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Posted: May 11, 2009
Potocnik: Europe must lead 'green revolution'
(Nanowerk News) The EU will invest billions in green technologies using a series of public private partnerships (PPPs), Janez Potocnik, Commissioner responsible for Science and Research, has said in an interview with EurActiv Slovakia.
Potocnik said clean technologies, biotechnology and nanotechnology will be as crucial for the economy as ICT was in the 1990s.
"The EU must not miss this opportunity. We have to be the champion of the third industrial revolution, the green revolution," he said.
Last week he met with industry leaders in Brussels and agreed that a series of "smart investments" funded through PPPs are essential to the future competitiveness of European business.
€1.2 billion will be earmarked for R&D as part of the Factories for the Future programme; €1 billion will be dedicated to researching energy efficient buildings; and the much-vaunted Green Car Initiative is worth a total of €5 billion.
The first calls for research projects linked to these PPPs are expected in July 2009, with the Commission keen to see the first projects underway in spring 2010.
The Commissioner said linking with the private sector would help bring speed and efficiency to the development of sustainable technologies. He said public authorities can help define strategic research priorities for companies to pursue.
"Low carbon technologies represent a key market for tomorrow and should generate jobs and sustainable growth. If European firms are the frontrunner in smart technologies to tackle climate change and energy issues, they will be the first in the market and able to profit from such innovation," Potocnik said.
He added that the investments will make Europe more attractive to investors and researchers.