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Brussels, 15 May 2007

Joint Technology Initiatives, a new EU research initiative: Frequently asked questions

For the first time ever at European level, public/private partnerships, involving industry, the research community and public authorities, are being set up to pursue ambitious common research objectives under two Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs) – ARTEMIS, for embedded computing systems and IMI, the Innovative Medicines Initiative.

What are Joint Technology Initiatives?

Joint Technology Initiatives are a major new element of the EU's 7th Research Framework Programme. They provide a way of creating new partnerships between publicly and privately-funded organisations involved in research, focussing on areas where research and technological development can contribute to European competitiveness and quality of life. The approach proposed by the JTIs signals a real change in how Europe promotes industry-driven research, designed to establish European leadership in certain technologies that are strategic to Europe's future.

Why are JTIs needed?

Research is becoming increasingly global, and increasingly competitive. To become world class and stay in the lead requires a concerted effort from Europe's research community, public and private, both pulling together. In some areas, traditional instruments of the Framework Programme, such as individual projects with a small number of partners, are no longer appropriate. Increasing the scale and impact of research investment, improving the level of coordination and integration and raising the technological content of industrial activity are essential is Europe is to be a strong, technologically innovative economy. The rapid pace of technological change, the rising costs of research, the increasing complexity and interdependence of technologies, and the potential economies of scale to be gained by cooperation across Europe are all strong reasons for setting up long-term public-private partnerships. JTIs are a new way of doing this, by combining private sector investment with national and European public funding, including funds from the EU's Research Framework Programme and, possibly, also loan finance from the European Investment Bank.

The Commission expects this new model of public-private partnership to stimulate additional European research investment, build critical mass by uniting currently fragmented efforts, and ensure effective and efficient programme management.

What is the aim of these public-private partnerships?

JTIs support co-operative research across Europe in fields of key importance for industrial research, where there are clearly identified common technological and economic objectives. The idea is to boost European investment by providing a clear framework for research investment which will encourage both industry and Member States to increase their spending.

They will contribute considerably to raising European, Member State and private R&D investment in the technological fields concerned and to improving its impact through concentrating efforts and resources and avoiding fragmentation.

Europe stands to gain massively from a focused approach to research which complements and integrates national research efforts, and leads to economies of scale and efficiency gains. Streamlining management overheads and reducing red tape would lead to shorter times to contract and project. This is attractive for companies that face ever-shrinking times to market and windows of opportunity.

What does a JTI do?

A JTI implements a common Strategic Research Agenda. This details the research and development challenges that need to be addressed. In addition, it deals with general aspects such as research infrastructure, education, and support for SMEs and international collaboration.

The JTI will define a detailed Work Programme and will directly manage all aspects of the implementation of the JTI programme, including organising calls for proposals and tender, proposal evaluation, project selection, negotiation and signature of contracts, project follow-up and reporting, all respecting the Framework Programme's principles of competition and excellence.

What areas will they cover?

The two JTIs proposed today are in the fields of embedded systems (ARTEMIS) and Innovative Medicines (IMI). The 7th Framework Programme identifies other potential candidates, though an individual case has to be made for each, according to the objective identification criteria. Other candidates are: Clean Skies, Nano-electronics, Hydrogen & Fuel Cells, Global Monitoring for Environment and Security.

What are the identification criteria?

According to the 7th Framework Programme, each JTI candidate must demonstrate that is can effectively:

  • address an area of strategic importance for Europe, with clearly identified outcomes
  • address an identified market failure
  • demonstrate the added value of action at European level
  • muster a long-term commitment from the industry concerned

Each must also identify that existing instruments are inadequate to reach the desired outcomes.

What is the legal basis of a JTI?

JTIs are established on the basis of Article 171 of the EC Treaty which allows the Commission to set up Joint Undertakings for "the efficient execution of Community research, technological development and demonstration programmes". Article 172 says that these Joint Undertakings can be implemented via a Council Regulation in agreement with Member States.

