Following this favourable decision, the Region will be able to count on substantial funding to develop, test and implement innovative pilot projects in the field of climate neutrality, together with the inhabitants of Brussels.
At the initiative of Barbara Trachte, Secretary of State for Scientific Research, the Brussels Region had submitted its candidature at the end of January within Horizon Europe's "Smart and carbon neutral cities" mission. Innoviris will now draw up the Brussels Climate City Contract, the protocol agreement between the various policy levels and Brussels stakeholders outlining the stages of this eight-year marathon.
The Brussels Region has many assets: it can rely on its European status as an innovation leader and has a dynamic innovation ecosystem in which its businesses, citizens and administrations are strongly involved in research and innovation initiatives. The Region has also been able to involve most of the municipalities, pilot and innovation areas par excellence, in this project to support Brussels' candidacy with the European Commission. This designation reinforces the dynamics of the economic transition to which the Region is committed with its 'Shifting Economy' strategy, recently approved by the Brussels Government.
This objective was already stated in its general policy statement; it will enable the Region to become a real centre of experimentation and innovation on a European scale. As part of the mission, a network and a knowledge exchange centre will be set up to share good practices internationally and facilitate international cooperation.
Barbara Trachte, State Secretary for Economic Transition and Scientific Research, said:
"Today the European Commission officially recognises the strong environmental ambitions of the Brussels Region by selecting it as one of 100 European cities that will jointly develop research projects to become carbon neutral by 2030. Today, the Brussels Region is setting an example for other cities: its good practices - in terms of research, development and innovation, but also in economic and natural ecology - will be able to be developed and replicated elsewhere, strengthening the movement towards making the Union a carbon neutral territory by 2050."
Marie-Carmen Bex, Deputy Director General of Innoviris, said:
"We are delighted with this opportunity for our capital, as this mission fits perfectly into the philosophy of the Regional Innovation Plan 2021-2027, by putting RDI at the heart of the economic, social and environmental transition, to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. To this end, we can count on an excellent innovation ecosystem and the contributions of many innovative administrations and municipalities that will work with us on this transition."