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Daily News – 25.07.2016

European Commission - Daily News

Daily News 25 / 07 / 2016

Brussels, 25 July 2016

Commission presents breakdown of €8.5 billion investment in research and innovation in 2017

The European Commission today updated the 2017 work programme of Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation scheme, which will invest €8.5 billion in research and innovation next year. Important novelties include the introduction of open research data in all new Horizon 2020 calls. For projects funded under the programme, free online access to scientific data will become the norm, which will boost competitiveness through open science by accelerating innovation and collaboration. The programme also reacts to topical developments by reinforcing research into migration. In response to the refugee crisis, funding will be dedicated to new research to understand migration but also to develop effective policies for managing the influx and integrating migrants into society and the economy. Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "The response to the Horizon 2020 calls has been immense, with around more than 90,000 eligible proposals submitted in the past two and a half years. We are now giving innovation an additional boost by making open research data the norm: from now on, the scientific community and innovative businesses can access research information more easily and affordably. And by reinforcing research on migration, we demonstrate once again that Horizon 2020 can adapt quickly to new and emerging challenges." The funding opportunities offered by the Work Programme are directly aligned with the Commission's 10 priorities as well as the strategic priorities of Commissioner Moedas. Working with a total budget of nearly €77 billion over seven years, Horizon 2020 will support a range of cross-cutting initiatives in 2017: Industry 2020 in the Circular Economy (€325 million) to develop strong and sustainable economies; Green Vehicles (€133 million); Smart and Sustainable Cities (€115 million) to better integrate environmental, transport, energy and digital networks in the EU's urban environments; Technologies and standards for automatic driving (over €50 million); and the Internet of Things (€37 million) to foster the take-up of digital technologies in Europe. The new work programme also increases support for excellence in cutting-edge research. Grants of a total of €1.8 billion will be awarded to top scientists by the European Research Council, making this its highest annual budget since its launch in 2007. More information on the work programme update, a press MEMO, a factsheet on the new migration topics and an infographic on Open Data are available online. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso - Tel.: +32 229 80100; Joseph Waldstein – Tel.: +32 229 56184)

 

New Commission online tool to measure fuel costs and CO2 emissions of your car journey

In line with the Commission's ambition to move towards low and zero-emission vehicles as outlined in the European Strategy for Low-Emission Mobility adopted last Wednesday, the Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) has developed an online tool to help citizens estimate the fuel costs and CO2 emissions of their daily commute or holiday trips by car, for instance. The ‘Green Driving Tool’ was launched in support of the Commission’s initiatives for the decarbonisation of transport in Europe. The interactive, web-based instrument allows for estimating the fuel costs and CO2 emissions of individual car journeys on the basis of variables such as car segment, engine power, fuel type and driving style. Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the JRC, said: "The Green Driving Tool, developed by the Commission's Joint Research Centre, helps consumers make better informed choices for their car transport needs and shows them how they can lower CO2 emissions and fuel costs. It is an excellent example of how science can support policy objectives and provide practical tools to tackle societal challenges and empower citizens.” The Green Driving Tool uses detailed map data and vehicle simulations to estimate fuel consumption, costs and CO2 emissions for any given car journey. It will therefore help raise awareness of the impact of car journeys, supporting citizens looking to make decisions on their use of cars. More information, as well as the Green Driving Tool itself, are available online. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt - Tel.: +32 229 67083; Joseph Waldstein - Tel.: +32 229 56184)

 

Commission welcomes new members of the EIT Governing Board

Today, the European Commission appointed four new members to the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT). They are Péter Lakatos, Rolf P. Nagel, Björn O. Nilsson and Dirk Jan van den Berg. Their biographies are available here. Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: "The new Board members will help guide the EIT and the Knowledge and Innovation Communities in contributing to Europe's innovation capacity by delivering new and cutting-edge education activities, developing solutions to significant societal challenges and by extending their activities further across Europe's regions." The EIT Governing Board is composed of professionals chosen for their expertise and experience in education, research and business. It oversees the strategic direction of the EIT and the selection of its operating partners, the Knowledge and Innovation Communities. The four new members are highly respected for their work in fields connected to business and innovation. They have been appointed for four years and will join the other members of the Board at the next meeting of the EIT Governing Board in September. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel.: +32 229 67083; Joseph Waldstein - Tel.: +32 229 56184)

