Under the specific ''Cooperation'' programme for European Community/Union activities in the area of research and technological development support is provided to transnational cooperation in different forms across the Union and beyond, in a number of thematic areas addressing European social, economic, environmental and industrial challenges [Decision 2006/971]. This programme is open to the participation of countries having concluded agreements to this effect and of entities from third countries and of international organisations for scientific cooperation. It supports the whole range of research actions carried out in trans-national cooperation in the following thematic areas:
(b) Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Biotechnology;
(c) Information and communication technologies;
(d) Nano-sciences, Nano-technologies, Materials and new Production Technologies;
(f) Environment (including climate change);
(g) Transport (including Aeronautics);
(h) Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities;
In particular, the specific research programmes of the European Union are open to the participation of EFTA countries (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein) and of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the new independent States of the former Soviet Union [see sections 25.1, 25.2 and 25.4.]. Scientific and technical cooperation (Cost) covers the countries of the EFTA and of Central and Eastern Europe. It is managed by a Committee of Senior Officials and by specialised committees. It takes the form of memoranda of understanding by the Cost States on the execution of Cost activities in the most varied fields, such as medicine, transport or materials. The Council concludes coordination agreements between the EC/EU and the Cost countries relating to concerted actions forming part of the European research programme [See e.g. Decision 88/615 and Decision 92/181]. The EC/EU participates in a European metrology research and development programme undertaken by several Member States [Decision 912/2009].
The Seventh Framework Programme provides for a European Community contribution for the establishment of long term public-private partnerships in the form of Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs) which could be implemented through Joint Undertakings within the meaning of Article 171 of the EC Treaty (Article 187 TFEU). Several Joint Undertakings were set up for a period up to 31 December 2017, as public-private partnerships aimed at mobilising and pooling European, national and private efforts. The "ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking" promotes the development of key technologies for embedded computing systems, which run all sorts of machines from cars, planes, phones and televisions to energy factories and networks [Regulation 74/2008]. The Joint Technology Initiative on Innovative Medicines (IMI Joint Undertaking) has the objective of significantly improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the drug development process with the long-term aim that the pharmaceutical sector produce more effective and safer innovative medicines [Regulation 73/2008]. The European Technology Platform on Nanoelectronics (ENIAC Technology Platform) aims to define and implement a Research Agenda for the development of key competences for nanoelectronics across different application areas and to create synergies among stakeholders in the nanoelectronics industry [Regulation 72/2008]. The Clean Sky Joint Undertaking aims at: (a) accelerating the development, validation and demonstration of clean Air Transport technologies; (b) ensuring coherent research efforts aiming at environmental improvements in the field of air transport; (c) reducing the environmental impact of air transport through significant reduction of noise and gaseous emissions, and improvement of the fuel economy of aircrafts; (d) accelerating the generation of new knowledge, innovation and the uptake of research, leading to strengthened industrial competitiveness [Regulation 71/2008]. The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH Joint Undertaking) aims at placing Europe at the forefront of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies worldwide and at enabling the market breakthrough of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies [Regulation 521/2008, last amended by Regulation 1183/2011].
The Joint European Torus (JET) fusion research project, established in 1978 [Decision 2002/837, see section 18.3.2], has met its design objectives including demonstrating the release of significant amounts of fusion energy in a controlled manner. The EC/EU has played a key role in the development of a next step international fusion project (ITER), which, in 2001, produced a detailed engineering design for a research facility aimed at demonstrating the feasibility of fusion as an energy source. The seven parties to the ITER negotiations (Euratom, People's Republic of China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States) have concluded the Agreement on the Establishment of the ITER International Fusion Energy Organisation, with headquarters in St Paul-lez-Durance, Bouches-du-Rhône, France [Agreement and Decision 2006/943]. The ITER Organisation has full responsibility for constructing, operating, exploiting and de-activating the ITER facilities. The international project aims to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion energy for peaceful purposes, an essential feature of which would be achieving sustained fusion power generation ensuring the security and diversity of the Union's long-term energy supply.
The functions of the ITER Organization are in particular: a) construct, operate, exploit, and de-activate the ITER facilities; and (b) encourage the exploitation of the ITER facilities by the laboratories, other institutions and personnel participating in the fusion energy research and development programmes of the Members. Euratom and Japan have concluded a bilateral Agreement for the Joint Implementation of the Broader Approach Activities for the rapid realisation of fusion energy [Decision 2007/614]. The European Council (26- 27 November 2003) authorised the Commission to put forward France as the ITER host State and Cadarache as the ITER site.
The fundamental importance of the ITER Project and Broader Approach Activities for harnessing fusion as a potentially limitless, safe, sustainable, environmentally responsible and economically competitive source of energy made it necessary to establish the European Domestic Agency in the form of a Joint Undertaking as provided for in Chapter 5 of the Euratom Treaty. The European Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy, having its seat in Barcelona, was established for a period of 35 years starting on 19 April 2007 [Decision 2007/198]. The tasks of the Joint Undertaking are notably to provide the contribution of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) to the ITER International Fusion Energy Organisation and to Broader Approach Activities with Japan for the rapid realisation of fusion energy. The Joint Undertaking has the following Members: (a) Euratom, represented by the Commission; (b) the Member States of Euratom; (c) third countries which have concluded cooperation agreements with Euratom in the field of controlled nuclear fusion and which have expressed their wish to become Members of the Joint Undertaking.
In 1992, the European Community, the United States of America, Japan and Russia concluded an Agreement setting up an International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC) [Regulation 3955/92 and Regulation 3956/92 and Regulation 500/94 and Regulation 501/94]. Established in Moscow, the ISTC channels the know-how of military research scientists and technicians of the former Soviet Union into non-military projects. A similar Agreement between the European Communities, the United States, Canada, Sweden and Ukraine strives to redirect the talents of Ukrainian weapons scientists and engineers towards peaceful activities [Regulation 1766/98 and Regulation 2387/98].
The EU's scientific cooperation with the countries of the Third World forms part of the R & D framework programme. The research programme in the field of sciences and technologies for development covers the areas of tropical agriculture (improving food plant production using systems suited to local conditions, restoring the environment, etc.) and medicine, health and nutrition (new methods for diagnosing and treating diseases, improving the nutrition of the population) [COM/96/344].
Euratom has concluded agreements for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy with the Republics of Uzbekistan [Agreement and Decision 2003/744] and Kazakhstan [Agreement and Decision 2004/282]. On its part, the European Community concluded Agreements on scientific and technical cooperation with Canada [Agreement and Decision 96/219], South Africa [Agreement and Decision 97/763], the Republic of India [Agreement and Decision 2002/648], Chile [Agreement and Decision 2003/589], the Ukraine [Agreement and Decision 2003/737], the Kingdom of Morocco [Agreement and Decision 2004/126], the Tunisian Republic [Agreement and Decision 2004/127], the United States [Agreement and Decision 2004/756], Egypt [Agreement and Decision 2005/492], Brazil [Agreement and Decision 2005/781], Mexico [Agreement and Decision 2005/766], Israel [Agreement and Decision 2007/585], and the Republic of Korea [Agreement and Decision 2007/241]. By setting out the areas and the forms of cooperative activities (such as joint research projects, visits and exchanges of scientists), these agreements seek to encourage, develop and facilitate cooperation activities in areas of common interest in which the parties carry out research and scientific and technological development.