Brussels, 9 July 2014
I am proud that we have launched today - less than one year from the initial Commission proposals - the first JTI calls for proposals under Horizon 2020.
There was broad agreement during the panel discussion on the importance of partnerships in research and innovation for Europe's future, and the contribution that they can make to help address major societal challenges.
Facing these challenges requires investments and joint efforts with you, the private sector, and also with Member States. We need to work in a smart way, making sure that every euro spent at EU level gives maximum return in terms of benefit for European citizens.
As we heard earlier today, only through joint investments in developing our research and innovation capacity can we create the new jobs and growth to overcome the current economic crisis.
The challenge is, of course, to make sure that such investments deliver tangible impacts: to help accelerate the development of new technologies and innovations, to generate new markets for innovative products and services; and to deliver good jobs and major benefits to society.
I am confident that the JTIs presented here will live up to this challenge. The first calls for proposals illustrate the kind of activities that JTIs will support in our goal of accelerating the deployment of great ideas from the lab into the market - for example large scale demonstrators, testing and prototyping.
The fact that we are launching the first calls today is very good news. The concrete opportunities and challenges that stakeholders have been calling for start today.
Synergies should especially be sought in linking activities across the innovation cycle, from research outcomes to closer to market activities, in order to help boost entrepreneurship and business creation in fields of major relevance to the European economy.
We also heard messages from the CEOs on what the policy process could further do to facilitate the translation of research and innovation results into products and services developing the EU’s economy.
I should stress that improving the framework conditions for R&I is what we have done though Innovation Union. This has been at the heart of the policy I supported and I trust this trend will continue. The European Council, less than two weeks ago, yet again clearly supported the strengthening of Research and Innovation as a key means to strengthen growth and jobs in Europe.
Much still needs to be done from all sides. I therefore urge businesses and researchers to respond to these calls with excellent quality proposals - we need everyone working together if we are to be effective in meeting challenges such as lower carbon emissions, alternatives to fossil fuels and the next generation of antibiotics.
I recognise the achievements in working together with your competitors in several sectors. Your continued support and collaboration will be decisive in ensuring successful implementation of the JTIs activities and strengthening the competiveness of the EU on the world scene
To conclude, this is a time of opportunities. Let us realise them together.
There is tea and coffee available downstairs in the exhibition space. I hope that you can join me there.