 

State aid: Commission orders Spain to recover incompatible State aid for high speed train test centre from railway operator ADIF

The European Commission has concluded that aid granted by Spain to railway operator ADIF for the construction of a high-speed train test centre in Andalusia does not meet a genuine objective of common interest. In particular, it does not contribute to promoting a sustainable development in the region. The Commission has investigated in-depth Spanish plans to finance the full investment costs in the amount of €358.6 million for the construction of a test centre for high-speed trains and related equipment near Malaga in Andalusia (the "Centro de Ensayos de Alta Tecnología Ferroviaria", CEATF). Under the plans notified by Spain to the Commission in September 2013, the public funding was to be awarded to the Spanish railway infrastructure operator, Administrador de Infraestructura ferroviaria (ADIF), which would own the CEATF. The Commission's investigation revealed that in fact Spain already paid out, from 2011, €140.7 million to ADIF before the Commission's decision, in violation of EU rules. Spain must now recover from ADIF the funds, which have already been disbursed to the company. A full press release is available online in EN, FR, DE and ES. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)

 

STATEMENTS

 

Commissioner Moedas gave keynote speech at the EuroScience Open Forum in Manchester

Today EU Commissioner Carlos Moedas, responsible for Research, Innovation and Science, gave a keynote speech in the plenary of the EuroScience Open Forum. In his speech the Commissioner outlined his vision for an Open Global Research Area. While in Manchester he will also meet with Mr Lauritz Holm-Nielson, President of Euroscience, and Mr Peter Tindemans, General Secretary of Euroscience. Finally, the Commissioner will visit the regional research sites Alderley Park and Jodrell Bank, and will chair the Member States Science Advisory meeting. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso - Tel.: +32 229 80100; Joseph Waldstein – Tel.: +32 229 56184)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Commissioner Oettinger in Kyiv to discuss challenges and opportunities that the Digital Single Market represents for Ukraine

Today and tomorrow, Günther H. Oettinger, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, is in Ukraine. During this visit, Commissioner Oettinger is expected to meet Volodymyr Groysman, Prime Minister of Ukraine, Stepan Kubiv, Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, and Oleksandr Danchenko, Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament's ICT Committee, to discuss cooperation in the field of digital economy and society. The Commissioner will also speak at a high-level policy event which will explore the challenges and opportunities that the European Union's Digital Single Market represents for Ukraine. The Commissioner has been inspired by the success of the Energy Community which extends the EU's internal energy market rules to countries in South-East Europe and beyond, and hopes to explore a similar common vision of a Digital Community between the EU and Ukraine. Commissioner Oettinger intends to organise a Ministerial-level meeting with the six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) in early autumn in Brussels in order to continue the discussion on the creation of the Digital Community. Further information will be published on the Commissioner's website tomorrow. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt - Tel.: +32 229 67083; Marie Frenay - Tel.: +32 229 64532)

 

Commissioner Avramopoulos in Senegal to discuss cooperation on migration management under the new Partnership Framework with third countries

On 26 July, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos will be visiting Dakar, Senegal, in the framework of the ongoing high level political dialogue between Senegal and the European Union. This is the first official visit to a priority country in the context of the recently launched new Partnership Framework with third countries on migration management and will contribute to the overall effort to strengthen cooperation with Senegal. During the visit, Commissioner Avramopoulos will hold talks with the President of the Republic, Macky Sall, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mankeur Ndiaye, and the Minister of Interior, Abdoulaye Daouda Diallo. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Markus Lammert – Tel.: +32 229 58602)

 
Upcoming events of the European Commission (ex-Top News)

MEX/16/2622