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European Commission and industry to invest €22 billion to boost sustainable investment

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Yesterday (14 June 2021), the European Commission launched 11 new European Partnerships together with industry, to boost investments in research and innovation towards making Europe reach its 2050 climate neutrality goals set out in the European Green Deal.

The 11 new Partnerships will also deliver on the EU's digital ambitions for the next decade, Europe's Digital Decade. They will receive over €8 billion from Horizon Europe, the new EU research and innovation programme for 2021-2027. The total commitments, including those from private partners and from the Member States, amount to around €22 billion.

This mass funding will allow the Partnerships to pursue innovative solutions on a large scale, such as tackling emissions from energy-intensive industries and hard-to-decarbonise sectors (e.g. shipping and steel-making), as well as developing and deploying high-performance batteries, sustainable fuels, artificial intelligence tools, data technologies, robotics, and more.  According to the EC press release "Pooling in efforts, resources and investments jointly and on a large scale under the Partnerships will also generate long-term positive impacts, boost European competitiveness and technological sovereignty and create jobs and growth."

The eleven European Partnerships are:

  1. European Partnership for the European Open Science Cloud. It aims to deploy and consolidate by 2030 an estimated 2 million European researchers to store, share and reuse research data across borders and disciplines.
  2. European Partnership for Artificial Intelligence, Data and Robotics. To deliver the greatest benefit to Europe from Artificial Intelligence (AI), data and robotics
  3. European Partnership for Photonics (light-based technologies). It aims to speed up photonic innovations and raising the competitiveness of Europe's economy and promoting long-term job creation and prosperity.
  4. European Partnership for Clean Steel – Low Carbon Steelmaking. It supports EU leadership in transforming the steel industry into a carbon-neutral one, serving as a catalyser for other strategic sectors.
  5. European Partnership Made in Europe. It will be the driving force for European leadership in sustainable manufacturing in Europe, by applying the principles of the circular economy (zero-waste and others), digital transformation and climate neutral manufacturing.
  6. European Partnership Processes4Planet. Its vision is that European process industries are globally leading on the 2050 climate neutrality goal with a strong focus on low-carbon technologies, circularities, such as circularity hubs and competitiveness.
  7. European Partnership for People-centric Sustainable Built Environment (Built4People). Its vision is high-quality, low-carbon, energy and resource-efficient built environments, like buildings, infrastructure, and more, which drive the transition towards sustainability.
  8. European Partnership towards Zero-emission Road Transport (2Zero). It aims to accelerate the development of zero-emission transport with a systems approach, supporting a climate neutral and clean road transport system.
  9. European Partnership for Connected, Cooperative and Automated Mobility. Its goal is to accelerate the implementation of innovative, connected, cooperative and automated mobility technologies and services.
  10. European Partnership for Batteries: Towards a competitive European industrial battery value chain. It aims to support the development of a world-class European research and innovation ecosystem on batteries, and to foster European industrial leadership in the design and production of batteries for the next generation of both stationary and mobile applications.
  11. European Partnership for Zero Emission Waterborne Transport. It aims for the EU to lead and accelerate the transformation of maritime and inland waterborne transport to eliminate all harmful environmental emissions, including greenhouse gas, air and water pollutants, through innovative technologies and operation.

Yesterday the Commission adopted a Memoranda of Understanding to launch the Partnerships, which will start their operations immediately. A signature ceremony for the Memoranda of Understanding will take place at the European Research and Innovation Days on 23 June.

Thierry BretonCommissioner for Internal Market, said “With the new Partnerships Europe is coming at the forefront of global technological developments, building key industrial capacities and accelerating its twin green and digital transitions. This will help put Europe on a path towards climate-neutrality by 2050 and a circular economy. Through their work, the Partnerships will also put an emphasis on developing the digital technologies needed for supporting Europe's industrial leadership.”


EU Commission