FutureConstruct - Summary

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EUROOPPALAISET TEKNOLOGIAOHJELMAT - OPAS rakennus- ja kiinteistöklusterille

Perusteellinen opas alan yritysten ja tutkijoiden käyttöön koskien europpalaisia TTK-ohjelmia. Tuoreinta tietoa kehitysprojektien valmistelijoille.

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As an initiative of the Association of Finnish Civil Engineers - RIL, an activity called FutureConstruct was established late 2001. The activity is run by Villa Real as a consulting promotion service. The leading CREC organisations in Finland are funding the activity as well as participating in the steering committee, as listed below.

FutureConstruct's principal objectives are as follows:

1 Promote EU6RTD, EUREKA and COST within the Construction and Real Estate Cluster - CREC in Finland

The EU's 6th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development - EU6RTD offers 17,500 MEUR for European RTD projects in 2002-06. The most interesting specific programmes for the CREC are the following (as per the European Parliament 15 May 2002):

1.1.2 Information society technologies 3,625 MEUR
1.1.3 Nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices 1,300 MEUR
1.1.6 Sustainable development, global change and ecosystems 2,120 MEUR
Sustainable energy systems810 MEUR
Sustainable surface transport610 MEUR
Global change and ecosystems700 MEUR

EU6RTD is aimed at contributing towards the creation of the European Research Area - ERA, which is reflected as new principal project types or instruments are briefly described below, as they appear at this writing:

Integrated Projects - IP

  • Clearly defined development objectives.
  • Typically industry-led project.
  • Duration 3-5 years.
  • Magnitude 100 MEUR.
  • EU funding 50%.

Networks of Excellence - NoE

  • Advancing research and integrating the activities of the consortium partners on a particular research topic and spread achieved excellence.
  • Research centre/university-led project; 100-500 researchers in the network
  • Duration over 5 years plus continuation thereafter without EU funding
  • Magnitude 10-100 MEUR
  • EU funding as per the number of researchers in the network, max 25%.

Typical to both instruments is the autonomy of the project and the consortium (externalisation). The project contents will be refined during the implementation of the project. New sub-projects can be established and new partners taken in through own public call. The budget and received EU funding can be used pretty freely without the detailed scrutiny of person-hours and cost categories by the Commission, which is then concentrating on the results, output instead of input, which is right.

The minimum number of partners is three from three countries. Yet, because of the project size, it is obvious that the projects must improve European competitiveness or society. Thus successful proposal must in practice have an industry-wide Pan-European participation where the applicant countries, or Newly Associated States - NAS, must not be forgotten.

Specific Targeted Research Projects - STRP

  • Similar to earlier RTD projects.
  • Typically industry-led project.
  • Duration 2-4 years.
  • Magnitude 2-10 MEUR
  • EU funding 50%.

Specific research projects for SMEs:

  • Cooperative research - CRAFT; as before; EU funding max 50%.
  • Collective research; Large-scale medium-term research activities carried out by technical research centres for industrial associations or industry groupings in entire sectors of industry dominated by SMEs at the European level; EU funding max 50%.
  • The ITRE Committee of the European Parliament proposed that Exploratory Award should be returned into EU6RTD, as required by European Council of Civil Engineers - ECCE in their position paper. The parliament, however, gave up after compromise negotiations.

Other instruments available, not described here in more details, are:

National programmes carried out jointly - Article 169: Apparently for no good use.

Networking of national programmes: To be determined.

Specific support actions: Similar to earlier accompanying measures.

Coordination actions: Similar to earlier thematic networks and concerted actions.

Further information and follow-up, please take a look at www.cordis.lu and http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/fp6/documents_en.html for updated documents in all EU languages.

2 Consult the National R&D Programmes for their internationalisation

In Finland, the principal ongoing national CREC-related R&D programmes totalling 196 MEUR have been briefed:

CUBE - Technology Program for Developing Building Services27 MEUR / 2002-2006
Infra - Construction and Services Technology Program24 MEUR / 2001-2005
Rembrand - Real Estate Management and Services21 MEUR / 1999-2003
Healthy Building - Construction Technology, Indoor Climate & Air21 MEUR / 1998-2002
Vera - Information Networking in the Construction Process29 MEUR / 1997-2002
ProBuild - Progressive Building Process13 MEUR / 1997-2001
Tukista tuplasti - Value Added Wood Chain34 MEUR / 1998-2003
KIVI - Technology & Development Program for the Stone Industry10 MEUR / 1999-2002
Divan - Technology & Development Program for the Furniture Sector17 MEUR / 1999-2002

For further information about Finnish R&D programmes, take a look at the National Technology Agency - Tekes.

3 Influence EU6RTD to make it more favourable for the needs of CREC

This is principally made through European Council of Civil Engineers - ECCE, where Mr Tupamäki is Chairman of the R&D Task Force.

Continuously updated information about different FutureConstruct topics and actions is presented on the following pages, yet only in Finnish. Reports, minutes and other related documents are available to the members of the Steering Committee (Johtoryhmä) only.