Horizon2020: First JTI calls
11.07.2014 - Among the seven newly launched Joint Technology Initiatives (JTI) of Horizon2020 are two with deep roots in biotech: IMI is going into its second round while the newly established Bio-based Industries partnership invests in bioeconomy.
Seven public-private JTI partnerships that were established under the EU's research funding programme Horizon 2020 have officially launched and presented their first calls for projects and partners. The first round of public funding is worth €1.13bn and will be complemented by a comparable amount from private partners. One of the initiatives aims to develop the European bioeconomy sector: European joint undertaking on Bio-based Industries (BBI). The public-private partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) launched the first Call for Proposals worth €50m - excluding industry contributions, which are expected to reach up to €150m. The call contains 16 topics, among them flagship action "Added value products from underutilised agricultural resources". Other actions target products from plant residues or biowaste streams. Over the course of the programme, which will run until 2024, the European Commission will inject €975m, while BIC will invest €2.7bn. BIC said in their press release that the project aims to “use Europe's untapped biomass and wastes as feedstock to make fossil-free and greener everyday products. At the heart of it are advanced biorefineries and innovative technologies that will convert renewable resources into sustainable bio-based chemicals, materials and fuels.” Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, said: "The bioeconomy has huge potential that is attracting investments all around the world. With this new partnership, we want to harness innovative technologies to convert Europe’s untapped renewable resources and waste into greener everyday products."
Red rather than green biotechnology is the focus of the Innovative Medicines Initiative, IMI2. The public-private partnership between the European Commission and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) has a budget of €3.3bn, making it the largest of such partnerships in European healthcare. The first phase of IMI ran between 2008 and 2013 with a budget of €2bn. Roch Doliveux, Chair of the IMI Board, commented: “Health will be a major economic challenge for Europe in the coming decades, and smart investment in healthcare is essential, for the benefit of both EU citizens and EU economies. [...] By bringing together industry and academia, IMI can help us tackle existing healthcare challenges and improve lives for the patients that we are all striving to help.” Paul-Peter Tak, Chair of EFPIA’s Research Directors Group, added: “We expect the outputs of IMI2 to deliver real results for patients. Specifically, IMI2 projects will seek to advance trends in personalised medicines; to further R&D in areas of unmet medical need; and to address the regulatory context in hopes of speeding translation from research to innovation and making new medicines available to patients.”