Commission highlights that efficient buildings, vehicles and equipment are crucial for boosting the economy

Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, stressed that efficiency is crucial not only for achieving our energy security and climate goals, also to give a real boost to the economy by bringing important savings and job creation, in addition to environmental benefits, during her speech in a conference held that focused on the role of efficient buildings, vehicles and equipment as an essential driver to economic success.

More than 400 representatives from the research community, industry, policy-makers and stakeholders discussed the role of science and innovation for enhancing competitiveness and economic growth, in a conference held in Brussels on the role of efficient buildings, vehicles and equipment as an essential driver to economic success. The Commission highlighted that there was consensus among the speakers that efficiency is not an option, but an obligation if the EU wants to be competitive and that science will be crucial in this process. The Commission also announced the winners of the 2013 GreenLight Awards.

Dominique Ristori, JRC Director-General who also attended to the conference, emphasised the need for enhanced co-operation between the public and private sectors to achieve results in the three domains. A holistic approach, identifying the opportunities for new research to boost innovation as vehicle towards creation of jobs and economic growth, is instrumental in achieving synergy between competitiveness and long-term sustainability, he said.

The building sector and its related service industries represent 10% of EU GDP, 22% of the industrial employment and 50% of all materials extracted from earth. The building stock represents 40% of the Union’s final energy consumption. The automotive industry is of strategic importance to the European economy, representing 12 million jobs, 4% of EU GDP and 90 billion trade surpluses. Moreover, this industry is the biggest private investor in research and innovation.