CE-SC5-05-2018 - Coordinated approaches to funding and promotion of research and innovation for the circular economy
The action should establish a joint platform which will formulate, based on a thorough understanding of the state-of-the-art, the research and innovation needs and priorities for circular economy development in the EU. To this end, this action should bring together national and regional programme owners which will adequately represent the diversity of conditions and approaches from around the EU. The action should encompass joint development of objectives, priority setting, impact assessment, and programme and project organisation. It should produce a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, summarising recommendations for research priorities and coordinated programming and funding mechanisms. Innovation involving SMEs should be explicitly addressed. The action should disseminate best practices and promote multinational research and innovation actions within national and regional programmes. It should also include a mechanism whereby it could draw from the expertise and experience of leading research organisations as well as industry and civil society organisations. It should seek cooperation and synergies with relevant initiatives addressing the circular economy, including those funded by the EU.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Authorities throughout the EU continue to fund research and innovation in the field of circular economy at a national or regional level. Programme owners do so on the basis of their own mandates, though doubtlessly to a large extent in accordance with national and European priorities. Nevertheless, fragmentation of scarce resources, difficulties in implementing international synergies without a joint platform and lack of institutionalized outreach throughout Europe all hamper progress towards achieving common EU objectives. Moreover, the progress made in research and innovation underpinning circular economy varies throughout the EU.
This calls for a strategic approach to the coordination of objectives and programming of the regional, national and European funding programmes throughout the area of research and innovation for a circular economy. A strategic approach would help build international synergies among programme owners (in order to overcome and avoid fragmentation), and strengthen dissemination of lessons learned and new solutions for the circular economy resulting from currently isolated national programmes and funding.
The project results are expected to contribute to:
- alignment and coordination of regional, national and European programming of R&I in the area of the circular economy and associated environmental impacts;
- effective regional, national and European R&I funding in the field of the circular economy, with special attention to SMEs;
- accelerated diffusion of state-of-the-art circular economy solutions and best practices in circular economy R&I throughout Europe;
- implementation of national and EU-level action plans including the Circular Economy Action Plan[[COM(2015) 614 final]], the Green Action Plan for SMEs[[COM(2014) 440 final]], and Eco-Innovation Action Plan[[COM(2011) 899 final]].