One year after the last calls of the FP7 Programme (Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development) it is time to summarize Applus+’s participation in these important funding initiatives.
FP7 started in 2007 and finished in 2013 to facilitate the current European Program for funding R+D projects known as Horizon 2020 (H2020). Applus+ has participated in an important number of collaborative projects which have been funded by FP7, most of them in the automotive sector and conducted by Applus+IDIADA. In the period 2007–2014 Applus+ IDIADA was involved in 29 projects, being the leader of four of them, which in turn has made it the Catalan Company with the highest participation in the last FP7.
This successful participation is based on several actions conducted by Applus+ IDIADA in order to build its own innovative profile. Participation in the FP7 has not been the target, rather the consequence of a great deal of hard work in order to be positioned in the correct technological environment and be willing to exchange knowledge and experiences with other partners who have complementary needs.
Firstly, the awareness of all opportunities in the European research arena (identifying the organisational chart, creating permanent mechanisms for technological surveillance and being active in the technological platforms and other working groups which can promote the topics in which research incentives would be targeted); and secondly, highlighting its own technological capacities which are the key piece of interest when the consortia are being formed.
Research done over the last eight years of participation in FP7 projects has been a relevant factor for consolidating the expertise in most of the technological breakthroughs of the automotive industry.
After the participation in the FP7 and lessons learned so far, Applus IDIADA has already been appointed in the first calls of the H2020 and is taking an active role leading and conducting projects focused on the new challenges included in this new Program.