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One of the key components of the new program is the creation of a European Innovation Council. It is to serve as a central point of contact that supports startups and companies in the development of innovative products until they are ready for launch on the market. In addition, the European Commission wants to award EU-wide research and innovation contracts that focus on industrial competitiveness. In addition, the support for member states, which have so far only partially exploited their innovation potential, is supposed to be doubled. Of note is that the number of partnerships that the EU co-organizes and finances jointly with the industry, will be reduced “in order to improve its efficiency and impact in the achievement of Europe’s political priorities.”

The VDMA vehemently criticizes the proposals and accuses the European Commission of setting false priorities. The mechanical engineering industry is critical of the fact that “the role of industry in research policy should be significantly weakened,” says Kai Peters, Research and Industry 4.0 Expert at the VDMA. The plans suggested that the budget for precompetitive production research and accessibility for mechanical engineering companies would decrease. This is all the more serious as other world regions are currently investing heavily in technology research.