Investing in a stronger, greener and more competitive economy
The European Commission and Industry has just announced the first round of research calls for proposals injecting €268 million in three key market areas in order to trigger economic recovery and make it more sustainable and knowledge-based. A total of €3.2 billion has been earmarked for European public-private partnerships (PPPs) dedicated to develop new technologies in manufacturing, construction and the automotive sectors.
These collaborations between the Commission and the industry will foster global competitiveness for European businesses, bring down the excessive energy consumption of Europe’s buildings that make up one-third of EU CO2 emissions, and develop new and sustainable forms of road transport. The three planned partnerships are part of the Commission’s European Economy Recovery Plan endorsed by the European Council on December 2008 aiming to promote the convergence of public interest and industry commitment for research.
EU Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potočnik stated: “it is now recognised that investing in R&D is not a luxury when times are easy, but a necessity when times are hard. If Europe makes ‘smart’ investments in strategic sectors today, this will create jobs and sustainable growth tomorrow. Through these innovative partnerships, the Commission and industry join forces to foster the development of clean technologies and to position Europe as a leader in this field. The early launch of the calls also proves our capacity to act together rapidly to respond to the research demands of the European Economic Recovery Plan.”
Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, said: “Joint investment by the Commission and industry represents an important step towards a knowledge-based and low-carbon EU economy. Achieving research excellence and combining efforts are crucial for making Europe emerge from the crisis as a strong, more sustainable and more competitive society. Research in Information and Communication Technologies can play a particularly useful role in developing the tools for helping Europe’s economic recovery and the greening of our European economy.”
“Research results have to find their way to effective application in industry if Europe is to move towards a low-carbon, knowledge-based economy. The PPPs show that the European Commission is helping industry to invest a critical mass of resources in longer-term research even in these times of crisis when the temptation for industry is to think short-term,” said Massimo Matucci, on behalf of the “Factories of the Future” PPP, Juan Manuel Mieres, representing the “Energy-efficient Buildings” PPP, and Günter Lugert, for the “Green Cars” PPP.
Today, over 800 representatives from Europe’s industry and research sectors gathered to mark the announcement of the first set of calls for proposals that will be officially launched on 30 July for projects to run by mid-2010. They will inject € 268 million of research funding to develop for instance: Innovative manufacturing technologies, materials and processes to produce more, while consuming less material, less energy, and producing less waste; More energy-efficient buildings, including new constructions and greening of existing buildings, new materials and construction techniques; Greener cars and smarter transport systems, including electrification of road and urban transport, and research into hybrid technologies
From 2010 to 2013, a total of €3.2 billion will be allocated for research through the three public-private partnerships, with half of the funds coming from industry and half from the European Commission through the 7th Framework Programme for R&D. The first cross-thematic calls for proposals are part of three PPP: Factories of the Future (€1.2 billion) – An initiative to help EU manufacturers, especially small to medium businesses, adapt to global competitive pressures by increasing their knowledge and use of the technologies of the future; Energy-efficient Buildings (€1 billion) – An initiative to promote green technologies and development of energy-efficient systems and materials in European buildings; Green Cars (€1 billion) – An initiative emphasizing the development of renewable and non-polluting energy sources, safety and traffic fluidity in the automotive field. ‘Greening’ is necessary to achieve EU and world targets for emissions reductions.
For the full text of the European Economic Recovery Plan: