The EU's Seventh Research Framework Programme identifies Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs) as a means to support trans-national cooperation in key areas where research and technological development can contribute to European competitiveness and quality of life. The Seventh Research Framework Programme foresees in particular that "in a very limited number of cases, the scope of an RTD objective and the scale of the resources involved could justify setting up long term public-private partnerships in the form of Joint Technology Initiatives". The legal framework for the JTIs are Joint Undertakings set up under Article 187 TFEU (ex Article 171 TEC) as a new way of realising public-private partnerships at European level in the field of industrial research. JTIs arose primarily from the work of European Technology Platforms. In a small number of cases, European Technology Platforms had achieved such an ambitious scale and scope that they required the mobilisation of high public and private investments as well as substantial research resources to implement important elements of their Strategic Research Agendas. JTIs were proposed as an effective means of meeting the needs of this small number of European Technology Platforms.
Research is becoming increasingly global, and increasingly competitive. To become world class and stay in the lead requires a concerted effort from Europe's research community, including both public and private players. In some areas, traditional instruments of the Framework Programme, which typically involve individual projects with a small number of partners, and national / regional programmes are not sufficient to meet the needs of European industry. Increasing the scale and impact of research investment, improving the level of coordination and integration and raising the technological content of industrial activity are essential if Europe is to be a strong, technologically innovative economy. The rapid pace of technological change, the rising costs of research, the increasing complexity and interdependence of technologies, and the potential economies of scale to be gained by cooperation across Europe are all strong reasons for setting up long-term public-private partnerships. JTIs are a new way of doing this, by combining private sector investment with European public funding, including funds from the EU's Research Framework Programme and, in some cases, also national funding. The Commission expects this new model of public-private partnership to stimulate additional European research investment, build critical mass by uniting currently fragmented efforts, and ensure effective and efficient programme management.
JTIs support co-operative research across Europe in fields of key importance for industrial research, where there are clearly identified common technological and economic objectives. The idea is to boost European investment by providing a clear framework for research investment, which encourages both industry and Member States to increase their spending. They contribute considerably to raising European, national and regional as well as private R&D investment in the technological fields concerned and to improving the impact of this investment through concentrating efforts and resources and avoiding fragmentation. Europe stands to gain massively from a focused approach to research which complements and integrates national research efforts, and leads to economies of scale and efficiency gains. Streamlining management overheads and reducing red tape would lead to shorter times to contract and project. This is attractive for companies that face ever-shrinking times to market and windows of opportunity.
Joint Technology Initiatives shall mainly result from the work of European Technology Platforms (ETPs) and cover a small number of selected aspects of research in their field.
In line with the 'Cooperation' Specific Programme five JTIs were set up:
- Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (FCH)
- Aeronautics and Air Transport (Clean Sky)
- Innovative Medicines (IMI)
- Nanoelectronics Technology 2020 (ENIAC)
- Embedded Computing Systems (ARTEMIS)