Currently the gap in research investment between the EU and the United States is already in excess of 130 billion a year and is still widening. To reach the 3% of GDP objective by 2010, two thirds coming from the private sector, the public sector and companies must increase their expenditure on research from 6.5% and 9.5% respectively on average each year. This initiative forms the Commission's policy response to the objective set in March 2000 by the Lisbon European Council to make Europe the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy by 2010. It complements a series of European initiatives in the field of enterprise and innovation policy and structural reforms in the product, services, capital and labour markets.
The action plan comprises four main sets of actions: ensuring a process of European coordination, improving public support to research and technological innovation, redirecting public spending towards research and innovation, and improving framework conditions for private investment in research. Minute details about these actions taken on European scale are to be found in the appendix section.
 See Appendix no. 4