Food companies will be able to apply for grants from a budget of €600m, which has been earmarked for food safety and health risk research from 2002-2006, if new proposals from the European Commission for a new framework research programme, are agreed by EU ministers and the European Parliament. Brussels' research commissioner Philippe Busquin has also announced that he wants the new EU research programme to be funded with €2bn for genomics and biotechnology studies, which would provide for some expenditure on food research. For companies to apply, they must be part of a consortium involving partners from another EU Member States. However, they will be allowed to patent and commercially exploit any discoveries or inventions that result from funded studies.