At the end of November 2008 the European Commission adopted an Economic Recovery Package to help Member States and European industry during the current financial crisis. As part of that package three major Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) focusing on research and innovation activities to develop clean technologies for the automotive (Green Cars), construction (Energy-efficient buildings – EeB) and manufacturing sectors (Factories of the Future – FoF) were announced.
The aim of the PPPs was – in part – to stimulate “smart investment” in research and support innovation that can contribute to the transition to a “green economy”. Their objective is to promote the convergence of public interest with industrial commitment and leadership in determining strategic research activities. SusChem already has significant research initiatives that are relevant to all three sectors and is keen to play its part in supporting the initiatives.
The FP7 calls in July contained the first joint calls from the PPPs. All the calls were funded individually or jointly under appropriate FP7 themes and many offer opportunities for SusChem-led collaborations.
Under the EeB PPP six calls were made with an indicative total budget of €65million. The topics cover: New nanotechnology-based high performance insulation systems for energy efficiency; New technologies for energy efficiency at District level”; Compatible solutions for improving energy efficiency in historic urban buildings; Demonstration of Energy Efficiency through retrofitting buildings; and two calls under ICT for energy-efficient buildings and spaces for public use. These calls are now closed.
A total of five calls are made under the FoF call with a total indicative budget of €95 million. The calls cover Plug-and-Produce components for adaptive control; Supply Chain approaches for small series industrial production; Intelligent scalable manufacturing platforms and equipment for components with micro- and nano-scale functional features; and two calls under Smart Factories: ICT for agile and environmentally friendly manufacturing. These calls are now closed.
For the Green Cars PPP one topic is described with a budget of €25 million on Materials, Technologies and processes for sustainable automotive electrochemical storage applications. The deadline for this call is 14 January 2010.
According to Frederic Gouarderes from DG Research the PPP FP7 calls under the Recovery Package should be treated exactly the same as normal FP7 calls. However, he recommends that applicants should read the call documentation carefully: “These calls are not for long-term research,” he says. “Projects must be near market and make a clear link with concepts such as sustainable production. Remember that the call is part of a policy response from the European Community to the current financial crisis.”
For more general information on research aspects of the Economic Recovery Package can be found here.