European Landscape Contractors Association (ELCA) Update
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Horizon 2020 to be used to research the effect of urban green spaces! 

Horizon 2020 is the financial venture implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness. Running from 2014 to 2020 with an €80 billion budget, the EU’s new programme for research and innovation is part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe.

Horizon 2020 will combine all research and innovation funding currently provided through the Framework Programmes for Research and Technical Development, the innovation related activities of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

The proposed support for research and innovation under Horizon 2020 will:

  • Strengthen the EU’s position in science with a dedicated budget of € 24 598 million. This will provide a boost to top-level research in Europe, including an increase in funding of 77% for the very successful European Research Council (ERC).
  • Strengthen industrial leadership in innovation € 17 938 million. This includes major investment in key technologies, greater access to capital and support for SMEs.
  • Provide € 31 748 million to help address major concerns shared by all Europeans such as climate change, developing sustainable transport and mobility, making renewable energy more affordable, ensuring food safety and security, or coping with the challenge of an ageing population.

ELCA and Horizon 2020:  How urban greenery can effectively contribute to improving the climate in urban areas and sustainable urban development should be investigated scientifically, according to the European Landscape Contractors Association (ELCA). The European landscape gardeners have received dedicated support from the European Parliamentarians for their demand to the European Union (EU) to make the corresponding financial funds available within the framework of the planned research program, Horizon 2020.

The EU delegate Dr. Renate Sommer is supporting that the issues in landscape gardening industry in Europe be included in the new research project at the European Commission.

ELCA General Secretary Dr. Hermann J. Kurth stated, “we hope that further political decision makers will support that relevant research topics for the landscape gardening industry and the whole green industry are included in the new funding programme. The decision concerning the research framework programme of approx. 90 billion Euro research funds for the period 2014 till 2020 will be made during 2013.”

The ELCA General Secretary emphasized: “Making funds available for research concerning the “green city” is becoming increasingly urgent. Only on the basis of factual knowledge, can the landscape gardening industry develop innovative solutions for green infrastructure. The predominantly small and medium-sized businesses of the landscape gardening industry in Europe rely upon important impulses from the EU for growth and employment. They need good future perspectives for stabilizing and further expanding the green market with new work fields.“

EU Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn confirmed to Dr. Renate Sommer: “The Commission is aware of the diverse uses that inner city green spaces can offer, such as: adaptations to climate change, the improvement in quality in the life and health of people as well as maintaining eco systems and their services.” She added: “The research plays an important role when it concerns the creation of solid facts for the development and support strategies.”

 

ELCA celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2013!   At the time of this Newbrief publication, CNLA is planning on having representation at ELCA’s Congress, May 30, 2013 in Hamburg Germany and ELCA’s Professional excursion of the ELCA-Committee of Firms May 31 – June 2, 2013.

ELCA-Committee of Firms was founded to promote cooperation of European landscape companies beyond the level of the associations.  It is a member organization within the association of nearly 350 enterprises from 21 European countries and seven countries outside Europe. The membership in the ELCA-Committee of Firms is possible for every enterprise of the gardening, landscaping and sports ground construction who is a member of a national member associations of the ELCA – and similarly belonging to a provincial association of CNLA.

CNLA is also investigating the possibility of also attending and inviting members to join the ELCA Study Trip to New York October 19 – 25, 2013.  Stay tuned for more information and check out this link for the tour itinerary.

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