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The EU has approved €1.75bn of funding over the next two years for research into future and emerging technologies.

The funds are being made available under the Sixth Framework Programme, FP6, the EU's major source of support for technology R&D. FP6 has a budget of €19 billion, over the period 2002/6 and organisations of all sizes throughout the EC can apply for funding. The money will be allocated in three stages. The first two will focus the main objectives of the programme, supporting the overarching theme of "anywhere, anytime natural access to Information Society Technology services for all".

There are five broad areas of research that FP6 will funding through the IST strand: Applied IST research addressing major societal and economic challenges; Communication, computing and software technologies; Components and microsystems (including nanotech research); Knowledge and interface technologies and IST future and emerging technologies. For the last category, there will be an open call for submissions that go beyond the other goals of the framework, taking the technology into more cutting edge areas.

Proposals will be invited from 16 November this year, and 17 May 2005, and will have budgets of €1,120m and €638m respectively.

More information on the areas that qualify can be found here. ®

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