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Construction sector prepares for the new HORIZON EUROPE

In the context of "HORIZON EUROPE" (FP9) preparation, the following event “The Construction Industry journey to enable the EU energy, climate and sustainability objectives: committed to a European Low-Carbon Built Environment” was held at the European Parliament in Brussels on 27 June 2018. This event was organized by the European Construction Technology Platform (ECTP) with a coordination support from Tecnalia, and sponsored by MEPs Ramón Jáuregui and Eider Gardeazabal. The objective of this event was to position the construction sector for the next HORIZON EUROPE Framework Programme, the main EU initiative to promote and support R&D in the European Union that will cover the period from 2021 to 2027.

Members from the European Parliament, Directors from the European Commission and influential representatives from Industry associations (agenda available here) expressed their views on main achievements and future challenges to achieve an energy- and resources-neutral sustainable built environment (buildings, infrastructures, networks), in front of participants from the whole industry, research institutions, national and local representations, associations and federations, and all stakeholders involved in research and innovation dedicated to the built environment. The event benefited from the participation of outstanding representatives of:

  • the Construction sector (José Michaël Chenu for FIEC - European Construction Industry Federation, Menno De Jonge for ENCORD - European Network of Construction Companies for Research and Development, Emmanuel Forest and Antoine Aslanides for ECTP);
  • the European Commission (Peter Dröll, Director of DG RTD - Industrial Technologies, Clara de la Torre, Director of DG RTD – Transport, and Paula Rey Garcia, Policy Officer of DG ENERGY);
  • and the Member States (Pascal Newton, French NCP and RCP for Energy).

This event has made even more evident the relevance of the construction sector for the development of the European Union (around 9% of the EU's GDP, with 18 million jobs it is the industrial sector that creates more employment, facilitates social cohesion by training middle-skilled workers…). 

It is also a sector with high impact on the quality of life of citizens through the buildings, in which they live and develop their professional or leisure activities (citizens spend more than 80% of their time inside buildings), and transport infrastructures and services that facilitate their mobility and access to basic goods such as water or energy.

Some of the key achievements of the R&D in the Construction sector in recent years were exhibited, as for example, within the framework of the Public Private Partnership for Energy Efficiency in Building (PPP EeB), around 150 R&D projects have been developed and have generated more than 150 patents, trained more than 55,000 workers and developed around 450 pilots of innovative solutions.

As far as the next HORIZON EUROPE framework programme is concerned, it was identified the need to propose systemic R&D strategies, focused on the needs of the citizens and integrating various capacities of the sector stakeholders involved in users’ satisfaction, from the technology providers to the industrial ones, also including the regulatory aspects that can facilitate the arrival of the new developments to the market. These integration efforts must also be extended to the collaboration between the EU and the Member States in the definition of their research programs.

Source: ECTP Secretariat