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EU and industry join forces for innovation - 12/07/2013

Hydrogen-powered forklift truck © EU

Commission proposal would see €22bn invested in research and innovation for health, transport and the environment over the next 7 years.

The funding would support partnerships between the European Commission, EU countries and industry from 2014 in 5 areas: innovative medicines, aeronautics, bio-based industries, fuel cells/hydrogen and electronics. A partnership on air traffic management will continue under a different set-up.

These sectors provide good quality jobs, tackle major challenges that can’t be solved by individual countries or companies alone, and are key to Europe’s competitiveness. The research is long-term, large-scale and often high-risk.

Under the proposal, funding from the next EU research programme, Horizon 2020, would be boosted by some €10bn from industry and €4bn from national governments.

In addition, the EU funding will support public-public partnerships (Commission and EU countries) addressing treatment for poverty-related diseases, industrial measurement technologies, help for small high-tech companies, and tools to help the elderly and disabled live safely in their own homes.

Three of the public-private partnerships are already in place, and have had impressive results:

  • a hydrogen-powered fork lift truck
  • new types of hydrogen-powered buses
  • more efficient electric vehicles
  • a lighter aircraft wing, able to reduce aviation CO2 emissions by more than 20%
  • discoveries on diabetes treatments

The partnerships work by making public calls for project proposals – to which small and large companies, universities, research organisations or other bodies respond. Proposals go through a peer review before selection for funding.

This funding will come from the EU budget for research in 2014-20 – the Horizon 2020 programme – amounting to some €79bn (the exact figure is still under discussion between the Commission, MEPs and national governments).

More on Horizon 2020

More on the public-private partnerships

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