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Environment: Commission launches new initiative to help cutting-edge green technologies reach the market

European Commission - IP/11/1544   15/12/2011

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European Commission - Press release

Environment: Commission launches new initiative to help cutting-edge green technologies reach the market

Brussels, 15 December 2011 – The European Commission is launching a new instrument to help companies that are developing innovative environmental technologies. The Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) pilot programme will provide independent verification of the performance of new environmental technologies. This will help manufacturers prove the reliability of performance claims, and help technology purchasers identify innovations that suit their needs.

Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "The Environmental Technology Verification pilot programme is the first, practical fruit of the Eco-Innovation Action Plan. Investors need objective and credible information about the performance of new technologies, so this initiative will have an important role to play. It should help companies at the cutting edge of environmental technologies make the most of the opportunities in the European Single Market."

The ETV pilot programme, which is entirely voluntary, will initially cover three areas: water treatment and monitoring; materials, waste and resources; and energy technologies. The aim is to reduce the risks and increase confidence of the first purchasers or investors in a new technology by providing reliable, science-based information on its performance. This will take the form of a Statement of Verification for use in business-to-business relations. ETV services are intended in particular for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, which may find it more difficult to prove the performance of new technologies than larger manufacturers. ETV should reduce the need to multiply demonstration sites or to repeat test campaigns for different markets. It could also facilitate exports to non-EU markets such as North America and Asia, where the ETV approach is progressively recognised.

Next steps

The programme will begin by accrediting the Verification Bodies (VBs) that will verify the technologies. Interested organisations are invited to contact the accreditation agency of the Member State where they are established, the list of which is available on the website of the European co-operation for Accreditation (see below). In the coming months, a call for proposals will be published under the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) to support accredited VBs in implementing the pilot programme. This includes helping manufacturers to undertake verifications under ETV.

After two to three years of operation, the European Commission will evaluate the ETV pilot programme, its functioning and impacts on the marketing of new technologies, and will draw conclusions on the way forward for Environmental Technology Verification in Europe. Stakeholders will be asked about the implementation and evaluation of the ETV pilot programme through a Stakeholder forum to be established in 2012.

Background

The ETV pilot programme has been prepared in co-operation with 7 Member States and many stakeholders active in the field of technology development and assessment. It is one of the actions announced in the new Eco-Innovation Action Plan that has also just been adopted (see IP/11/1547).

Further information

ETV webpage on Europa (includes an information note, the ETV General Verification Protocol and Frequently Asked Questions, and the Commission Staff Working Paper on the Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) initiative – helping eco-innovations to reach the market). National contacts in participating Member States are listed in the information note.

Eco-innovation Action Plan (EcoAP)

Common website of research and pilot projects on ETV

European co-operation for Accreditation

Competitiveness and Innovation framework Programme (CIP) – Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme

Contacts :

Joe Hennon (+32 2 295 35 93)

Monica Westeren (+32 2 299 18 30)


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