The European Commission published on November 5th the recommendations by a group of experts, the Strategic Forum on Important Projects of Common European Interest, to boost Europe’s competitiveness and global leadership in six strategic and future-oriented industrial sectors: Connected, clean and autonomous vehicles; Hydrogen technologies and systems; Smart health; Industrial Internet of Things; Low-carbon industry; and Cybersecurity.
Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEIs) comprise innovative research projects that often entail significant risks and require joint, well-coordinated efforts and transnational investments by public authorities and industries from several Member States. By investing jointly in Europe’s industrial strengths and assets, the EU can generate jobs and growth across sectors and regions and strengthen its role on the global stage.
In addition to recommendations specific to each of the value chains, the report also identifies horizontal enabling actions:
- Pooling public and private resources at EU, national and regional levels; The EU should coordinate these joint investments, targeting first industrial deployment and the commercialisation of new technologies;
- Deepening and integrating the single market through regulations and new standards;
- Mapping and developing the skills needed across the value chains;
- Making innovation systems in Europe more dynamic, with a focus on regional strengths and public-private partnerships;
- Setting a governance process to monitor technological and industrial changes, identify emerging strategic value chains and evaluate the progress of work on these value chains.
The Commission fully supports Member States and their companies coming together to enable transnational large-scale investments with positive spillover effects across Europe.
The EU has put in place flexible State aid rules to facilitate IPCEIs. In December 2018, the Commission approved, under the State aid IPCEI framework, €1.75 billion of public investment, which will unlock an additional €6 billion of private investment for research and innovation in microelectronics.
Four European countries – France, Germany, Italy and the UK – and around 30 companies and research institutions will join forces to enable research and innovation in this key technology. This was the first research and innovation project approved under the special, leaner rules for State aid for projects of strategic European interest. Important joint efforts and investments are also being made on high-performance computing and batteries.
For further information: Strengthening Strategic Value Chains for a future-ready EU Industry – report of the Strategic Forum for Important Projects of Common European Interest