On the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Seventh Research Framework Programme, signed on 13 June 2007 by the Minister for Education and Science Sulejman Rusiti and the European Commissioner for Education and Research Janez Potocnik, the Republic of Macedonia gained the possibility of full participation in the European Union Seventh Research Framework Programme.
The Seventh Research Framework Programme is a basic financial instrument of the European Commission for research and technology development support and it is one of the main initiatives directly related to the Lisbon Agenda - EU to become the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy in the world. The budget of this programme amounts to EUR 50.5 billion for the period 2007 to 2013. The main objectives of the programme are grouped in four categories: cooperation, ideas, people, and capacities. Each objective includes specific programmes relative to the main areas of the EU research policy. The programme covers nine special areas. The nomination of national contact persons is envisaged for each area; the nine areas covered by the programme are the following:
2. Food, agriculture and biotechnology
3. Information and communication technologies
4. Nanoscience, nanotechnology, materials and new production technologies
6. Environmental and climate changes
7. Transport and aeronautics
8. Social-economic and humanitarian sciences
9. Space and security
In addition to these areas, the Euroatom Framework Programme covers two supplementary areas:
1. Energy Fusion Research
2. Nuclear fission and radiation protection
The Ministry of Education and Science is the national partner institution responsible for implementation and coordination of activities related to the programme. For the purpose of successful participation in the programme, the Ministry of Education and Science nominates National Programme Coordinator, as well as National Contact Persons for all areas covered by this Programme. The role of the National Contact Persons is, with their knowledge and services, to help the successful project preparation.
The participation of the Republic of Macedonia and Macedonian researchers, institutes, and companies is conducted on competitive basis. The amounts can be withdrawn according to the quality of the proposed projects. Having been included in this programme, Macedonian researchers have the possibility to become project leaders and coordinators for the first time.