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Brussels, 11 December 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 Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs).

What are Joint Technology Initiatives?

Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs) are public-private partnerships set up at European level to address strategic areas where research and innovation are essential to European competitiveness. A novel element of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities, JTIs support large-scale multinational research activities. They bring together private and public partners to define common objectives of wide societal relevance and to combine funding and knowledge in order to fulfil these objectives.

Why are JTIs needed?

JTIs target well-defined areas where existing programmes and instruments (including those of the Framework Programme), which often follow a project oriented approach, cannot cater for the scale and scope needed. In these areas, cooperation between private and public partners, at the national and European levels, can yield significant added value by creating incentives for increased spending in research and development. By joining forces, industry can accomplish far more than by doing it alone. Furthermore, the creation of spin-offs as a result of JTI activities may be widespread across the regions of Europe.

How are JTIs set up?

JTIs stem primarily from the work of European Technology Platforms. European Technology Platforms bring together a broad range of stakeholders – namely industry, including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), research organisations, civil society organisations and the public sector - to define Strategic Research Agendas in particular fields. In certain cases, the scale and complexity is such that a new approach is needed to implement all or parts of this agenda. JTIs respond to this need.

The criteria to identify areas in which there is a need to set up a JTI are:

  • strategic importance of the topic and clear objectives;
  • existence of market failure;
  • added value of action at European level;
  • substantial, long-term industry commitment;
  • inadequacy of existing Community instruments.

Based on these criteria, six areas have been identified where a JTI could have particular relevance: embedded computing systems (ARTEMIS) and nanoelectronics (ENIAC) in the ICT domain, innovative medicines (IMI), aeronautics (Clean Sky), fuel cells and hydrogen (FCH), and global monitoring for environment and security (GMES).

In formal terms, JTIs are set up by a Council Regulation, on the basis of a proposal by the Commission. The Regulation specifies the duration of the JTI, which is generally up to 10 years.

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 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. It has a dedicated budget and staff. 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.

The Joint Undertaking provides a framework for the public and private players to work and take decisions together. It organises calls for proposals, oversees selection procedures and puts in place contractual arrangements for projects set up to implement the JTI research agenda. It allows funds from different sources to be jointly managed and is responsible for communication and dissemination activities.

Each Joint Undertaking includes one or more decision-making bodies, a Secretariat, an Executive Director and, in some cases, a scientific advisory committee.

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 and ENIAC, Member/Associated States.

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

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 is the role of the European Community?

The European Community is a founding member of each JTI. In addition to its financial contribution, the Community, represented by the European Commission, is a member of the JTI decision-making bodies. In particular, it is responsible for ensuring that public funds are spent in the most effective way.

What will the ICT JTIs focus on?

More than 90% of computing devices are embedded, and forecasts predict more than 16 billion embedded devices by 2010 and over 40 billion by 2020. Within the next five years, the share of embedded systems in the value of the final product is expected to reach unprecedented levels in key industrial sectors. Take the example of a car - over 20% of its value is due to embedded electronics and this will double in the next few years.

The aim of the ARTEMIS JTI is to strengthen the competitiveness and ability of the EU to innovate in this area, by combining resources and funding from the Framework Programme, industry, national R&D programmes and intergovernmental R&D schemes (such as EUREKA).

Building on the Strategic Research Agenda developed by the European Technology Platform, ARTEMIS aims to help European industry consolidate and reinforce its world leadership in embedded computing technologies. The economic impact in terms of jobs and growth is expected to exceed €100 billion over the next ten years.

Nanoelectronics are significant drivers of innovation and growth and are crucial to the EU’s future competitiveness and societal development. They are integral components in products for mobile communications, transport, computing and consumer products, amongst others. The value of electronic components in innovative products is growing, as extra functionalities and intelligence are added. The sector faces a number of challenges, including fragmentation of its research efforts, increasing technological complexity and competitive pressures from other world regions.

The ENIAC Nanoelectronics Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) provides a framework to coordinate resources and funding from the Framework Programme, industry, national research and development (R&D) programmes and intergovernmental schemes (such as EUREKA). By integrating R&D efforts, ENIAC will foster durable large-scale strategic partnerships between European industry and institutes, thus anchoring R&D in Europe and boosting European competitiveness.

The JTI builds on the work of the ENIAC European Technology Platform. More specifically, it focuses on research, development and innovation for ‘ambient intelligence’ – these are environments that are aware of our presence and responsive to our needs – for applications in healthcare, energy, mobility & transport, security & safety, communication and education & environment.

When will they start?

The actual start is expected to be in early 2008, after the Council Decision still to be taken before the end of the year (under the Portuguese presidency). It is expected that ARTEMIS and ENIAC will launch their first calls for proposals in the second quarter 2008.

Both industry associations are ready. ARTEMISIA, the ARTEMIS Industrial Association, was set up in January 2007 under Dutch law by DaimlerChrysler, Nokia, Philips, STMicroelectronics, and Thales, while AENEAS, the ENIAC Industrial Association, was established in September 2007 under French law by ASML, Infineon Technologies, NXP, Robert Bosch, Soitec, STMicroelectronics, Thales and Thomson.

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