The European Commission launched 11 new European partnerships with industry sectors to boost investments in research and innovation and overcome significant climate and sustainability challenges, making Europe the first climate-neutral economy and delivering on the European Green Deal. In line with the ‘twin’ green and digital transition goals, these partnerships will also provide Europe’s Digital Decade on the EU’s digital ambitions for the next decade. In addition, they will receive over €8 billion from Horizon Europe, the new EU research and innovation programme for 2021-2027. The total commitments from private partners and the Member States amount to around €22 billion.

This critical mass of funding allows the Partnerships to pursue innovative solutions on a large scale. For example, to tackle emissions from energy-intensive industries and hard-to-decarbonise sectors, such as shipping and steel-making, develop and deploy high-performance batteries, sustainable fuels, artificial intelligence tools, data technologies, robotics, and more. Pooling in efforts, resources and investments jointly and on a large scale under the Partnerships will also generate long-term positive impacts, boost European competitiveness and technological sovereignty and create jobs and growth.

The eleven European Partnerships are:

  1. European Partnership for the European Open Science Cloud. It aims to deploy and consolidate by 2030 an open, trusted virtual environment to enable the estimated 2 million European researchers to store, share and reuse research data across borders and disciplines.
  2. European Partnership for Artificial Intelligence, Data and Robotics. To deliver the most significant benefit to Europe from Artificial Intelligence (AI), data and robotics, this Partnership will drive innovation, acceptance and uptake of these technologies for citizens and businesses.
  3. European Partnership for Photonics (light-based technologies). It aims to speed up photonic innovations, secure Europe’s technological sovereignty, raise Europe’s economy’s competitiveness, and promote long-term job creation and prosperity.
  4. European Partnership for Clean Steel – Low Carbon Steelmaking. It supports EU leadership in transforming the steel industry into a carbon-neutral one, serving as a catalyser for other strategic sectors.
  5. European Partnership Made in Europe. It will be the driving force for European leadership in sustainable manufacturing in Europe by applying the circular economy principles (zero-waste and others), digital transformation, and climate-neutral manufacturing.
  6. European Partnership Processes4Planet. Its vision is that European process industries are globally leading on the 2050 climate neutrality goal, focusing on low-carbon technologies, circularities, such as circularity hubs and competitiveness.
  7. European Partnership for People-centric Sustainable Built Environment (Built4People). Its vision is high-quality, low-carbon, energy and resource-efficient built environments, like buildings, infrastructure, and more, which drive the transition towards sustainability.
  8. European Partnership towards Zero-emission Road Transport (2Zero). It aims to accelerate the development of zero-emission transport with a systems approach, supporting a climate-neutral and clean road transport system.
  9. European Partnership for Connected, Cooperative and Automated Mobility. Its goal is to accelerate implementation of innovative, connected, cooperative and automated mobility technologies and services.
  10. European Partnership for Batteries: Towards a competitive European industrial battery value chain. It aims to support the development of a world-class European research and innovation ecosystem on batteries and foster European industrial leadership in the design and production of batteries for the next generation of stationary and mobile applications.
  11. European Partnership for Zero Emission Waterborne Transport. It aims for the EU to lead and accelerate the transformation of maritime and inland waterborne transport to eliminate all harmful environmental emissions, including greenhouse gas, air and water pollutants, through innovative technologies and operation.

The Commission adopted today Memoranda of Understanding to launch the Partnerships, which will start their operations immediately. A signature ceremony for the Memoranda of Understanding occurred at the European Research and Innovation Days on 23 June.

Members of the College said:

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said: “Cooperation is key when it comes to overcoming the challenges in Europe’s green and digital transition. And digital technologies are driving this transition towards a climate-neutral, circular and more resilient economy. The eleven partnerships will mobilise significant resources, around €22 billion, so that we can jointly identify trustworthy artificial intelligence, data, robotics and many more technological tools to reach our environmental and climate goals, for a cleaner and healthier future.”

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “These Partnerships are all about pooling research and innovation resources and ensuring that research results are useful innovations for the citizens. With Horizon Europe, we are committed to emerging from the climate crisis, providing sustainable solutions to major environmental challenges, and accelerating sustainable recovery, benefitting all Europeans.”

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, said: “With the new Partnerships, Europe is coming at the forefront of global technological developments, building key industrial capacities and accelerating its twin green and digital transitions. It will help put Europe on a path towards climate neutrality by 2050 and a circular economy. Through their work, the Partnerships will also emphasise developing the digital technologies needed for supporting Europe’s industrial leadership.”


The eleven Partnerships, for which Memoranda of Understanding was adopted on 14 June, is so-called the ‘co-programmed European Partnerships – partnerships between the Commission and primarily private, but sometimes also public, partners. They will run from 2021 to 2030, allowing them to provide input into the last calls of Horizon Europe and wrap up their final activities afterwards.

The Memorandum of Understanding is the basis for the Cooperation in a Partnership, as it specifies its objectives, the commitments from both sides and the governance structure. The Partnerships also provide the Commission with input on relevant topics in the Horizon Europe Work Programmes. The implementation runs first and foremost through the Horizon Europe Work Programmes and their calls for proposals. In addition, private partners develop additional activities, which are not funded through Horizon Europe but included in the Partnership’s Strategic Research and Innovation Agendas and focus on market deployment, skills development, or regulatory aspects.

These ‘co-programmed European Partnerships are different and complementary to the more complex so-called ‘institutionalised’ European Partnerships, which are based on a legislative proposal from the Commission and have a ‘Dedicated Implementing Structure’. Earlier this year, in February, the Commission proposed to set up ten new ‘institutionalised’ European Partnerships between the European Union, Member States and/or the industry. With an investment of nearly €10 billion, which the partners will match with at least an equivalent amount, they aim to speed up the transition towards a green, climate-neutral and digital Europe and make the European industry more resilient and competitive.

Dr Johanna Tzanidaki, Director Innovation & Deployment, ERTICO – ITS Europe says “ERTICO welcomes the new European Partnerships as we expect that they will have a direct impact on societal challenges, such as the climate crisis and safety on our roads. We are proud to have been one of the key partners developing the CCAM Partnership and to have contributed to the establishment of the 2Zero Partnership. ERTICO and its 120 members are eager to continue working with other stakeholders, as cooperation is the only way we can overcome the challenges we are jointly facing”.

Source: European Commission

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