Interim evaluation of FP7 - report of the expert group available

On 12 Nov 2010, an independent expert group has published a report summarizing the results of their interim evaluation of FP7.

The group lists the following "key strengths" of FP7:

- FP7 is considered broad, well equilibrated in terms of geographical spread and and topics covered.
- The principle of excellence in project selection is largely achieved
- Mobility and training are making a valuable contribution to capacity building
- FP7 has a positive influence on research infrastructures
- Calls have been processed effectively and funds have been allocated in a reasonably timely manner

As "Areas in need of improvement" the group has identified the following:

- Administrative burdens
- The goal of boosting female participation to 40% has not been reached, currently only 30% of the researchers involved are female.
- Industrial participation in particular of SMEs is still hampered by complex procedures

Issues considered "New concerns and dilemmas" include the following:

- Research at national and EU levels needs to be better coordinated
- Success rates are low in many areas and imply a considerable waste of research resources; success rates are generally lower in the member states which only recently joined the EU
- Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs) are perceived inconsistent in legal structures and procedures and the overhead rates are considered too low to cover the costs of participants

The full report is available here.