e.g. rural economies, will be addressed.

Considerable efforts will also be devoted to higher value-added novel bio-based intermediate and end-products. Synergistic effects of combining different food and non-food production will be sought, e.g., by optimizing the conversion of by-products to energy and other non-food products.

It is the intention to create large projects which will focus on all aspects of major crop group chains. These projects will encompass the primary production of the crop group (for example cereals), the processing to food and/or non-food end-use products. It should bring together the necessary critical mass so as to create a significant impact, within the short to medium-term, on the development of new technologies and products within each major crop group chain.

There are 5 lines envisaged: Industrial uses for cereal crops; Industrial uses for vegetable oil crops; industrial uses for protein crops; forestry-wood-chain; and biomass for energy and non-food uses.

An integrated approach in biomass-bioenergy is necessary to ensure consistency and relevance of Community RTD activities covering the whole bioenergy chain in its technical and non-technical aspects (including e.g. energy balance, cost effectiveness, policy aspects, etc. . .): production and combined processing of agricultural raw materials, conversion and use of these materials for energy purposes.

This strategic approach will be jointly elaborated by this programme and the energy programmes. Whereas this research programme will focus on raw material production, logistics and processing, the activities in the energy programme will focus on work linked to conversion and use of solid biomass.

Scaling-up and processing methodologies:

The transfer from laboratory to industrial scale is characterized by major problems and bottlenecks, such as homogeneity of raw material supply, fluid dynamics, heat transfer, flocculation, product recovery, equipment, etc. Improved methodologies will be developed for designing and testing innovative agro-industrial processes and for the application of biotechnology, while reducing the economic risks currently associated with investing in new technology.

In multidisciplinary projects scientists and engineers will be brought together in order to understand the specific problems directly resulting from increasing the scale from laboratory to industrial levels. In particular the development and improvement of methodologies (e.g. specialized instrumentation, structured models, and simulation methods) used for scale-up, design and testing of agro-industrial processes will be jointly developed.

The upstream 'green' bio-based chemistry, and applied biotechnologies involving enzymatic and fermentative biosynthesis, and the downstream activities of fractionation, separation and product development, are typical examples of processes which pose technological difficulties in scaling up to the industrial operational scale, and where synergy between chemical engineering in design, instrumentation, and equipment, and the life scientist will be most effective. Research on upgrading of by-products from fermentations and other processing industries will be undertaken.

These activities will be complementary to and synergistic with the fundamentally oriented bioprocessing activities within the Biotechnology programme and the more applied activities within the Industrial Technologies Programme.

Generic science and advanced technologies for nutritious foods:

The food and drink industry, including fish processing, ranks second in terms of output in Europe. Research should improve the industry's competitive position but also provide consumers with a safer higher quality, more nutritious and health promoting diet.

Generic technologies will be developed by the application of biotechnology to produce commercial crops with enhanced performance, improved production efficiency and nutritional qualities, again complementing fundamentally oriented research within the Biotechnology Programme.

Other research will concentrate on generic scientific phenomena involved in the conversion of biological raw materials into food, and its metabolism. The emphasis will be on a multidisciplinary, molecular and cellular physiological approaches which will support new advanced technologies for the food quality, safety and wholesomeness, including freshness and spoilage of seafood.

Community activities will concentrate on methods for the quantification of quality, origin identification, wholesomeness attributes, control methods, basic food science (structures, interactions), food functionality in-vivo and in-vitro, novel processing technologies, equipment and products (emphasizing biotransformation/biotechnology), and implications of these for consumer behaviour. This work will also encompass research on upgrading of fishery products and better utilization of under-used species and by-products.

Nutritional diseases and disorders are an increasing aspect of modern lifestyles. Multidisciplinary research combining production, processing and health aspects, will focus on the relationship between dietary components and health status, particularly food absorption and metabolism, the role of intestinal flora and immunology, and the tailoring of foods for specific nutritional requirements and functions.

