Scientists throughout Europe are busy clicking on a "Find a Partner" link. They are not seeking romance. A typical proposal: "Seeking partners to study the influence of genetic and environmental factors on human morphofunctional status."

The partner search service on the European Union's Framework 6 Programme (FP6) Web site ( is linking scientists seeking the transnational partners required for their projects to be eligible for FP6 funding. They are chasing their share of the ¤17.5 billion FP6 budget, which has at least 21% earmarked for the life sciences.1 With the European Union set to grow larger, the partner searches are covering new territory.2 On April 16, 10 countries were due to sign the Accession Treaty for EU entry in 2004. Others are in the queue.

A NEW ERA The key aim is to create a huge European Research Area (ERA)...

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