The European Commission has today proposed decisive action to meet three key challenges facing our society, in areas that are crucial to growth and jobs: the supply of raw materials, sustainable agriculture, and active and healthy ageing. All three require a more concerted innovation effort across the public and private sector, in order to improve quality of life and position Europe as a global leader. The Commission has therefore launched two new European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs) - on Raw Materials and on Agricultural Sustainability and Productivity - and has endorsed a four-year action plan for the Active and Healthy Ageing EIP, a pilot launched in February 2011. EIPs take a new approach to tackling the whole research-development-innovation chain, bringing together public and private stakeholders across borders and sectors in order to accelerate the uptake of innovation. They each have an ambitious target to reach by 2020, and are expected to start delivering results within 1-3 years. The announcement today comes just ahead of a European Council that is expected to reaffirm the place of research and innovation at the centre of European economic recovery.