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EC To Invest € 3.2 billion in Green Tech

Public-private partnerships will make use of IT to create sustainable projects in areas such as the automotive industry and energy efficient buildings

IT and communications tools are key to helping Europe’s economies emerge from recession and improve efficiencies according to the European Commission which has pledged to invest over £2bn in sustainable technology.

In a statement this week, the EC announced that it has opened the first round of calls for funding of public-private partnerships to back new technologies in areas such as manufacturing, construction and the automotive industry. The EC is backing green investment as part of 2009, which it has labelled the Year of Creativity and Innovation.

Commenting on the announcement, EU Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potocnik (pictured below) said: “It is now recognised that investing in R&D is not a luxury when times are easy, but a necessity when times are hard. If Europe makes “smart” investments in strategic sectors today, this will create jobs and sustainable growth tomorrow.”

Although the funding will include a range of green schemes, the EC specified that IT projects in particular would benefit from the funding as they have the potential to benefit a wide range of industries.

“Joint investment by the Commission and industry represents an important step towards a knowledge-based and low-carbon EU economy,” said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media. “Research in Information and Communication Technologies can play a particularly useful role in developing the tools for helping Europe’s economic recovery and the greening of our European economy.”

According to the EC, around € 3.2 billion will be allocated around three main areas between 2010 and 2013 which will include ‘Factories of the Future’, ‘Energy Efficient Buildings’, and ‘Green Cars’

The UK has set targets for energy efficient buildings. All new non-domestic buildings should be zero carbon by 2019, according to a target set by government in March, but the pressure on IT has yet to be fully realised, according to a recent roundtable on sustainable buildings hosted by Alan Whitehead MP.

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Whitehead has called on the IT community to understand the implications of the 2019 target on non-domestic buildings: “As new, passive energy buildings are occupied, the energy consumption associated with IT will stand out like a sore thumb because other areas will be so much more energy efficient.”