European Networks of Excellence
Networks of excellence are one of the EU's new instruments to support the sciences. Existing activities and resources of top-class research in the various countries are to be focused more closely. To this end, the network partners are developing a common research strategy. Attention is focused on selected, socially relevant topics. The aim is to make European research more efficient and to keep it internationally competitive in the long term. The networks are being funded from the 6th RTD Framework Programme (total budget: EUR 17.5 billion).
In the field of materials science, at the end of 2003 only about 20 applications out of a total of more than 400 received funding - including the "Soft Matter Composites" (SoftComp) and "Complex Metallic Alloys" (CMA) networks, which were initiated by Jülich scientists.