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29/02/12

Innovation Partnerships: new proposals on raw materials, agriculture and healthy ageing to boost European competitiveness

Brussels, 29 February 2012 – The European Commission has today proposed decisive action to meet three key challenges facing our society, in areas that are crucial to growth and jobs: the supply of raw materials, sustainable agriculture, and active and healthy ageing. All three require a more concerted innovation effort across the public and private sector, in order to improve quality of life and position Europe as a global leader. The Commission has therefore launched two new European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs) - on Raw Materials and on Agricultural Sustainability and Productivity - and has endorsed a four-year action plan for the Active and Healthy Ageing EIP, a pilot launched in February 2011. EIPs take a new approach to tackling the whole research-development-innovation chain, bringing together public and private stakeholders across borders and sectors in order to accelerate the uptake of innovation. They each have an ambitious target to reach by 2020, and are expected to start delivering results within 1-3 years. The announcement today comes just ahead of a European Council that is expected to reaffirm the place of research and innovation at the centre of European economic recovery.

The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, said: to innovate to get Europe back on the path to growth and jobs, and to tackle major challenges such as access to raw materials, sustainable agriculture and our ageing society. European Innovation Partnerships will break down silos, remove bottlenecks and focus our efforts on results that matter to our citizens and our businesses."

"We need The European Innovation Partnership (EIP) is a new concept that was introduced in the Europe 2020 flagship Innovation Union. The aim is to address weaknesses, bottlenecks and obstacles in the European research and innovation system that prevent or slow down good ideas being developed and brought to market. These include under-investment, outdated regulation, lack of standards, and fragmentation of markets. Each Partnership is led by a Steering Group chaired by the European Commissioner or Commissioners with responsibility for the policy area or areas concerned. They are joined by representatives of Member States (Ministers), Members of Parliament, industry leaders, researchers, civil society and other key stakeholders. EIPs identify what needs to be done to overcome bottlenecks – from further developing technologies to getting the market frameworks right and stimulating demand – and galvanise action across public and private sectors. They do not replace funding programmes or regulatory processes, but provide a shared platform for cooperation.

Source: EC European innovation partnership on raw materials

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