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EU-industry partnerships : innovation boost with first €1 billion euro

Research partnerships between the EU, the private sector and Member States today presented their first calls for projects and partners under Horizon 2020, the EU’s €80 billion research and innovation programme.

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 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.

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 proposals have been adopted by the European Parliament as well as Council of the EU.

At a launch event in Brussels today, 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.

The seven public-private partnerships launched today represent a total investment of €19.5 billion into research and innovation over the next seven years, where the EU contribution of €7.3 billion will unlock a €12.2 billion investment from the private sector and the Member States. Together with four more public-public partnerships with Member States, they form the Innovation Investment Package representing more than a €22 billion investment into Europe’s future.

These partnerships work in a number of key fields:

Innovative Medicines 2 (IMI2): to develop next generation vaccines, medicines and treatments, such as new antibiotics;

Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 (FCH2): to accelerate market introduction of clean and efficient technologies in energy and transport;

Clean Sky 2 (CS2): to develop cleaner, quieter aircraft with significantly less CO2 emissions;

Bio-based Industries (BBI): to use renewable natural resources and innovative technologies for greener everyday products;

Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership (ECSEL): to boost Europe’s electronics manufacturing capabilities;

Shift2Rail: to develop better trains and railway infrastructure that will drastically reduce costs and improve capacity, reliability and punctuality;

SESAR 2020: to develop the new generation of European Air Traffic Management system that will enhance the performance of air transport.

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.


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