The European Union's Research Budget has hit a record high including a major increase in funding for blue-skies research. The latest round of annual funding from the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme will see overall spending increase by more than 9% to €7 billion. Funding for the European Research Council which finances "frontier" research will increase by 23% to €1.6 billion.
Funding for Marie Curie Fellowships which researchers can take anywhere in the EU, will also rise by 17% to €900 million. The number of fellowships will increase from 7,000 to 10,000. The allocation to Marie Curie Action, which oversees the fellowships, will include €20 million for a pilot project to fund European Industrial Doctorates, intended to stimulate entrepreneurship and cooperation between universities, research institutions and companies.
The European Commission has ambitious plans to boost research funding by 46% over the next framework programme which begins in 2014. The 2014-2020 package will be worth €80 billion.