What is the difference between a Joint Undertaking and a JTI?

A Joint Undertaking is a legal entity established under the Treaty. The term can be used to describe any activity proposed for the "efficient execution of Community research, technological development and demonstration programmes". Joint Technology Initiatives are instruments proposed specifically within the Decision creating the 7th Research Framework Programme, and for which the identification criteria are clearly identified.

Who will be part of the Joint Undertaking?

Members of the Joint Undertaking will include the European Commission, a not-for-profit industry-led association and, in the case of ARTEMIS, Member/associated States.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), research organisations (including universities) and corporate members are all welcome to join the industrial associations.

ARTEMISIA, the Artemis Industrial Association, is currently open for members to join. Over a hundred applications have already been received from industry, SMEs and research organisations.

EFPIA, the industry organisation in the Innovative Medicines Initiative, is composed of 30 national associations and 46 leading pharmaceutical companies, thereby representing 2,100 companies committed to researching, developing and bringing to patients new medicines that improve health and the quality of life around the world.

Why should industry participate?

By joining forces and pooling resources, industry, especially SMEs, can accomplish far more than by going it alone.

For a practical point of view members can vote in elections, participate in key decisions, and shape the policies and evolution of the Strategic Research Agenda. Participation in the JTI provides access to an extensive network of respected research partners.

How will they be funded?

The Commission and Member States that are part of the Joint Undertakings will annually commit funds from their research budget. Industry will commit matching in-kind contributions and funds –50% or more of the total costs of the projects to carry out the research.

Can proposals with partners from non-EU member states get funding?

Countries associated to the 7th research Framework Programme can get funding. For other countries, this will be decided on a case-by-case basis depending on whether the proposal would be in the interests of the JTI and the call.

What will the JTIs focus on?

Two JTIs are being presented today.

The embedded systems JTI, ARTEMIS (see IP/06/1589), will sustain Europe’s world lead in embedded systems, specialised computer components dedicated to a specific task that are part of a larger system. It was recently signalled by Europe's Ministers as being of strategic importance for Europe's economy and should start as soon as possible. Europe believes that the computing systems of the future will be "embedded" in everyday electronic devices all around us. In the same way that desktop computing of the 80's and the internet in the 90's led to waves of IT revolution, a third wave of "embedded intelligence" is around the corner which will lead to the creation of new markets that we cannot currently envisage. The Artemis Joint Undertaking aims to position Europe at the forefront of this revolution which contrasts with the dominance of non-European technologies in desktop computing and internet.

ARTEMIS first began in June 2004 (see IP/04/804) as a European Technology Platform (see MEMO/06/331). It aimed to bring together key players in embedded computing from many industrial sectors with 17 major companies. One of its core tasks was to define a common Strategic Research Agenda which essentially should attract investments from stakeholders.

The Innovative Medicines Initiative will create a €2 billion research programme over 7 years, jointly with the pharmaceutical industry. This programme will support the development of new knowledge, tools and methods in order to bring better and safer medicines quicker to the market.

The Framework Programme will contribute €1 billion €, to go directly to SMEs and universities. These will undertake research that serves the generic, pre-competitive needs of the pharmaceutical sector. The pharmaceutical companies will match this €1 billion by undertaking research and development in projects with these SMEs and universities.

The aim of IMI is to improve considerably the environment for pharmaceutical research in Europe and overturn the trend of relocation in this crucial sector. In 1990, major European companies spent 73% of their worldwide R&D investment on EU territory. In 1999, that was reduced to 59%.

When will they start?

For the JTIs the actual start depends on the timing of the Council Decision to be taken later this year as part of the Portuguese presidency. It is expected that ARTEMIS and IMI will start with the first calls for proposal early in 2008.

Both industry associations already exist. ARTEMISIA, the Artemis Industrial Association, was set up in January 2007 under Dutch law by Philips, ST Microelectronics, Thales, Nokia and DaimlerChrysler, and EFPIA is the existing organisation representing the pharmaceuticals industry in Europe.

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