After months of preparation, on September 17th the European Commission finally launched the 1 billion euros call for research and innovation that will respond to one of today’s biggest problems. Climate crisis.
The call aims to inspire the creation of projects that will have as a purpose to help protect Europe’s unique ecosystems and biodiversity. Also known as the European Green Deal, the call is a Horizon 2020 -funded now open for registrations.
Europe’s recovery is very important, especially due to the pandemic. The European Green Deal will address the challenges and with proper actions, it will turn them into opportunities for innovation.
How is the European Green Deal different?
Horizon 2020 and most of the European programmes have always had a much more long-term character. The European Green Deal, however, is not following this general rule of thumb. On the contrary, due to the nature of the current crisis and the amount of damage already done, the EU Green Deal needs to act faster.
As a result, the call aims for clear, discernible results that will have a short to medium-term result. Of course, the perspective is also long-term but for at least the first phase that will not be the main focus of the projects funded.
We notice that the targets have been reduced in number but they are now larger and much more focused on supporting and enhancing more visible actions. The focus is fast scalability, dissemination, and uptake.
There are of course some tangible benefits that are expected from the projects funded and those benefits will need to be focused on the following eight thematic areas:
- Increasing climate ambition
- Clean and affordable, secure energy
- Industry for a clean and circular economy
- Energy and resource-efficient buildings
- Sustainable and smart mobility
- Farm to fork
- Biodiversity and ecosystems
- Zero-pollution, toxic-free environments
And the following two horizontal areas:
- Strengthening knowledge
- Empowering citizens
The horizontal areas will offer a long-term perspective needed to achieve the goals of the European Green Deal.
The European knowledge system for infrastructures will continue to be supported with this 1 billion euros investment. The opportunities included in the call for international cooperation are addressing the needs of less-developed nations, particularly Africa, in the context of the Paris Agreement as well as the Sustainable Development Goals.
The submission deadline for the calls is January 26th, 2021. All selected projects are expected to start during the autumn of 2021.
Some word about the EU Green Deal
The European Green Deal is the European Commission’s blueprint and roadmap to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, with a sustainable economy that leaves no one behind.
To reach this 2050 goal, action will be required by all sectors of our economy, including:
- investing in environmentally-friendly technologies;
- supporting industry to innovate;
- rolling out cleaner, cheaper and healthier forms of private and public transport;
- decarbonizing the energy sector;
- ensuring buildings are more energy efficient;
- working with international partners to improve global environmental standards.