Brussels, 15 April 2014
European Commission press release
Investing in partnerships in research and innovation
Why is the EU funding research and innovation partnerships with the private sector and Member States under Horizon 2020?
Research and innovation are critical to create new, better paid and more durable jobs and sustainable economic growth, to improve quality of life and to boost Europe's global competitiveness. In certain well defined areas, formal partnerships with the private sector and/or with Member States is the most effective way of meeting the objectives of the new EU research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 in terms of major societal challenges and industrial leadership. That is why a series of partnerships under Horizon 2020 with industry and with Member States are being established.
What are these partnerships?
The public-private partnerships take the form of Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs). They represent the joining of forces between the EU and industry and provide vital funding for large-scale, longer-term and high risk/reward research. They set out commitments, including financial commitments, over a seven year period from both the EU and from the industry partners. They each have clear objectives which need to be achieved by the Partnerships. JTIs bring together companies, universities, research laboratories, innovative SMEs and other groups and organisations around major research and innovation challenges. They establish their own strategic research and innovation agendas and fund projects selected through open and competitive calls for project proposals. The JTIs are established under Article 187 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and managed by dedicated entities called Joint Undertakings.
Six of these JTIs will be initially established under Horizon 2020 as well as a seventh public-private partnership (SESAR) in a different form.
Alongside these, four Joint Programmes with EU Member States will be established. These are set up under Article 185 of the TFEU and help EU Member States to integrate and coordinate their own national research programmes to ensure better use of resources.
What are the benefits for Europe?
Partnerships in research and innovation are powerful and much needed tools to deliver on the objectives of Horizon 2020 for a number of reasons. They address strategic technologies that will underpin growth and jobs in key sectors of a knowledge-based European economy. They make funding more efficient by pooling financial, human and infrastructure resources and they aid in getting innovative technologies faster to the market. They also help make Europe a more attractive location for international companies to invest and innovate. The partnerships contribute to meeting many EU objectives including 3% of GDP invested in R&D and 20% of GDP coming from manufacturing by 2020.
The evaluations of the current JTIs show that they attract a high level of industrial participation including that of SMEs, they develop long-term commitments and strategies in research and innovation as well as interdisciplinary approaches to address complex problems.
What will these partnerships focus on?
Most of the investment will come through six JTIs. In line with the priorities of Horizon 2020, they will address some of the most pressing economic, societal and environmental challenges that Europe and the world are facing. More information about these initiatives can be found in dedicated fact sheets:
- Clean Sky 2 (CS2): to develop cleaner, quieter aircraft with significantly less CO2 emissions (factsheet)
- Innovative Medicines 2 (IMI2): to develop next generation vaccines, medicines and treatments, such as new antibiotics (factsheet)
- Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 (FCH2): to expand the use of clean and efficient technologies in transport, industry and energy (factsheet)
- Bio-based Industries (BBI): to use renewable natural resources and innovative technologies for greener everyday products (factsheet)
- Electronics (ECSEL): to boost Europe’s electronics manufacturing capabilities (factsheet and MEMO/13/673)
- Shift2Rail: to get more passengers and freight onto Europe's railways (MEMO/13/1143)
Besides these JTIs, the Parliament also adopted the Commission's proposal to extend the SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) project. This is the technical pillar of the Single European Sky initiative, which aims to modernise Air Traffic Management in Europe.
The four joint programmes with Member States and their aims are:
- European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership 2 (EDCTP2): to reduce the social and economic burden of poverty related diseases;
- The European Metrology Programme for Research and Innovation (EMPIR): to provide new measurement technologies;
- Eurostars 2: to stimulate growth and job creation by supporting innovative SMEs;
- Active and Assisted Living Research and Development Programme: to improve the quality of life for the elderly and to increase the sustainability of care systems.
Who can participate in these Partnerships?
The Joint Technology Initiatives will all run competitive calls which are open to the participation of companies, SMEs, universities, research organisations and others, and where the best projects will be selected for funding through peer review. There are also opportunities for interested organisations to become new members of the Partnerships during the implementation.
What will be the budgets of these partnerships?
In total, the Innovation Investment Package and related proposals represent an investment of more than €22 billion into Europe's future. Over the next seven years, the EU's contribution of less than €9 billion will mobilise more than €9 billion from the private sector and about €4 billion from Member States.
The six JTIs are expected to mobilise a total investment exceeding €17 billion, of which the EU budget contribution will be up to €6.7 billion.
How will industry make financial commitments to the Partnerships?
The industry partners will make financial contributions in a number of ways depending on the specific nature of the Partnership. Specifically; by contributing to the budgets of the calls for proposals; by financing the activities of the JTI either through funding all or part of its own costs in participating in the projects selected for funding and by financing additional activities outside the calls. In all cases, the partners will also contribute half of the costs of running the Joint Undertaking which will manage the Partnership.
Are these partnerships a new idea, will they work?
Most of the partnerships were started and proved successful under the 7th research framework programme (2007-2013). The legislative proposals adopted today by the EP are necessary to re-establish the existing initiatives with new objectives and budgets under Horizon 2020 and to set up new ones.
All of the current partnerships have been the subject of independent evaluations and the recommendations from these evaluations have been used to improve the new partnerships.
How much has the EU spent on existing JTIs?
Under the 7th research framework programme, JTIs represented a total EU contribution of €3.1 billion, matched by an industry investment of €4.7 billion. From the beginning of activities until February 2014, they account for 663 funded projects in total which had 5081 participants. In general, JTIs have proven to be successful in attracting a high level of industrial participation in their activities, including SMEs who represent about 20% of the participants.
What have the current JTIs achieved?
JTIs have only been fully operational for a limited time, but they are already having a positive impact. This shows that they can deliver on turning challenges into opportunities.
For example, the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen JTI has put in place a significant project portfolio of strategic importance and already introduced some early applications such as forklifts, small back-up power units and new types of hydrogen-powered buses to the market. Technologies developed or under development by the Clean Sky JTI, such as new types of aircraft wing, are estimated to be able to reduce aviation CO2 emissions by more than 20%. The Innovative Medicines Initiative JTI has scored a number of achievements such as discoveries that bring new hope to diabetes sufferers. And research by the ENIAC and ARTEMIS JTIs, which are being merged into the new ECSEL JTI, has resulted, for instance, in drastically higher efficiency of electric vehicles and much greater reliability of electronic systems used in transportation.
More information about the successes of the current initiatives can be found in dedicated factsheets.
What is new under Horizon 2020?
New JTIs are based on the new objectives under Horizon 2020 and build on the successful experience under FP7. The new JTIs represent a higher level of ambition with increased budgets and more challenging objectives in order to increase their impact. They incorporate major simplifications resulting from Horizon 2020 and through the use of simpler financial rules. The industry commitments to the JTIs are significantly higher than in FP7 and include additional activities that will be solely financed by the industry partners, in particular to help ensure the effective deployment of the new technologies.
When will the new Partnerships start?
The proposals will now need to be formally adopted by the Council of the EU. Five of the seven Joint Undertakings are planning to launch their first calls in July 2014.
Joint Technology Initiatives
Clean Sky: http://www.cleansky.eu/
Fuel Cells and Hydrogen: http://www.fch-ju.eu/
Innovative Medicines Initiative: http://www.imi.europa.eu/
Joint Programmes with Member States
European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership: http://www.edctp.org/
European Metrology Programme for Research and Innovation: http://www.emrponline.eu/
Active and Assisted Living Research and Development Programme: http://www.aal-europe.eu/
Link to the European Commission Press Release, including budgets of all initiatives