The European Commission has unveiled a 6.4 billion euro package aimed at research and innovation, with small and medium-sized enterprises specializing in health to receive top priority funding. The budget for the Seventh Framework Programme is up 12% on 2010 and 30% in 2009: it will provide over €600 million for health-based enterprises, more than €1.3 billion for the "best creative scientists" (selected by the European Research Council) and mobility grants worth €772 million will be provided through Marie Curie Actions for 7,000 highly qualified researchers. The package is expected to create more than 165,000 jobs in total.
European Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn commented: "Investment in research and innovation is the only smart and lasting way out of crisis and towards sustainable and socially equitable growth. This European package will contribute to new and better products and services, a more competitive and greener Europe, and a better society with a higher quality of life."