Worth a total of €1.13 billion in public funding, which will be complemented by a comparable amount from the private partners, the first round of funding will go into projects that will improve people's lives as well as boost the international competitiveness of Europe's industry. Topics include new treatments for diabetes and eye disease and a roll out of dozens of hydrogen-powered road vehicles and refuelling stations.
José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, said: "Only if the best brains from academia, industry, SMEs, research institutes and other organisations come together can we successfully tackle the huge challenges that we are facing. This is what public-private partnerships are about, the joining of forces to make the lives of Europeans better, create jobs and boost our competitiveness. We are committed to prioritising the impact of the European budget on the recovery, and these partnerships are doing just that. They will continue delivering results that no single country, company or even the European Union as such would achieve alone."
The launch of first calls comes almost exactly one year after the European Commission put forward the Innovation Investment Package, a set of proposals to establish seven public-private and four public-public partnerships. They will work in several key areas such as medicines, transport, electronics and bioeconomy, and are worth over €22 billion in total. The competitive calls launched by these partnerships are open to the participation of companies, SMEs, universities, research organisations and others. The best projects will be selected for funding through peer review.
On behalf of the seven partnerships, CEOs, COOs and CTOs of the private partners involved said: "Joint Undertakings have demonstrated the success of the public-private partnership model. They have already achieved results that help improve quality of life and contribute to Europe’s competitiveness. We are proud to be part of these new partnerships under Horizon 2020, and are happy to see them launched just one year after they were proposed by the Commission. Now it is time to get down to business and produce even more results that will contribute to growth, jobs and a better quality of life."
At the launch event, the private partners were represented by: Roch Doliveux, CEO of UCB, Henri Winand, CEO of Intelligent Energy, Jean-Paul Herteman, Chairman and CEO of the Safran Group, Peder Holk Nielsen, CEO of Novozymes, Jean-Marc Chery, Chief Operating Officer of STMicroelectronics, Jochen Eickholt, CEO of Divison Rail Systems, Siemens AG, Infrastructure & Cities Sector, and Massimo Garbini, CEO of ENAV.