Finnegan's Take

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

– William Shakespeare

EU officials are toying with the idea of renaming Europe’s Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. At present, the seventh framework programme (FP7) is under review and governments are already jockeying for position in the battle for funding that will precede the launch of ‘FP8’.

The idea of renaming FP8 should be welcomed given its potential to improve public understanding of what the EU does in terms of its multi-billion euro support for research.

The move should also be welcomed by looking to improve SME involvement in the framework programmes. The trouble with the rather lengthy current title is that so few European citizens know what it it’s all about.

Imagine the framework programme were a product given to marketeers and brand managers to sell to the public. They would surely have come up with something shorter than the Framework Programme for Research and Technozzzzz…..

And they would have avoided adding yet another acronym to the alphabet soup of European science jargon. Who needs the FP8 when we already have ERA, ERAB, REA, ESF, COST, EIT, and KICs?

So. What should it be called?

Well, it has to be short, simple and, ideally, work in several langauges. At the very least it should translate readily or use familiar terminology.

One sugguestion might have been to go for something like Euroscience – but this is already taken.

You might prefer Euroresearch or Euroinnovation, although those are (a) not as linguistically universal and (b) not strictly accurate since the focus is on science and research rather than specifically on innovation.

How about SciFund? Or ResFund?

“Have you put in your SciFund grant application?”

Works for me.

Let us know what you think…

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Comments

  1. WHY does there need to be a framework and a name? There is no interaction between programmes, it will be run by up to six DGs and to think it will have combined impact is illusionary. The Financial Regulation is just about the only thing that is common. Why not call it the EU-100 as so far 100 billion has gone into research and the minus sign indicates ther eis not much to show for it.

  2. Hi Gary
    Nice brainstorm. Always the finger on the pulse…
    Clearly FP7 or FP8 is not really a hot name, sounds like R2-D2 (although that one may be rather cool and great to communicate, at least if you target star wars fans). But in a way Werner is right (although he sounds slightly too defeatist for my taste) changing the name does not make the programme more performing or the EU more competitive, will not help to exploit the synergies between the different funding streams or get more small companies involved. However, it may be a start and signal a new beginning. So for the sake of toying with this notion: So, what about “COMmunity Programme for European Technological Excellence” or COMPETE? I admit this is also slightly longish, but would be a great accronym :-).

  3. If EU were a file renamer, they could just change FP7 to FP8 or to whatever they want. Hopefully, if they change the name, they would also improve their research.

  4. Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn confirmed today that she is activley looking at renaming the framework programme. At the end of her speech on new plans to simplify research funding (and cut out red tape for scientists) she said:

    “Let me finish with a further thought. I’ve used the jargon throughout: Framework Programme, FP6, FP7, FP8.

    We need a new name, so we can get the message of success across to more people.

    A name which captures the imagination, so we can communicate European research better.

    Let’s think about it.”

    Could be another acronym, could be a scientist’s name, could just be a more precise name. Any thoughts?

  5. Breaking news: the Commission is about to launch a competition to rename FP8…

    My latest effort: Innov8

    What do you think? It’ll cause problems when we get to Innov9!

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