The Council of the European Union gave today its green light to the Single Basic Act, a regulation aimed at facilitating the launch of 9 new European Partnerships, namely ‘Joint Undertakings’, between the European Union, Member States and/or the industry, to deliver innovative solutions in Europe for global health, technology and climate challenges. Also, yesterday, the Council adopted a decision on the involvement of the EU in a 10th partnership, the European Partnership on metrology, to increase investments in metrology research and capabilities, and to enable in this way relevant innovative products. This follows the Commission’s proposal from February aimed at speeding up the transition towards a green, climate neutral and digital Europe, as well as strengthening the resilience and competitiveness of the European industry.
The EU will provide nearly €10 billion of funding from Horizon Europe that the partners will match with at least an equivalent amount of investment. This combined contribution is expected to mobilise additional investments in the areas of health, transport, energy, digital technology and metrology, create jobs and growth, and generate long-term positive impact on the environment and the society.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said:
These Partnerships are all about pooling research and innovation resources and ensuring that research results are turned into useful innovations for the citizens. With Horizon Europe we are committed to emerge from the climate crisis, provide sustainable solutions to major environmental challenges, improve citizens’ health and accelerate a sustainable recovery. This will benefit all Europeans.
The 10 Partnerships adopted today are the following:
- Global Health EDCTP3: This partnership will deliver new solutions for reducing the burden of infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, and strengthen research capacities to prepare and respond to re-emerging infectious diseases in this region and across the world. By 2030, it aims to develop and deploy at least two new technologies tackling infectious diseases, and support at least 100 research institutes in 30 countries to develop additional health technologies against re-emerging epidemics.
- Innovative Health Initiative: This partnership will help create an EU-wide health research and innovation ecosystem that facilitates the translation of scientific knowledge into tangible innovations. It will cover research and innovation for prevention, diagnostics, treatment and management of diseases, focussing on unmet public health needs. The initiative will contribute to reaching the objectives of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, the new Industrial Strategy for Europe and the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe.
- Key Digital Technologies: They encompass electronic components, as well as their design, manufacture and integration in systems and the software that defines how they work. The overarching objective of this partnership is to support the digital transformation of all economic and societal sectors and the European Green Deal, as well as support research and innovation towards the next generation of microprocessors. Together with the Declaration on a European Initiative on processors and semiconductor technologies signed by 22 Member States, the recently launched Industrial Alliance on processors and semiconductor technologies, and a possible new Important Project of Common European Interest under discussion by Member States to foster breakthrough innovation, this new partnership will help boost competitiveness and Europe’s technological sovereignty.
- Circular Bio-based Europe: This partnership will contribute significantly to the 2030 climate targets, paving the way for climate neutrality by 2050, and will increase the sustainability and circularity of production and consumption systems, in line with the European Green Deal. It aims to develop and expand the sustainable sourcing and conversion of biomass into bio-based products as well as to support the deployment of bio-based innovation at regional level with the active involvement of local actors and with a view to reviving rural, coastal and peripheral regions.
- Clean Hydrogen: This partnership will accelerate the development and deployment of a European value chain for clean hydrogen technologies, contributing to sustainable, decarbonised and fully integrated energy systems. Together with the Hydrogen Alliance, it will contribute to the achievement of the Union’s objectives put forward in the EU hydrogen strategy for a climate-neutral Europe. It will focus on producing, distributing and storing clean hydrogen and on supplying sectors that are hard to decarbonise, such as heavy industries and heavy-duty transport applications.
- Clean Aviation: This partnership puts aviation en route to climate neutrality, by accelerating the development and deployment of disruptive research and innovation solutions. It aims to develop the next generation of ultra-efficient low-carbon aircraft, with novel power sources, engines, and systems, improving competitiveness and employment in the aviation sector that will be especially important for the recovery.
- Europe’s Rail: This partnership will speed up the development and deployment of innovative technologies, especially digital and automation ones, to achieve the radical transformation of the rail system and deliver on the European Green Deal objectives. By improving competitiveness, it will support European technological leadership in rail.
- Single European Sky ATM Research 3: The partnership aims to accelerate the digital transformation of air traffic management with the goal of making Europe’s airspace the most efficient, safest and environmentally friendly sky to fly in the world, while supporting the competitiveness and recovery of the aviation sector following the coronavirus crisis.
- Smart Networks and Services: This partnership will support technological sovereignty for smart networks and services in line with the industrial strategy for Europe, the EU Cybersecurity Strategy and the 5G Cybersecurity Toolbox. It aims to help resolve societal challenges and to enable the digital and green transition, as well as support technologies that will contribute to the economic recovery. It will also enable European players to develop the technology capacities for 6G systems as a basis for future digital services towards 2030. More information is available here.
- Metrology: This public partnership aims to accelerate Europe’s global lead in metrology research, establishing self-sustaining European metrology networks aimed at supporting new innovative products, responding to societal challenges, such as health, environment or climate and enabling effective design and implementation of necessary regulation and standards. The Commission will cooperate with EURAMET (European Association of National Metrology Institutes) to strengthen participation of industry in work programmes of this partnership.
The publication of the Regulations on the Official Journal is foreseen in late November 2021 followed by the entry into force. Under the new legal basis, the 10 new European Partnerships will now enter into their set-up and implementation phase, which will include recruitment of staff, appointment of advisory bodies and the preparation of work programmes. Once set up, new calls for proposals will be launched, to select and finance research and innovation projects according to their respective objectives.
The European Partnerships are key implementation tools of Horizon Europe, the EU research and innovation programme (2021-2027) and contribute significantly to achieving the EU’s political priorities. They are initiatives where the European Union, together with private and/or public partners (such as industry, public bodies or foundations) commit to support jointly the development and implementation of an integrated programme of research and innovation activities. Partnerships aim to improve and accelerate the development and uptake of new innovative solutions across different sectors, by mobilising public and private resources. Moreover, by bringing private and public partners together, European Partnerships help to avoid the duplication of investments and contribute to reducing the fragmentation of the research and innovation landscape in the EU. They will also contribute to the objectives of the European Green Deal and strengthen the European Research Area. Partnerships are open to a wide range of public and private partners, such as industry, universities, research organisations, bodies with a public service mission at local, regional, national or international level, and civil society organisations, including foundations and NGOs.
The Single Basic Act contributes to the goal of rationalising the EU research and innovation funding landscape and to a strategic and impact-driven approach to European partnerships.