The 'People' Specific Programme acknowledges that one of the main competitive edges in science and technology is the quantity and quality of its human resources. To support the further development and consolidation of the European Research Area, this Specific Programme's overall strategic objective is to make Europe more attractive for the best researchers.
The 'Marie Curie Actions' under the Sixth Framework Programme were part of the Specific Programme dedicated to structuring the European Research Area.
In the Seventh Framework Programme, the 'Marie Curie Actions' have been regrouped and reinforced in the 'People' Specific Programme. Entirely dedicated to human resources in research, this Specific Programme has a significant overall budget of more than € 4,7 billion over a seven year period until 2013, which represents a 50% average annual increase over FP6.
The 'People' Specific Programme will be implemented through actions under five headings:
- 'Initial training of researchers to improve mostly young researchers' career perspectives in both public and private sectors, by broadening their scientific and generic skills, including those related to technology transfer and entrepreneurship,
- 'Life-long training' to support experienced researchers in complementing or acquiring new skills and competencies or in enhancing inter/multidisciplinarity and/or intersectoral mobility, in resuming a research career after a break and in (re)integrating into a longer term research position in Europe after a trans-national mobility experience,
- 'Industry-academia pathways and partnerships' to stimulate intersectoral mobility and increase knowledge sharing through joint research partnerships in longer term co-operation programmes between organisations from academia and industry, in particular SMEs and including traditional manufacturing industries,
- 'International dimension', to contribute to the life-long training and career development of EU-researchers, to attract research talent from outside Europe and to foster mutually beneficial research collaboration with research actors from outside Europe,
- 'Specific actions' to support removing obstacles to mobility and enhancing the career perspectives of researchers in Europe.