Framework Programme 6 ran from 2003-2006 with a budget of 17.5 billion EURO. Framework programme 7 began in 2007 and will run until 2013. To understand how to participate in FP7 and apply for funding, note these basic points:
“1. The European Commission does not itself undertake or participate in RTD projects (except via its Joint Research Centre), but does offer financial support to carefully described work or research by private and public research bodies, companies and institutions.
2. Generally, proposals for projects must be submitted in response to a specific call for proposals or tenders published in the Official Journal of the European Communities.
3. The project’s content must correspond to objectives set out in one of the work programmes of the Framework Programme; while the partners involved must satisfy all the eligibility criteria, and their proposal must comply with the scientific, thematic and formal requirements of the call. [work programmes are available to download at http://cordis.europa.eu/fp6/find-doc-general.htm#wps]
4. Proposals received in response to a call which satisfy the above requirements are evaluated by a panel of independent experts in the various fields concerned.
5. Projects are selected solely on the basis of their quality, measured by specified criteria, such as scientific and technical quality and socio-economic impact, and on condition that they comply with the programme objectives, within the limits of the budgets available. There are no national quotas.”
Source: Participation in European Research, European Commission http://ec.europa.eu/research/fp6/pdf/how-to-participate_en.pdf