On 22 February the European Commission authorised a EUR 26.5 million aid package from the French Industrial Innovation Agency for the NeoVal Research & Development programme. This decision is the first taken by the Commission on the basis of the in-depth assessment procedure provided by the new Research & Development & Innovation (R&D&I) Framework. The purpose of the NeoVal programme is to develop a new generation of automatic metro trains and aims to simplify and reduce the cost of existing models. It is also more environmentally-friendly. It brings together Siemens Transportation Systems SAS, LOHR, a French company specialised in freight and passenger transport systems, as well as French State-owned laboratories.