Tuesday, 17 December 2013

European Commission and Process Industry sign seven year innovation partnership

Today (17 December 2013) the Sustainable Process Industry Public-Private Partnership (SPIRE PPP) was officially launched with the signature of a contractual agreement between the European Commission and the A.SPIRE association in a ceremony in Brussels.

Commenting on the signing, Executive Director of A.SPIRE Loredana Ghinea said: “This seven-year initiative is a momentous achievement for Europe’s process Industry and a major boost for the sectors’ global competitiveness and future sustainability.”

The SPIRE Partnership is based on Article 19 of the EU Research and Innovation Framework Programme (Horizon 2020) Regulation and has been established through a contractual arrangement between the European Commission and A.SPIRE aisbl.


The agreement was signed on behalf of SPIRE by SusChem chairman Dr. Klaus Sommer (above) and Lionel Platteu of the European Engineering Industries Association (Eu-nited, left) in the presence of Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes and from Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn's cabinet Waldemar Kutt.

The agreement will be implemented through the Horizon 2020 work programme calls and is backed by approximately €1 billion in funding commitment from the European Commission (EC) that will be matched by the process Industry. The first calls were announced on 11 December at the launch of Horizon 2020

Boost to Europe’s industrial strength
For the first time in history eight world-leading European industrial sectors (cement, ceramics, chemicals, engineering, minerals, non-ferrous metals, steel and water) have joined forces to form an innovation partnership with the European Commission and jointly commit to implement a seven-year strategic research and innovation agenda to tackle three fundamental European challenges:
  • the urgent need to create growth and increase the competitiveness of Europe in a global market;
  • the need to rejuvenate the European process industry that is the roots of the European economy in terms of turnover, employment and generation of technologies for all industrial sectors;
  • the imperative to increase resource and energy efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of industrial activities.
Klaus Sommer, president of the A.SPIRE aisbl representing the private partners, said: “SPIRE is an ambitious PPP that takes the best of eight process industries and aims at integrating, demonstrating and validating systems and technologies across sectors. This unique co-operation will enable massive leveraging of costs and faster implementation of technologies through closer connection and integration of innovations in industry and their value chains.”

SPIRE’s offer
SPIRE will achieve its goals by investing in breakthrough technologies that will reduce resources and energy used in processes as well as industrial emissions and waste; will reuse resources and materials from end-of-life products to provide raw materials for new products; will replace current feedstock by integrating renewables or waste (e.g. biomass and CO2); and will reinvent processes, equipment and business models.

With sectors such as chemicals, steel and cement, that have significant production operations throughout Europe, the SPIRE innovation and retrofitting potential (in line with further specialisation of the sectors such as high-tech steel and specialty chemicals and combined with stricter environmental standards) is an enormous leverage base, in some cases (e.g. new process control) offering double digit replication potential.

Ghinea concluded: “We appreciate the commitment expressed by the European Union to the process industry in recognition of its vital role and potential within the European economy. The commitment and dedication of SPIRE’s private partners have been demonstrated through the articulation of a synergistic strategic roadmap; it is now high time to demonstrate that we can also make it happen.”

The realization of SPIRE is essential as it will help the European process industries to be more - stronger, smarter, and swifter - for a more competitive and more sustainable Europe.

You can view the SPIRE press release on this news here and the Cefic news release can be accessed here.

PPP Info day
More than 800 participants attended the Information days on the Horizon 2020 Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) on 16 and 17 December.

Due to the high interest, the event was also web streamed and recordings of the sessions can be downloaded together with all the presentation from the plenary and parallel sessions here.

In addition all the project idea presentations from the brokerage sessions are to be published on the websites of the Industry Associations. The project presentations can be accessed here.

About SPIRE
The Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and energy Efficiency (SPIRE) is a contractual Public-Private Partnership (PPP) dedicated to innovation in resource and energy efficiency and enabled by the process industries. For more information visit the SPIRE website or contact Evelina Paunksnyte in the SPIRE secretariat.

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