Agriculture, forestry, rural development, and fisheries and aquaculture:

The research in this area has the goal of accompanying and evaluating the Community policies and the identification of solutions to face the changing rural and coastal world. The need is to develop new production systems which are economically viable, which are both protective of the environment and maintain an adequate level of employment. An improvement in the economic situation of agriculture will be also sought by means of quality products, diversification of food and non-food products and farming activities, and by cost-reductions.

In the forestry sector, research should contribute to an overall achievement of the objectives for the protection and the long-term development of forests adopted at the World Summit at Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and on the occasion of Ministerial Conferences on the protection of forests in Europe (Strasbourg 1990 and Helsinki 1993) and a better utilization of forests production and the divers functions of the forest. Finally, research should improve the scientific base which underpins the implementation of the rural development policy.

An improvement of the economic situation of aquaculture and fisheries will be sought by means of quality of products, diversification of products (food and non-food) and activities and by a reduction of costs.

Agriculture, forestry and rural development

Optimization of methods, systems and primary production chains: In the new scenario, as a result of the reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP), it is necessary to develop the scientific bases which will identify and develop the means, techniques, systems and chains of production which will lead progressively towards a less intensive agriculture, compatible with the protection of the environment and natural resources, economically viable, while maintaining a sufficient employment level. New positive uses for set-aside lands for farmers and the Community should also be found.

In this context the priorities should be: evaluation of environmental impact of agricultural practices, reduction and optimal use of inputs, uses for set-aside lands, adaption of production chains.

The utilization of biotechnology, combined with traditional methods should lead to the creation of new genotypes in the area of animal production, of new varieties and hybrids, more resistant and/or giving improved yield (especially for non-food uses) and better quality.

These activities, of which the results should be directly applicable to agriculture will be complementary to those of a more fundamental character within the 'Biotechnology' programme and also to those of commercial application within the area above of generic science. Emphasis will be placed on enhancing the value of products and by-products of agriculture, implementation of new methods of biological protection of drops, creation of new genotypes or varieties leading to a reduction in use of inputs, by means of biotechnology and use of micro-organisms and resulting in reduced costs of production. This aspect is of particular importance in the area of competitiveness of agricultural products and their eventual non-food utilization.

In support of the management of the CAP, research work will also be directed towards the methods of controlling the implementation of regulations, improvement of means of following and managing markets and analysis of the ex-ante and ex-post impact of instruments of the CAP, the elaboration of economic forecasting models or other instruments of quantitative analysis, of information systems and decision support for farmers and decision makers.

Quality policy: In the area of quality products and the support of new Community regulation instruments (labels of origin, geographical indications and specific product types, biological agriculture) research should identify and characterize the criteria, the products and quality chains, define and diffuse the conditions which assure as high as possible income for primary producers.

Work will be carried out particularly on the improvement of methods of quality control of primary products, increasing the value added, and its benefit to all operators of the chains, on the primary concept of 'total quality', on analyses of the consumer behaviour, on the scientific bases for the promotion of agricultural primary products.

Diversification of production, farming sector activities and new land uses: Diversification of production and the farming sector activities as well as new uses of agricultural land require a research effort for the identification and analysis of all possibilities, without exception (food and non-food). Likewise the technical and economic references will be equally defined and contribute to the highest possible development, favouring a multidisciplinary approach in this context.

It will be necessary to strengthen the scientific base relating to diversification and re-orientation of production towards food and non-food products (including renewable energies) and well as the development of complementary activities for farmers (e.g. agri-tourism, farm crafts, agri-forestry, etc.). Particular attention will be given to the economic viability and the compatibility of these new primary productions and activities which regard to respect for the environment.

Animal and plant health, animal welfare: Research should provide scientific and technical support for the development and management of Community norms and regulations especially in the context of the large Internal Market and the responsibilities of the Commission in the areas of plant and animal health as well as disease control and agricultural pests.

Of particular importance will be scientific support for hygiene, detection, diagnosis, evaluation of risks, epidemiology of diseases and prevention and control measures, the analysis of aspects relating to animal well being, optimization of factors relating to animal feed, as well as research in support of approval relating to phytosanitary and animal health products so as to improve the safety of the users of these products and of consumers.

Utilization of biotechnology should also contribute to the development of detection tests and diagnostic methods to combat animal and plant diseases.

