We are good at developing road maps for all different topics - CLEPA CEO Paul Schockmel

'We are good at developing road maps for all different topics' - CLEPA CEO Paul Schockmel

European automotive supplier body, CLEPA, says it will fight for access to some of the estimated EUR3bn (US$3.7bn) available through the EU's Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation Programme.

Brussels claims the funding is the "biggest EU Research and Innovation Programme ever," running from this year until 2020 and aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness.

"Even more important for us is out of this big amount...roughly EUR6bn has been allocated to transportation and half of it has been allocated to surface transportation," CLEPA CEO, Paul Schockmel, told just-auto, on the sidelines of last week's Aftermarket Conference in Brussels.

"What is that? Since we are one of the most important sectors in Europe, we want to see this situation [reflected] in this EUR3bn. That is what we are fighting for - especially in the clean area and the area of automated driving.

"What we are good at [at] CLEPA, is of course we are developing road maps for all different topics, which are used by the European Commission [EC]."

Schockmel has been in his post for three months and highlights the "excellent reputation" he says CLEPA enjoys with Brussels, which looks to the automotive body for technical knowledge, although the chief adds the EU requires a specific approach.

"Where we have to do a little more, is on the level of politics, where expertise is important, but not only," he said. "I have decided we have to do more work on that level, that is a different language we have to speak. It is more to step [in] to their shoes.

"My experience is the EC [has] a lot of staff that has a lot of expertise. We have to go on with our work even more in this area, because the major topics like autonomous driving or being green, we need to do this together."

Horizon 2020 has the political backing of Europe’s leaders and the Members of the European Parliament.

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