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Call for applications for the selection of members of the Commission expert group "Support to Circular Economy Financing Expert Group" - Deadline for applications: 9th May 2017

As part of the Circular Economy Finance Support Platform launched on 26 January 2017, the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation has set up a group of experts. The Support to Circular Economy Financing Expert Group is an informal Commission expert group operating in accordance with the horizontal Rules for Commission Expert Groups and registered in the Commission's Register of Commission expert groups and other similar entities ('the Register of expert groups').

The expert group will provide advice and expertise to the European Commission to support the generation and financing of circular economy in the Member States. It will provide recommendations regarding concrete measures to facilitate circular economy project financing.

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Circular Economy: Commission delivers on its promises, offers guidance on recovery of energy from waste and works with the European Investment Bank to boost investment

One year after adopting its Circular Economy Package, the Commission reports on the delivery and progress of key initiatives of its 2015 Action Plan. First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for sustainable development, said: "Building a circular economy for Europe is a key priority for this Commission. We have made good progress and are planning new initiatives in 2017. We are closing the loop of design, production, consumption, and waste management, thereby creating a green, circular and competitive Europe."

Together with the report, the Commission presents the creation of a Circular Economy Finance Support Platform with the European Investment Bank (EIB) bringing together investors and innovators. Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, said: "Building on the achievements of the Juncker Investment Plan, I am pleased that we can again work with the EIB to match investors with innovators. Our goal is to upscale investment, both public and private, in the circular economy. It very often means new business model and they may require new, innovative ways of financing. This new Platform is an excellent tool to raise awareness of the circular economy projects' immense business potential and, consequently, draw in more funding for their financing. The Circular Economy is an important element to modernise the European economy and we are on track to deliver this sustainable change."

Finally, the Commission issues guidance to Member States on converting waste to energy and also proposes a targeted improvement of legislation on certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.

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Commission proposes first research partnership in the Mediterranean to increase food and water sustainability

The Commission has agreed on a proposal for a Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area, PRIMA, which is set to develop much-needed novel solutions for sustainable water management and food production. The partnership is expected to boost local business and investment opportunities, thereby address unemployment and migration issues in the region. The proposal will now be passed to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU for political discussion and legislative approval.

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White House Arctic Science Ministerial Meeting

At the Arctic Science Ministerial Meeting which took place in Washington DC on 28 September 2016, Deputy Director General Ruxandra Draghi-Akli announced an EU investment of over 40 million Euro in research and research infrastructures to help us understand the Arctic, the changes it is undergoing and how this impacts on the rest of the planet. The four major projects to be funded will start before the end of this year. Through them, the EU will give a major boost to the creation of an international, integrated Arctic Observation system.

The projects have attracted international partners well beyond the EU including from the USA, Canada, South Korea, China and Russia, and will put the EU in a leading position in Arctic Observation.

The 22 countries attending the Arctic Ministerial, together with the EU, signed a Joint Statement agreeing to work together to enhance and deepen scientific knowledge and understanding of the Arctic, specifically in the following areas:

  • Identifying Arctic science challenges and their regional and global implications
  • Strengthening and integrating Arctic observations and data sharing
  • Applying expanded scientific understanding of the Arctic to build regional resilience and shape global responses
  • Empowering Citizens through science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, leveraging Arctic science
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Commission to invest €8.5 billion in research and innovation in 2017

The new H2020 Work Programme for SC5 is now available and a budget of almost €400 million out of the total of €8.5 billion is dedicated to research and innovation in Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials sectors for 2017.

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