Research partnerships between the EU, the private sector and the Member States are on track to deliver on their objectives, according to the results of interim evaluations of public-private and public-public partnerships supported by Horizon 2020, published by the European Commission.
“The evaluations show that our partnerships with industry and Member States already strengthen our economy and improve our quality of life. They enable us to tackle issues that no single company or country can deal with alone. We will use the evaluation results to further improve these initiatives and to increase their impact,” Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation said.
One of the evaluated public-private partnerships was Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking, which contributes to smart and sustainable growth through fostering research and innovation in the railway sector. Following the report’s conclusions, one of the positive effects already achieved by Shift2Rail has been bringing many stakeholders together to work towards maintaining the competitiveness of the European rail sector and the global EU technology leadership, in addition to developing tomorrow’s rail leading technologies.
The seven public-private partnerships represent a total investment in research and innovation of EUR 19.5 billion over seven years, where the EU contribution of EUR 7.3 billion is expected to unlock a EUR 12.2 billion investment from the private sector and the Member States.
The evaluation of the seven public-private partnerships called Joint Undertakings (JUs) under Horizon 2020 and their six predecessors under the previous (seventh) framework programme confirms that the partnerships contribute directly to EU competitiveness and policy goals. The key strength of the JUs is their ability to engage major industry partners across borders and to overcome fragmentation in their sectors. The Commission also estimates that leveraged private sector funding already equals or exceeds targets in four JUs, and is closing in on the target for the remaining three.
A separate evaluation of public-public partnerships supported by the EU via Horizon 2020 highlights that these large joint research and innovation programmes of several EU Member States, countries associated to Horizon 2020 and, in some cases, also third countries contribute to more effective and efficient coordination and cooperation in and outside Europe.