EU okays $1.5 billion state funded joint hydrogen project, $1.1 billion joint healthcare project

FILE PHOTO: European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU competition regulators on Tuesday approved a 1.4-billion-euro ($1.52 billion) joint hydrogen project funded by seven EU countries and a separate 1-billion-euro ($1.1 billion) joint healthcare project funded by a group of six EU countries.

Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Slovakia and Spain will provide up to 1.4 billion euros in public funding, for the hydrogen project which is expected to unlock an additional 3.3 billion euros in private investments, the European Commission said in a statement.

It said 11 companies, including Airbus, BMW and Michelin, will take part in 13 projects.

The healthcare project will be funded by Belgium, France, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia and Spain to support research and innovation and is expected to unlock an additional 5.9 billion euros in private investments, the Commission said.

Sanofi, Euroapi and 11 other companies will participate in 14 healthcare schemes.

Both schemes are so-called Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) which allows EU governments to fund them under looser EU state aid rules.

($1 = 0.9193 euros)

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee)