The European Union has launched a unique regulatory instrument to strengthen strategically important European value chains - the IPCEI. The objective is to promote transnational cooperation ranging from development and innovation to first-time industrial implementation, as well as key infrastructure projects in the environmental, energy, and transport sectors through state aid (for further information please refer to the website of the BMK).
Initiatives under the IPCEI are focused on strategically significant projects in which a limited number of companies or research institutions may take part after being nominated by participating member states of the European Union or states of the European Economic Area and being notified by the European Commission or the EFTA Surveillance Authority. Consequently, these individual projects are usually supported by the respective Member State with state aid outside GBER (General Block Exemption Regulation).
At present, nine Austrian companies are actively engaged in two initiatives of common European interest - including one in the domain of batteries and a second initiative focusing on microelectronics (ME). Furthermore, Austria envisions participating in three other IPCEI initiatives currently being implemented - an additional project in the area of microelectronics with a focus on Connecting Technologies (ME/CT) as well as two IPCEI related to renewable hydrogen (H2) specifically targeting technological development (Hy2Tech) and the decarbonization of industrial sectors (Hy2Use), respectively. In parallel, constant discussions are underway concerning collaboration on potential further IPCEI initiatives (currently for IPCEI Photovoltaic).
On behalf of the BMK (Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology) and the BMAW (Federal Ministry of Labor and Economic Affairs), the AWS, in cooperation with the FFG (Austrian Research Promotion Agency), acts as a joint agency for the implementation of IPCEI subsidies granted to Austrian companies. Additionally, the Joint Implementing Agency is integrated into the national program development and strategy process, national decision-making on the formation and implementation of new IPCEI initiatives, as well as in the consultation of companies in the course of the notification process of the European Commission.
Participation in an IPCEI for Austrian companies is essentially initiated with the submission of a project outline combined with an Austrian call for expression of interest (see IPCEI-FAQ).
At the moment, no call for expression of interest is open.