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Commission launches plan to boost eco-innovation

The European Commission has set up an Eco-Innovation Action Plan (EcoAP) to help businesses deploy eco-friendly technologies.

The plan, launched in Brussels on 15 December, includes policy measures to boost both the demand for eco-products and the supply of innovative technologies by researchers and industrials. It also foresees a review of environmental legislation to drive eco-innovation.

For example, EcoAP will fund demonstration projects and partnerships to bring promising technologies to market; promote the definition of eco-standards to widen potential markets; and help small innovative businesses get finance.

The plan is part of the Innovation Union flagship initiative, launched by research commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn in February last year. The Commission said it will also seek to promote eco-innovation through so-called European Innovation Partnerships—a scheme that is now entering its pilot phase.

Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: “The innovation challenge for this century will be making our resources go further—doing more with less—and reducing the impact of our activities. Worldwide demand for environmental technologies, products and services is growing rapidly even in these difficult times, and it’s an area where Europe has much to offer.”