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£500m EU investment in circular economy

The European Commission is to invest more than €670m (£500m) in research and innovation in the circular economy (CE) during the next two years.

This investment is part of almost £12bn funding across different sectors from the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, launched in January last year.

Other programmes receiving funding include the modernisation of Europe’s manufacturing industry (£750m) and Smart and Sustainable Cities (£174m), which aims to better integrate environmental, transport, energy and digital networks in urban environments.

EU commissioner for research, science and innovation Carlos Moedas said: “Research and innovation are the engines of Europe’s progress and vital to addressing today’s pressing challenges like immigration, climate change, clean energy and healthy societies.”

The Work Programme 2016-17 was also adopted today and offers funding opportunities through a range of calls for proposals, public procurements and other actions, covering nearly 600 topics.

The programme is set on improving the impact of Horizon 2020 funding by ensuring more money is available for innovative companies thanks to new leveraging opportunities supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, in addition to more than £555m dedicated to support research and innovation activities in nearly 2,000 small and medium enterprises.

Horizon 2020 is due to invest £58bn overall in the seven years of the programme in research and innovation projects.

As reported by MRW, commission director for green economy Kestutis Sadauskas said the new CE package will be released on 2 December, and focus on the separate collection of materials.

The new proposals follow a decision in Brussels in late 2014 to replace an original package with “more ambitious” revisions.

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