EU plans new expanded research programme – paint sector to benefit, although UK firms may miss out

28 September 2018

The European Union (EU) paint and coating sector will be keeping a close eye on plans to craft a new €94.1bn Horizon Europe research and development programme operating from 2021 to 2027. These major EU research budgets fund innovation in the sector involving companies from different countries within the EU – proposed industry and natural resources priority spending sections in the 2021-27 programme may especially promote paint and coating studies. Detailed debates will now be staged on the initial EU blueprint for a new programme, which could be approved by the end of next year. The plan, as it stands, excludes British participation, although non-EU countries, such as Switzerland have funded and benefitted from EU research programmes in the past and UK involvement may be negotiated in a Brexit deal, should one be struck before Britain’s impending March 2019 exit from the bloc. See… for current text, and…

An example of a project under the current Horizon 2020 programme was the subject of a recent European Commission report. It highlighted how the €35,000 TOMOSLATE project developed a protective paint coating that is sprayed on to roofing slates to protect them from decay. A prototype is now being tested at the Slate Technological Centre in Galicia, Spain. See…

• Meanwhile, the European Commission has approved a major acquisition in the titanium dioxide pigment segment, with Saudi Arabia-based Cristal being bought by USA-based Tronox. Brussels said there were no competition concerns regarding the supply of this key ingredient to EU paint makers. However, the EU regulator has insisted that Tronox sell its global business in titanium dioxide pigment for paper laminate to allay competition problems in this segment.

• The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has said that by the end of 2019, it will establish a new database on the presence of hazardous chemicals in articles for waste treatment operators and consumers. The database will comprise information submitted by EU companies producing, importing or selling articles that are subject to special authorisation or are on ECHA’s candidate list of substances that may fall under such controls. Companies, including paint manufacturers and importers, will have to submit information for inclusion in the database by the end of 2020. See…

• EU exports of coated wood board to Morocco may be hindered in future, with the Moroccan government telling the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that it has launched a safeguard investigation into the product. If this concludes that there has been a significant increase in imports harming Moroccan manufacturers, Morocco may impose temporary protective safeguard duties to restrict this trade.

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