The Commission studies measures to streamline the procedures

Unclear procedures and unnecessarily complicated: this is the opinion of many researchers on the process for obtaining European funding for their projects. Admitting it is the same as the European Commission, which proposed new rules to simplify the application and management of funds.
The plan – contained in a communication dated April 29 last year – provides a first block of news about the launch of computer systems more efficient, streamlining administrative procedures, more consistent application of rules and the timely publication of calls for proposals.
According to a second block of changes then do not have to specify every item of expenditure and accounting will become more similar to that used in the Member States provided for the simplification of existing financial rules while maintaining a more effective control, to example extending the use of ‘methods for calculating average costs, by which avoids having to account in the projects with “painstaking” every single expenditure item, even minor ones.
These measures are not immediately operational: the Commission undertakes to submit a proposal for revision of financial regulation to be considered but the European Parliament and Council. The effect is not expected before 2011, as reported by staff of the European Research Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.
Finally, there is a third tranche of changes addressed in future research framework programs, primarily the eighth program under which the regulation is passed by Parliament and Council in 2013. Among the possibilities under a given orientation ‘payments by results, “according to the recipients, instead of notifying the individual items of expenditure, would receive lump sums for certain tasks in science and should show that they carried out effectively and efficiently. The same logic underlying the action of the European Research Council (ERC), which gives grants of up to 2 million euros to individual researchers.
“This is a lump sum amount – said Alberto Mantovani, Istituto Clinico Humanitas scientific director and member of the ERC – there are strict reporting requirements and assessed on the basis of scientific results.”
The Commission, meanwhile, has initiated the process for the interim evaluation of the Seventh Framework Programme: a group of independent experts, chaired by Rolf Annenberg, Director General of the Swedish Council Formas will submit a report in the autumn.
And on a time horizon longer period begins to outline the new ten-year economic strategy of the European Union, stressing the importance of research to exit the dark tunnel of recession and the target of a long-term growth. One purpose is to be able to bring research spending to 3% of European GDP to attract leading researchers and innovative companies.

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