Tuesday, 26 February 2013

MatVal makes debut in Rome

MatVal, the new SusChem-supported FP7 project, was launched at a conference in Rome on 7 and 8 February. The two-year, €1.3 million project aims to integrate requirements, ideas and solutions in materials across sectors to create synergies and develop a truly coordinated and competitive materials R&D programme for Europe.

The Rome event brought together partners in the Alliance for Materials (A4M), policymakers, R&D experts, material manufacturers and end-users.

The first day set the scene with descriptions of the European materials research, development and innovation (R&D&I) landscape with a specific focus on the forthcoming Horizon 2020 programme.

Value chain
The value chain approach is a key element of the thinking behind MatVal. Working along value chains can drive synergistic benefits through a common path which integrates players, resources and strategies starting from fundamental aspects of materials science up to the industrial systems that turn materials into valuable products.

How SusChem will contribute to this value chain approach to materials R&D&I was presented by Jacques Komornicki, Innovation Manager at Cefic. Jacques described SusChem’s links with a portfolio of European research and innovation initiatives including the Key Enabling Technologies policy area, to European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs) on Water and Raw Materials, and Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) such as SPIRE and BRIDGE 2020: all of which require sustainable materials development input.

Jacques also outlined specific SusChem inputs to the MatVal programme. For work package two (Material Stakeholders) and work package four (Boosting Research) SusChem will be reviewing its own Materials Implementation Action Plan (IAP - see previous article) with a view to value chain application. As part of work package three (Common Elements between ETPs) and work package five (Boosting Innovation) SusChem’s involvement with EIPs and PPPs with major materials research agendas will be useful to identify potential synergies and key innovation elements. SusChem will also be leading the development of the Implementation Plan (work package six) with other MatVal stakeholders.

Next steps
The second day continued discussion on materials R&D&I issues along a number of value chains: energy, transport, construction, health and the creative sector. The conference concluded with presentations on the next steps for A4M and the MatVal project from Michal Basista, General Secretary of EuMat.

Outcomes for the project include the publication of an A4M strategic networking document describing a shared approach to future materials activities in Horizon 2020, conclusions on life cycle thinking and sustainable development issues, identification of critical standards and proposals for future regulations, work on a project exit strategy plan (looking at the continuing impact of the project beyond its endpoint) and the implementation road map itself.

Further workshops and conferences are envisaged including a workshop in horizontal innovation issue, a workshop on the strategic plan to boost research and a final project conference.

All the presentations and photographs from the conference are available here.

About MatVal
The MatVal project was initiated by the Alliance for Materials (A4M):  the grouping of European Technology Platforms (ETPs), including SusChem, that are working together to collaborate and coordinate their strong materials research and innovation agendas.

Through the A4M organization and the MatVal project Europe is now equipped with a multi-stakeholder forum to develop and share a single view on materials needs and accelerate the implementation of material innovations towards the end-user market applications. A4M is a new way of thinking: a partnership and networking initiative for materials research and innovation.

Get involved
The MatVal project is funded by the European Commission’s FP7 programme. Its full title is ‘Alliance for Materials – A Value Chain Approach to Materials Research and Innovation’. More basic information on the project can be found on the Cordis website.

For more information on SusChem and chemical industry involvement in MatVal and A4M, please contact SusChem Innovation Manager Jacques Komornicki at Cefic.

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