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Brussels, 15 May 2007

Joining forces for growth and jobs: Commission, Member States and industry to pool investment in strategic research programmes

A new era of research and development funding began today with the adoption of proposals by the European Commission to launch the first ever Europe-wide public-private R&D partnerships. The Commission presented two Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs) on Embedded Computing Systems and Innovative Medicines. These JTIs will pool industry, Member States and Commission resources into targeted research programmes. JTIs will move away from the traditional case-by-case public funding of projects approach towards large scale research programmes dedicated to common strategic research targets. This new approach will create critical mass for European research and innovation, consolidate the European research community in key strategic areas and streamline project funding to bring research results on stream quicker. Today's decision creates the legal framework to establish ARTEMIS, the embedded computing systems JTI, and IMI, the Innovative Medicines Initiative.

"Europe needs a new approach to research in certain promising areas for our competitiveness and well-being," said European Science and Research Commissioner, Janez Potočnik. "The proposals today show that the European Commission is committed to thinking differently where that is what Europe needs."

"Last November in Helsinki I promised a bold new venture to lift European research," said Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media. "Today, I am proud that we have delivered on this promise: the Commission proposes a new form of public-private partnership to pursue ambitious objectives set by industry in embedded computing systems. Achievement of these objectives will translate to more than €100 billion over the next ten years and to increased competitiveness for our strategic industries such as automotive, communications, aerospace, consumer electronics and industrial automation. Pooling public and private research investment is of key importance for staying in the global race for growth and jobs."

JTIs are targeted at critical areas where existing instruments cannot deliver the scale and speed needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global competition. These are areas where national, European and industrial funding for research can yield significant added value in particular by creating incentives for increased private research and development spending.

The first JTI, ARTEMIS, addresses the invisible computers (embedded systems) that today run all machines from cars, planes and phones, from energy networks and factories to washing machines and televisions. Forecasts predict there will be over 16 billion embedded devices by 2010 and over 40 billion devices worldwide by 2020. By 2010 these invisible chips will represent 30-40% of the value of new products in consumer electronics (41%), telecommunications (37%), automotive (36%) and health equipment (33%). The ARTEMIS research budget will total €2.7 billion over seven years. Industry led, around 60% of the budget is expected to come from industry, €410 million from the Commission and €800 from Member State programmes.

The second JTI, the Innovative Medicines Initiative, will support the development of new knowledge, tools and methods so that better and safer medicines can be made available more quickly. The programme will have €2 billion to invest over seven years. The Community contribution of €1 billion will go entirely to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and universities for research that can be used by the pharmaceutical sector. Major companies will match this amount and will involve these SMEs and universities. The IMI will therefore contribute to increasing private investment in R&D, improving the knowledge transfer between universities and business, and involving small business in European research.

Although there are substantial levels of public funding involved in JTIs, these new research initiatives are designed to be as fast, flexible and light as possible. Overheads will be low at between 1.5 and 4% of the total budget. The initiatives will be implemented through Joint Undertakings that will be established by Council Regulations under Community law.

The Commission proposals for each JTI will be presented to the Competitiveness Council of 21-22 May, and it is hoped that the regulations can be adopted during the Portuguese presidency, in time for both JTIs to start work early in 2008. Further initiatives, in nano-electronics, clean skies, and hydrogen and fuel cells are expected to follow.

On JTIs generally, see MEMO/07/191

On ARTEMIS, see the special press pack at:

On IMI, see MEMO/07/190

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