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18 March 2016

€130 million in funding available for innovation procurement

The European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme is making €130 million in funding available for pre-commercial procurement (PCP) and public procurement of innovation (PPI) projects. The funding will be available in the areas of research infrastructures, ICT, health, security, energy, transport, space, and climate change and environment. The deadline for submitting a proposal to the open call is 12 April 2016.

90 percent of the coordination and procurements costs for PCP activities in any domain of public interest that requires ICT based solutions will be financed. The call is targeted at procurers from different countries that are facing similar challenges and wish to undertake a PCP together. A list of potential partners in the form of key ICT procurers within EU Member States is available on the eafip website.

The funding rate for PPI activities is at 35 percent. PPI works to make public services more dynamic through employing innovative solutions, while PCP focuses on the development and testing of innovative solutions from the ground up. Further details of how to access EU funding for innovative procurement are available on the Europa website.

For more information, visit

1 March 2016

Rotterdam unveils plans to reduce city centre traffic pollution

A new environmental zone in Rotterdam (The Netherlands) has halved the number of severely polluting cars entering the city. Every day up to 700,000 vehicles enter Rotterdam, of which 1.18 percent were older models whose emissions were considered extremely harmful. From 1 January 2016 the Dutch city announced that such vehicles would be banned from entering. Since then, the number of dirtier cars in the city has dropped to 0.66 percent.

There is currently no penalty for violating the ban. However, from 1 May drivers flouting the new rules will be hit with a €90 fine. Deputy Mayor of the City of Rotterdam Pex Langenberg said that the results were pleasing, but also reminded citizens to take advantage of the car-scrapping scheme to get rid of their dirty vehicles once and for all.

Rotterdam is offering a subsidy of between €1,000 to €2,500 for citizens to scrap their old vehicles, and an additional subsidy if they buy an electric car. The exclusion of vehicles that do not meet the new environmental zone target cuts emissions of soot by between 20 and 30 percent, the city calculates.

For more information, visit [in Dutch].