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Energy Union: Commission seeks views on comprehensive research, innovation and competitiveness strategy

Brussels, 4 March 2016

The European Commission today launched a public consultation on the development of an Integrated Research, Innovation and Competitiveness Strategy aimed at facilitating the EU’s transition to a sustainable, competitive, energy-efficient and low-carbon economy.

The strategy is linked to the implementation of the Energy Union Communication, which called for more research and innovation to ensure that the energy transition happens via modern, user-friendly, safe, sustainable and secure solutions to the benefit of EU citizens and businesses. Commitments taken at the COP21 international climate conference in Paris in December 2015 reinforce the need to step up efforts for reaching agreed climate targets.

Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission for Energy Union, said: "Energy transition is perhaps the greatest challenge of our time whose pace will be determined by our capacity to innovate. In this endeavour Europe can be led or be a leader. I choose the latter."

Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "Research and innovation are important to every part of the Energy Union strategy. With a comprehensive, integrated strategy that enables quick uptake of new technology and innovation by the markets, Europe can keep its leadership in developing competitive low-carbon solutions, improve our quality of life and create jobs and growth."

The Commission is inviting all stakeholders and interested parties, including EU citizens, private and public organisations to share their views on how to achieve the EU’s energy and climate targets, as well as sector-specific research, development and innovation goals needed for the transformation. The consultation will also look into the competitiveness of EU economic actors and new business opportunities, and examine how transport – one of the main energy users in the EU – can contribute to achieving the overall climate and energy goals.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks and its findings will feed into the integrated Research, Innovation and Competitiveness strategy to be presented at the end of 2016. This strategy will be prepared with close involvement of Commissioners Miguel Arias Cañete, responsible for Climate Action and Energy, Violeta Bulc, overseeing the Transport portfolio, and Elżbieta Bieńkowska, in charge of Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.

Background:

Research, Innovation and Competitiveness as one of the five closely interrelated dimensions of the Energy Union is key to achieving the EU’s ambitious climate and energy targets. The new strategy will seek to identify synergies between efforts across different sectors, including low-carbon energy technologies, transport research and innovation, and global competitiveness of the EU. It will also identify trade-offs between different objectives and how to address them.

More background information: Towards an Integrated Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan

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