FP7 is the short name for the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. This is the EU's main instrument for funding research in Europe which runs from 2007-2013. FP7 is also designed to respond to Europe's employment needs, competitiveness and quality of life. FP7 bundles all research-related EU initiatives together under a common roof playing a crucial role in reaching the goals of growth, competitiveness and employment; along with a new Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), Education and Training programmes, and Structural and Cohesion Funds for regional convergence and competitiveness. It is also a key pillar for the European Research Area (ERA).
The broad objectives of FP7 have been grouped into four categories: Cooperation, Ideas, People and Capacities. For each type of objective, there is a specific programme corresponding to the main areas of EU research policy. All specific programmes work together to promote and encourage the creation of European poles of (scientific) excellence.
The network of National Contact Points is the main structure to provide guidance, practical information and assistance on all aspects of participation in FP7.
Budget of €1751 million
The Commission supports activities to encourage the development and application of ICT tools to improve energy efficiency. Under the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7), it supports projects aimed at developing energy-positive buildings and neighborhoods (which generate the energy they need and sell any surplus generated), and developing the smart energy grid (which makes use of ICTs to manage and distribute renewable energy and to minimize losses in production and distribution). Under the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP), EU funding is used to support public authorities in piloting and validating innovative ICT-based solutions to improve energy efficiency in public buildings and in social housing.