Multifunctional management of forests: Following the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development, the Community is resolutely committed to the protection and sustainable development of forests. At the Ministerial conferences on the protection of forests in Europe (Strasbourg 1990 and Helsinki 1993) it is committed to actively contribute to a series of co-ordinated activities at European level leading to improved protection and an ecologically viable management of forests resources. In this context, but also in keeping with the implementation of agriculture and forestry measures agreed as part of the reform of the CAP, the priorities for forestry research should be: improvement of the knowledge base leading to implementation of sustainable management of forests, functioning of forest eco-systems, development and improvement of agro-forestry systems, integration of the multiple functions of forests.

Rural development: Research must provide the scientific support for the implementation of the Community policy of rural development which will evolve significantly during the period 1994-1999. Themes which will be important are the following: tool methodologies for the assessment, monitoring and evaluation of rural development programmes and measures, analysis of policies to improve agricultural structures and rural development, typology of rural zones, identification of key socio-economic indicators, analysis of principal problems, potentials and constraints, introduction of new technologies and diversification of activities in fragile rural areas (especially objectives 1 and 5b), identification and mobilization of partners and organizations likely to be efficient participants in rural development activities, models of economic development based on an integrated approach and using local potential.

In a general manner, particular attention will be given to economic viability and its compatibility with the protection of the environment.

Fisheries and aquaculture

The overall objective is to allow a better knowledge and understanding of the marine ecosystem, especially the interactions between the environment, fishing activities and aquaculture (including the development of technology which reduces environmental impact), in order to establish conditions leading to a balanced exploitation of the fisheries and aquaculture resources of the Community. Socio-economic considerations are recognized as an integral part of the programme, together with the associated requirement to develop appropriate methodologies for evaluating fisheries and aquaculture policies.

Work in this sector will be targeted on five areas:

- Impact of environmental factors on marine resources: The objective is to generate a better understanding of the influence of environmental factors on key biological parameters (recruitment, distribution, natural mortality etc.). This work, where appropriate, will link with activities within the Marine Science and Technology Programme.

- Environmental impact of fisheries and aquaculture activities: The objective is to generate a better knowledge and understanding of the effects that fisheries and aquaculture have on the ecosystem against the background of other perturbations in the environment caused by natural (e.g. hydrographic) and anthropogenic factors other than fisheries (e.g. pollution, eutrophication, gravel extraction) with the aim of ensuring the conditions for a balanced exploitation of fisheries and aquacultured resources at the Community.

- Biology of species for optimization of aquaculture: The work under this heading will contribute to a better knowledge of the biology of aquatic species, with the objective to make the industry economically profitable without being detrimental to the environment. Special emphasis will be put on the genetic adaptation of aquacultured species, together with pathological issues and multi-disciplinary approaches. Furthermore, investigation of new species as a means of diversification will be promoted.

- Socio-economic aspects of the fishing industry: The objective is to generate better knowledge and understanding of the operation and management of all sectors of the fishing industry including connected industries. Particular emphasis will be placed on multi-disciplinary studies.

- Improved methodology: The aim is the improvement of existing methodologies with emphasis on the collection of data and the development of new instruments and techniques.

Objectives addressed by concertation

In areas where Member States have extensive programmes, the focus will be on concertation of these efforts in order to optimize the overall efficiency. This concertation will be executed by establishing European networks which will bring together most of the relevant actors in the field. Examples of areas where this is appropriate are:

- Primary production in agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture with main emphasis on competitiveness, sustainability, quality, security of supply and interactions with the environment;

- Rural and coastal development: The RTD activities at Member State level, which could be relevant to rural and coastal development, are quite disperse. By providing a European forum in the area of research for the exchange of experience, know-how and methods, European concertation activities will help to develop innovative approaches to overcome the problems of these regions. Special attention will be paid to the opportunities offered by new economic activities in rural and coastal regions, training, as well as the assessment of their socio-economic and environmental impact;

- Food production and processing: Networks will be created which better integrate research on-going at national level especially bringing together research in food production, safety, health and socio-economic aspects and incorporating this experience with food processing.

