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The contribution of Community research to promoting economic recovery in Europe

A wide range of actions and measures to promote economic recovery in Europe has been announced over the last few months, at both national and Community level, for implementation during 1993. RTD, has of course, a crucial role to play in shaping the overall competitiveness of t...

A wide range of actions and measures to promote economic recovery in Europe has been announced over the last few months, at both national and Community level, for implementation during 1993. RTD, has of course, a crucial role to play in shaping the overall competitiveness of the European economy. Significantly, the additional funds made available for the third Framework programme will include actions directly targeted at stimulating employment and increasing industrial efficiency. Specifically, the additional ECU 900 million will make it possible to assist: -4000 doctoral or post-doctoral research grants (Human Capital and Mobility Programme, ECU 200 million); -200 grantholders (different specific programmes); -The employment and retraining of 600 technicians (The Industrial and Materials Technology Programme (BRITE/EURAM II, also known as TIM), ECU 20 million); -The direct employment of 3000 established researchers (different programmes, ECU 600 million). The Industrial and Materials Technology Programme is planning to launch a series of targeted research projects guaranteeing close links between researchers and users in order to speed up the adoption of generic technologies. 41 projects have been selected in the areas of clean technologies and flexible production for a total cost of ECU 147 million. Non-food uses of agricultural products will be the priority area for the additional ECU 43.6 million granted to the agroindustry research programme (biomass). In an associated area, the use of biomass for energy production, it is estimated that 25 to 35,000 jobs could be created on a million hectares. This represents 7% of the land in the Community which is currently not in use. As regards aeronautical technology, studies by the concerned Commission services show that research funded under the Industrial and Materials Technology Programme in areas such as composite materials and the reduction of engine emissions could improve the competitiveness of the European aircraft industry and, in this way, its market share. The recent evaluation by the University of Strasbourg of a wide range of research projects with industry involvement concludes that the share of the additional funds granted to these projects will generate, in terms of direct economic effects, around ECU 2,500 million and, in terms of indirect economic effects, around ECU 800 million over a period of 5 years.