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The two-year plan to stimulate economy gets the OK: nearly 2 billion to develop a circular economy and change the production system.
Green New Deal alights also on the Old Continent. Over the next two years, the European Commission will invest about 16 billion euros in research and innovation: of these, one billion is destined to the innovate the production system, 670 million to the circular economy and more than 230 million will be used to make cities more eco-friendly.
This new stimulus for a greener European economy comes from a work plan studied for 2016-2017, as part of Horizon 2020, the funding system for research and innovation.
The investments are in line with the policy priorities of the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Carlos Medas, commissioner for research, science and innovation, said: “Research and innovation are the driving force of European growth and they are fundamental to face challenges like migration, climate change, clean energy and health. Over the next two years, Horizon 2020’s 16 billion euros will support our scientific efforts, improving life for everyone”.
This huge amount of money will be dispensed through tender notices “ad hoc” which will destine funds to the most deserving projects. Financed initiatives have to deal with: production system modernisation (1 billion), technologies for automated driving (over 100 million), “Internet of Things” (139 million) to digitise the European industry, circular economy (670 million) to develop strong and sustainable economies, smart cities (232 million) to improve the urban environment in terms of environmental sustainability, transports, energy and digital networks.
The goal of the new program is also improving Horizon 2020’s fund efficiency: more money will be available for innovative companies thanks to new leveraging opportunities offered by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), in addition to more than 740 million for small and medium-sized enterprises.