This pooling of experience should create synergistic effects of benefit to primary producers, processors, consumers and the other actors in rural and costal development.

In conclusion the actions within this programme seek to extend the application of the basic technologies developed in biotechnology and biomedicine and also as appropriate in environment, energy and targeted socio-economic research.

In certain areas of competence, complementary activities will be implemented by the JRC, in close collaboration with national laboratories, particularly in the areas of analysis and technical support to the CAP and CFP.





1. The rules for the financial participation by the Community are set out in Annex IV of the Decision adopting the Fourth Framework Programme. The rules for the financial participation of undertakings, research centres, and universities, as well was the rules governing the dissemination of research results, are specified in the measures foreseen in Article 130 J of the Treaty.

However, for the purpose of implementing this programme, the following exceptions shall apply:

1.1. Participation in this programme is open, with financial support from the Community:

(a) to all legal entities, established and regularly carrying out RTD activities

- in the Community, or

- in a third country associated, wholly or in part, with the implementation of the relevant programme through an agreement concluded between the Community and the said third country

(b) to the Joint Research Centre.

1.2. Participation in this programme is open, without financial support from the Community, and on condition that their participation is in the interests of Communities policies:

(a) to legal entities established in a country which has concluded a scientific and technical cooperation agreement with the Community relating to activities covered by the programme, provided the participation accords with the terms of the agreement,

(b) to legal entities established in a European country,

(c) to international research organizations.

1.3. The participation of European international organizations may be financed on the same basis as that for Community organizations in duly specified cases.

2. This programme will be implemented through:

2.1. Shared cost actions including the following types:

- the RTD projects carried out by enterprises, research centres and universities, including consortia for integrated projects which work on a common subject;

- the basic research projects within the thematic networks to be created around generic technologies of strategic importance, involving enterprises, research centres and universities;

- technological stimulation which should encourage and facilitate the participation of SMEs by supporting the exploratory stage (including the search for partners) of RTD actions and by cooperative research. This award will be granted after selection of outline proposals which may be submitted at any time;

- support of financing infrastructures or facilities necessary for the performance of a coordination action (reinforced coordination activity);

- demonstration activities, as defined in Annex III of the Framework Programme, intended to overcome the obstacles hindering the utilization of new technologies and to build the bridge between technology producers and users. Feasibility awards and direct assistance to those who get involved in these technologies may also be included.

2.2. Concerted actions, which coordinate, in particular through concertation networks, RTD and demonstration projects already funded by public authorities or private organisms. The concerted actions may also perform the coordination needed for thematic networks which, through RTD shared cost actions (c.f. 2.1, first indent), bring together, focusing on he same technological or industrial goal, producers, users, universities and research centres.

2.3. Specific measures, such as those encouraging standardization, and those measures intended to set up general service tools for research centres, universities and enterprises. Community contribution will be up to 100 % of the costs of these measures.

2.4. Preparatory, accompanying and support measures, include the following types:

- studies in support of this programme and in preparation of possible future actions;

- conferences, seminars, workshops or other scientific or technical meetings, including intersectoral or multidisciplinary coordination meetings;

- use of external expertise, including access to scientific data bases;

- scientific publications, including dissemination, promotion and exploitation of results (in coordination with the activities carried out in the Third Action);

- assessment studies of socio-economic implications and also of possible technological risks associated with all projects of this programme and in coordination with the programme Targeted Socio-economic Research;

- training activities linked to the research carried out under this programme;

- independent evaluation (including studies) of management and results of programme activities;

- measures of support to the operation of networks for increasing awareness and for decentralized assistance in favour of SMEs, in coordination with the Euromanagement-RTD audit actions.

The dissemination and exploitation of results obtained in this programme will be complementary to those carried out by the Third Action and will be implemented in close coordination with it. The networks of partners of RTD projects are the principal mechanisms of dissemination and valorization of results. They will be reinforced with publications, conferences, promotion of results, studies of the techno-economic potential, etc. In order to ensure optimal exploitation all those factors which may facilitate the utilization of results will be considered at the start of the projects and whilst they are in progress.