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European public-private partnerships delivering first socio-economic impacts


A number of PPPs (also known as Joint Undertakings or JUs), were set up in 2007-2008 to drive innovation in key industrial sectors, namely aviation (Clean Sky and SESAR), electronic components & systems (ENIAC and ARTEMIS, which subsequently merged to create ECSEL), health (IMI), and fuel cells and hydrogen for transport & energy solutions (FCH).

Since their launch, these pioneering partnerships have more than demonstrated their ability to deliver results that are both scientifically excellent and have practical applications in areas that are vital to Europe’s competitiveness. Now, the PPPs are starting to demonstrate clear socio-economic benefits.

In the aviation world, Clean Sky is delivering the large demonstrators resulting in significant pollution and noise level reductions. In some cases, these technologies – for instance, new engines, structures, aerodynamics, on-board energy systems and avionics – are already being integrated into products.

For its part, SESAR is delivering a catalogue of solutions to modernise European air traffic management, ensuring the sustainability of European air travel and aviation. A first set of solutions is already in the pipeline for Europe-wide deployment. In the longer term, deployment of SESAR solutions is expected to result in a system capable of handling up to 100% more traffic with increased safety, while reducing departure delays by 30% and CO2 emissions by 10%.

When it comes to electronic components and systems, ECSEL’s forerunners, ARTEMIS and ENIAC, are delivering results with a significant impact. For example, one award-winning project developed a best-in-class leadership technology to reduce energy losses by up to 40% in energy generation, distribution and utilisation by manufacturing power electronics devices on silicon wafers thinner than paper. This technology leveraged a private investment of €250 million in Dresden.

According to industry data, the FCH JU has sparked investments across the fuel cells and hydrogen industry, resulting in significant leverage: almost 60% out of 150 organisations sampled have increased their research and development expenditures/budgets thanks to the FCH JU.

In the health sector, IMI projects are delivering tools to speed up drug development, particularly in challenging areas such as brain disorders, diabetes, and antimicrobial resistance. They are also helping to reduce the use of animals in medical research and establishing new research resources, networks and infrastructures. IMI is catalysing unprecedented levels of collaboration between the private and public sectors.

By definition, all PPPs are leveraging significant levels of research funding from industry and, in some cases, Member States. They have also proven to be an asset for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which account for a large number of JU project participants.

Building on the successes of these older initiatives are two new PPPs set up in 2014. BBI JU (which is also involved in the European Innovation Summit) is working in the bio-based industries and materials sector. Its expected socio-economic impacts include reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the creation of jobs (primarily in rural areas) and new, profitable uses for waste and industrial streams. In the rail sector, Shift2Rail brings together key stakeholders in the rail sector with the goal of doubling the capacity of the European rail system and increasing its reliability and service quality by 50%, whilst halving lifecycle costs.

Some challenges facing Europe and the world today are simply too great for any single company, organisation or country to succeed alone. Europe’s PPPs excel at bringing together partners from universities, large industry, SMEs, and other stakeholder groups to create innovation-driven research communities focused on addressing these challenges. The results presented at the European Innovation Summit show that the PPP model is successful and can deliver significant socio-economic impacts.

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Notes to editors

Clean Sky, SESAR, IMI, FCH, ECSEL and BBI are taking part in a number of sessions plus an exhibition at the European Innovation Summit 2015 in the European Parliament and surroundings. The key events are all on Tuesday 8 December.

Details of the conference sessions involving JUs, as well as further information on the socio-economic impacts of the JUs can be found in the full press release.

For questions on IMI, contact Catherine Brett, External Relations Manager

E-mail: | Tel: +32 2 541 8214 | Mobile: +32 484 896 227

Contact details for all other JUs can be found in the full press release.