A major conference was held by the European Commission in Bruxelles from 11 to 13 November 2002 to mark the start of the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme for research, which will cover the period from 2002 to 2006.

Approx. 9,000 visitors took part in this event, which was located in the Palais du Heysel.The aim was to present the objectives and priorities of the Framework Programme and to explain rules for participation. At the same time the conference was meant to create opportunities for a scientific debate among the involved institutions.

Participants to the EFDA Round Tables:
“Benefits from ITER in the European Union”

..Prof. K. Lackner (EFDA)

.Dr. R. Andreani (EFDA)

.Dr. P. Barabaschi (ITER)

Mr. A. Vallée . (Framatome-ANP)

.Dr. J. Jacquinot (CEA)

.Dr. C. Alejaldre (CIEMAT)

.Prof. W. d’Haeseleer (University of Leuven, Belgium)

“JET – a bridge to ITER” .

.Dr. J. Pamela (JET)

.Prof. C. Varandas (IST)

.Dr. P. Mantica (CNR)

.Dr. T. Hender (UKAEA)

.Prof. H. Zohm (IPP)

.Mr. G. Caudron (MEP)

.Mr. G. Adam (MEP)

The major features of this three-day event were as follows:
• Conference sessions addressing all the main thematic priorities of the FP6;
• Sessions providing guidance on how to participate in the Framework Programme;
• A participants’ forum to present the most important topics to the visitors and to stimulate discussions on the debated topics;
• An exhibition, where interesting EU-sponsored research projects were on display to complement the verbal project presentations.

EFDA took part to the event with a stand integrated into the EIROforum island where also the other EIROforum partners (i.e. CERN, EMBL, ESA, ESO, ESRF, ILL) were also represented.

The 45 m2 stand featured a series of posters addressing the main topic of fusion research in the EU and its machines, an ITER corner on the current European site proposals for the “next step”, a small plasma experiment and a number of high-heat flux components of Plansee to describe the current achievements in this field. On a plasma screen the activities of the European fusion associations were also presented.

The stand was complemented by another contact point of the EU Commission in the Sustainable Development area, where additional lectures were also held, and by the Dutch Fusion Road Show, which attracted a large audience at each of its performances.

Two round tables, one on ITER and one on JET were held in the Participants’ forum to explain the European interest in both these projects.

One of the highlights of the event was the signature of the EIROforum Charter by the DGs of the seven organisations, together with the EU Commissioner P. Busquin.

Interest in our fusion activities was large and the visitors included MEPs, the press and research operators. Among the visitors of the stand, were the EU Commissioner Busquin and the Minister of the Catalunia region, Mr. Mas- Colell, who reiterated the interest of his region in hosting ITER.