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Commission opens support scheme for innovative projects

The European Commission has launched a pilot scheme that offers support to innovative resource-efficient businesses.

Part of the Commission’s circular economy (CE) package, released in December, Innovation Deals offers guidance to businesses that sign up to help them deal with regulatory problems.

The Commission has now published an open invitation for expressions of interest in the scheme, with a focus on projects with potential to contribute to its CE action plan.

It will connect them to other innovative businesses, regulatory authorities and the Commission itself.

The initiative was introduced alongside a council meeting on competitiveness led by the Commission’s first vice-president Frans Timmermans and the European commissioner for research, science and innovationm Carlos Moedas.

Timmermans (pictured) said: “We are testing a new way of giving practical and pragmatic support to a small number of innovators who want to bring valuable projects to market in Europe for the benefit of our citizens and our environment.

“Addressing regulatory barriers and providing regulatory certainty is essential to keep Europe at the cutting edge of the green economy.”

Moedas said: “Europe has a wealth of innovators with brilliant solutions to societal and environmental challenges.

“It is important to help innovators work with us to pinpoint what they perceive to be regulatory barriers to innovation. Then we can collaborate at all levels, national, local and EU, to find solutions and ensure that European innovation succeeds.”

According to the Commission, almost two-thirds of the perceived regulatory barriers currently preventing innovators from bringing their ideas to the market can be overcome through clearer explanations by public authorities.

Applicants have until 15 September to apply to the scheme by setting out the regulatory obstacles they are struggling to overcome.

The Commission will select up to five of them and begin implementation in January. It will not provide any funding for the implementation of these projects.

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