Volume 84, Number 6, December 2008
Article Number 68005
Number of page(s) 6
Section Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology
Published online 12 January 2009
EPL, 84 (2008) 68005
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/84/68005

A network approach for the scientific collaboration in the European Framework Programs

A. Garas and P. Argyrakis

Department of Physics, University of Thessaloniki - 54124 Thessaloniki Greece, EU

received 7 October 2008; accepted in final form 17 November 2008; published December 2008
published online 12 January 2009

We construct the networks of collaboration between partners for projects carried out with the support of European Commission Framework Programs FP5 and FP6. We analyze in detail these networks, not only in terms of total number of projects, but also for the different tools employed, the different geographical partitions, and the different thematic areas. For all cases we find a scale-free behavior, as expected for such social networks, and also reported in the literature. In comparing FP5 to FP6, we show that, despite a decrease in the number of signed contracts, and the total number of unique partners, there is an increase in the average number of collaborative partners per institution. Furthermore, we establish a measure for the central role (hub) for each country, by using the Minimum Spanning Tree (MST), which we construct in detail for each thematic area (e.g. Informatics, Nanoscience, Life Sciences, etc.). The importance of these network hubs is highlighted, as this information can be used by policy planners in designing future research plans regarding the distribution of available funds.

89.65.-s - Social and economic systems.
89.75.-k - Complex systems.
89.90.+n - Other topics in areas of applied and interdisciplinary physics.

© EPLA 2008