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Resource efficiency is a priority in Europe. The Europe 2020 strategy established it as one of its seven flagship initiatives for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The Resource Efficiency Flagship initiative points at the need to make technological improvements, a significant transition in energy, industrial and agricultural systems, and changes in behaviour of producers and consumers in order to achieve a resource-efficient Europe. Research and Innovation (R&I) are important to facilitate the transition towards a green and sustainable economy.

The new financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union Flagship, Horizon 2020, will support innovation for resource efficiency and will pay particular attention to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), including through dedicated instruments.

By mobilizing the European scientific community and the participants in FP-funded activities related to resource efficiency under the Environment Programme, DG Research and Innovation wishes to contribute to the on-going discussion in Europe on SMEs, resource efficiency and green markets. The event, which took the form of an expert dialogue, consolidated the perspective of the research community and other stakeholders, including innovative SMEs, on this theme.

Ms. Antonia Lorenzo participated in a session to address the issue of market opportunities at EU level and also internationally. Examples of EU comparative advantages in the green sector vis a vis emerging economies were presented, as well as lessons learnt from on-going collaborative projects with third countries funded under FP7. Ms. Lorenzo exposed the experience in rolling out new technologies (MBR and SBR) at global level during the EU-India NaWaTech project.

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