Opinion: EU Invests €22 billion in Research and Innovation

The European Commission is set to invest large amounts into research and development to create well paid jobs and generate sustainable economic growth and boost Europe’s competitiveness across a range of key sectors which also aim to improve our quality of life.

Over the next 7 years a partnership between the European Commission, member states and industry will invest €22 billion in innovative medicines, aeronautics, bio-based industries, fuel cells and hydrogen and electronics. With the aim of generating high quality jobs across the EU covering these sectors through public-private partnerships called Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs).

The EU has seen its main competitors around the world investing heavily in these areas, and according to the Commissioner for Research Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the rest of the world is thinking big. If we are to stay part of the game we need to increase both our public and private investment.

This recent announcement will see €8 billion coming from the Horizon 2020 programme, €10 billion from industry and €4 billion from member states. With the investment being funnelled into 5 JTIs:

  • Innovative Medicines: which seeks to develop the next generation of vaccines, medicines and overcome the problem of antibiotic resistance
  •  Fuel Cells and Hydrogen: which will develop clean and efficient technology for transport, industry and energy.
  • Clean Sky: which aims to develop cleaner, quieter aircraft and reduce carbon emissions.
  • Bio-based Industries: which will produce greener every day products through innovative technology and renewable natural resources.
  • Electronic Components and Systems: which will increase electronics manufacturing across the EU.

These JTIs will operate with a number of industrial partners, with a focus to generate jobs through small companies (SMEs) as well as larger ones. For example the Bio-based Industry JTI will work with a cross-sector group of 48 large and small companies to deploy biobased products across Europe by 2020.

If the EU is to maintain its position as an innovative place to work and to kick start economic growth these public private partnerships generating investment in key areas of industry, that will not only provide sustainable jobs, but look to improve quality of life for everyone, are essential. This is a great example of how the EU can work together with member states and industry to create jobs and economic growth across the EU.

* Richard Davis is a prospective Member of the European Parliament for London. His website is here.

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2 Comments

  • Fair enough. I think member state initiatives have been ineffective thus far

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