One of the overriding features of the research landscape is the increasing globalization of the R&D. Science and technology cooperation based on mutual benefit with third countries is crucial to the Community's scientific, political and economic objectives. The European research community has a large range of the international cooperation instruments: bilateral S&T programs of the member states with third countries, EUREKA intergovernmental initiative, large international research programmes such as ITER, EIROforum, COST etc… Since the 5th Research Framework Programme (FP5) the international cooperation need is reflected by the decision to open the programme to third country participation and by including special instruments to encourage international cooperation.
The FP6 and the on-going FP7 bring forward this initiative developing new collaboration schemes and mechanisms, in particular theme-oriented actions under Cooperation Specific Programme (SP) and mobility-oriented actions within the framework of People Specific Programme. Both approaches aim in priority to stimulate the participation of third countries in the FP. To facilitate access to research environment outside of Europe, a specific approach has been designed under FP7 Capacities Specific Programme. These new activities are committed to providing to European researcher’s access opportunities in research and innovation programs curried out by third countries.
Russian research has numerous characteristics, which make Russia an important partner for EU researchers and scientists. Some of them are: