Horizon 2020: FoodDrinkEurope calls for a more innovation friendly environment in Europe

Date

30 Nov 2011

Sections

Agriculture & Food

Press release

(Brussels, 30 November 2011) FoodDrinkEurope welcomes Horizon 2020 – the future Framework Programme for Research and Innovation – and trusts it will engender R&D and innovation in Europe and among its food and drink industry, the largest manufacturing industry in the EU.

Following the publication today by the European Commission under the aegis of DG Research and Innovation, FoodDrinkEurope looks to Horizon 2020 to build on current successes, promoting a mechanism which will deliver a more business and research-friendly framework for the sector.

In particular, it welcomes the second pillar, ‘creating industrial leadership and competitive frameworks’ which will target business research and innovation. Food manufacturers want to see the new Framework Programme for Research and Innovation deliver on its promises – namely, to increase investment in technologies, facilitate access to finance and increase support for innovation among SMEs (SMEs account for over 99% of the number of food and drink companies in Europe).

The industry aims to maximise its contribution to research and innovation to ensure sustainable growth and jobs and to tackle the grand challenges Europe faces in line with the objectives of the EU 2020 Strategy. In doing so, this will aid Europe’s food industry to play its part in helping to  guarantee food safety and security, better health and wellbeing of citizens and to meet the needs of an increasingly ageing population.

Within the industry, concretely, this can range from an operators’ ability to bring reformulated ‘old favourites’ or novel ‘new foods’ to market, to unlocking new opportunities for more environmentally sustainable products and processes creating sustainable growth.

Speaking following the publication of Horizon 2020, Jesús Serafín Pérez, President of FoodDrinkEurope, said: “Encouraging innovation is central to ensuring the industry remains competitive, engendering greater consumer choice. The current framework creates bottlenecks to innovation, reducing investment in research and development by food and drink manufacturers and slowing new products and processes from coming to market. This impacts on Europe’s 500 million consumers and Europe’s largest manufacturing sector, made up of 288,000 companies, 99.1% of which are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)”.

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For further information:

Lisa McCooey, Communications Director

Tel. +32 2 514 11 11, Mob. +32 476 911 300

l.mccooey@fooddrinkeurope.eu



FoodDrinkEurope represents the food and drink industries of Europe – the largest manufacturing sector in the EU in terms of turnover and employment. FoodDrinkEurope‟s mission is to represent the food and drink industries‟ interests, at the level of European and international institutions, in order to contribute to the development of a legislative and economic framework addressing the competitiveness of industry, food quality and safety, consumer protection and respect for the environment. The membership of FoodDrinkEurope is made up of 26 national federations, including 3 observers, 25 European sector associations and 18 major food and drink companies. For more information on FoodDrinkEurope and its activities, visit: www.fooddrinkeurope.eu