News Alert

Joint Statement & Press Package

European Economic Recovery Plan 2010-2013
Public Private Partnerships in Research Activities

Brussels, 30 March 2009

Material added to the press package [01-january-2000]

  • Brochure: New public-private partnerships for research in the manufacturing, construction and automotive sectors
  • European Commission and industry to invest €3.2 billion in economic recovery


Commissioner Potočnik, Commissioner for Science and Research, and high-level representatives of industry met in Brussels on 30th March 2009 to review progress and discuss priorities for the implementation of the research elements of the Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) for the "Factories of the Future", "Energy-efficient Buildings" and "Green Cars" initiatives included in the European Economic Recovery Plan adopted in November 2008 and have agreed upon the following joint statement:

"We believe that it is important to combine the short-term economic and fiscal measures in the Recovery Plan with longer-term "smart investments" in research and development to lay down a strong base for the future competitiveness of European industry, once we have passed through the current crisis. We need strong cooperation between stakeholders and a coordinated approach at European level to develop the sustainable technologies that will allow Europe to move forward towards a low-carbon, knowledge-based economy.

The three PPPs represent a powerful means of boosting research efforts in three large industrial sectors - automotive, construction and manufacturing - which have been particularly affected by the economic downturn and where innovation can significantly contribute towards a more green and sustainable economy.

The Commission and the industrial partners undertake to work intensively together to develop the implementation plans for the three partnerships:

  1. "Factories of the Future" initiative for the manufacturing sector (€1.2 billion for R&D);
  2. "Energy-efficient Buildings" initiative for the construction sector (€1 billion for R&D); and
  3. "Green Cars" initiative for the automotive sector worth a total of €5 billion, of which €1 billion is for research activities.

The Commission foresees to provide a contribution of 50% to the total R&D budget from the budget of the 7th Framework Programme, with matching investment coming from the private sector.

In the PPP approach, we see the following advantages: (i) a leading role for industry in the definition of the strategic priorities and the implementation of the research; (ii) a multi-annual integrated work programme with a pre-defined budget, ensuring continuity and allowing industry to make long-term investment plans, (iii) a cross-thematic approach going from basic and applied research through to validation and large-scale demonstration, with an increased emphasis on impact and exploitation; and (iv) increased opportunities to support innovation in SMEs.

We are pleased that the first steps have already been taken to implement the new PPPs through the creation of ad-hoc industrial advisory groups facilitating the strategic dialogue between the Commission and the industry, which is setting up dedicated industrial research associations. To allow research on priority topics to start-up rapidly, first Calls for research projects will be published in July with deadlines at the turn of the year, which could allow the first projects under the PPPs to start in spring of 2010. The experience gained with the first actions will be used to develop the longer-term strategy and instruments for cooperation between the public and private partners; Industry hopes that these PPPs may lead to the creation of streamlined and lean Joint Technology Initiatives.

Support to research will be complemented by demand-side activities, such as standardisation and public procurement, in an integrated approach and building on existing lead market initiatives.

European Commission
Janez PotočnikCommissioner for Science and Research
Industrial representatives
European Technology Platform, Manufuture *
Hans Jørgen Pedersen Danfoss
Iñaki Larrañaga Mondragon Corporation
Andreas Tegge SAP
European Construction Technology Platform
Michel Cote Bouygues
Juan Manuel Mieres Acciona
Wolfgang Steiger Volkswagen AG
Günter Lugert Siemens AG
* Manufuture = Future Manufacturing Technologies
† ERTRAC = European Road Transport Research Advisory Council
† EPoSS = European Technology Platform on Smart Systems Integration

Further information/Press package:


Catherine Ray: +32 2 296 99 21 - GSM: +32 498 96 99 21 -
Sophie Andersson: +32 2 295 02 08 - GSM: +32 498 95 02 08 -