Vice-Chancellor welcomes new EU funding framework
The University of Southampton's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bill Wakeham, has welcomed the European Union's new research and development initiative - the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
FP7, which pulls together all research-related EU initiatives, will provide more than 50 billion Euro (over £33 billion) to research and development projects across Europe between now and 2013.
Speaking at the UK Conference on FP7 in London this week, Professor Wakeham said he was encouraged by changes introduced to this latest Framework Programme, which has grouped its broad objectives into four categories: Cooperation, Ideas, People and Capacities.
The emphasis on collaboration will become ever more relevant in the future, he said. "Very few of the major challenges that face the world today can be tackled effectively in the context of a single discipline or indeed a single university," he continued. "Many problems have a scale beyond that of one university or even one country. Research areas such as climate change are too difficult and too large to tackle alone, and we need a mechanism that can fund research in universities across country boundaries. The Framework Programme offers us that opportunity."