The sixth framework programme will be carried out to further the objective of strengthening the scientific and technological bases of Community industry and encouraging it to become more competitive at international level, while promoting all the research activities deemed necessary.
EU's target for the 2010 is to develop;
Sustainable economic development,
Social cohesion and Employment
for creation of knowledge-based economy and society.
In order to achieve this more effectively, and in order to contribute to the creation of the European Research Area and to innovation, this programme will be structured around the following three headings
Focusing and integrating Community research,
Structuring the European Research Area,
Strengthening the foundations of the European Research Area.
The activities under these three headings will contribute to the integration of research efforts and activities on a European scale as well as contributing to the structuring of the various dimensions of the European Research Area. Coordination of activities carried out under these headings will be ensured.
The basic characteristics and the importance of the Sixth Frame Program of EU are related with the developments arose and the decisions taken during the period of fifth program. The target of the long term strategy which was adopted at the EU Lisbon Summit of March 2000 and which is extremely critical in respect to the position of EU in the world and its future is "to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion." . In this respect, EU Commission, in the early 2000, decided to constitute the European Research Area (ERA). ERA is a system for coordinating the National Programmes, Framework Programmes and European Institutions and forming the European Research Policies.
The SixthFramework Program comprising 2002-2006 period is being prepared based on this strategic tendency which was adopted by EU in 2000 and reflects also the anxiety felt not to refrain from competition in the process of inclination towards the information economy. The outlines of the program is being established swiftly. A major part of it, including its budget, will become final in about mid-2002 , and the first calls will be made for the project proposals in the late 2002 or not later than early 2003. The estimated budget of the Sixth Framework Programme is 17,5 Billion Euro.
In order to help the development of SMEs in the knowledge society and the use of the economic potential of SMEs in an enlarged and better integrated European Union, SMEs, including small and micro enterprises as well as craft enterprises, will be encouraged to participate in all areas and all instruments of the sixth framework programme. A smooth transition from the modalities used in the fifth framework programme to those used in the sixth framework programme will be ensured.
Source: European Commission