Swiss scientists, who have enjoyed above-average success so far in the European Union's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), are taking an active role in the debate about the future direction of European Union research.

Research heads from Switzerland's leading biotech companies met Octavi Quintana-Trias, director of the health section at the European Commission's Research Directorate General, in Basle last week (July 1) to discuss the strategic research priorities for the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), which is due to start at the end of 2006 and to run until 2010.

Sacra Tomisawa-Schumacher from the Swiss Ministry for Education and Science told The Scientist that the meeting was well attended. "Researchers from companies such as Novartis and Roche came to discuss how to increase the biotech industry's participation in the EU future research programs. This is positive because there has been a disappointingly low interest from the Swiss biotech industry so far,"...

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