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Taking flight

Some Joint Technology Initiatives are thriving, while others look unlikely to make the cut for Horizon 2020. Success has more to do with management and focus than size of budget, says Inga Vesper.

When it was launched on 30 April 2008, the Innovative Medicines Initiative was hailed as the answer to Europe’s drug development bottleneck. “It will put Europe in the champions league of medical research,” said Janez Potocnik, research commissioner at the time.

Another JTI launched under Framework 7, Clean Sky, which subsidises aerospace innovation with EU money, came into the world with less fanfare and lower hopes. Clean Sky started out as the smallest and most low-profile of the five JTIs under Framework 7, with ‘only’ €800 million from the Commission. It faced criticism that there was little incentive for airlines to engage with the expensive business of greening air travel.

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