Saturday, 21 December 2013

SPIRE ready to inspire in 2014

2013 has been a great year for the Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and energy Efficiency (SPIRE) public-private-partnership (PPP) initiative. Three year’s of hard work culminated in the official launch of the SPIRE PPP on 17 December. To mark the event a new video has been produced (see below) and, to get ready for 2014, the SPIRE website has been refreshed.

In an end of year message to the SPIRE community Dr Klaus Sommer, the President of A.SPIRE aisbl, thanked SPIRE members and supporters for their “full-hearted support over these years and for believing in our initiative and what it can achieve not only for our industries but also for the entire European economy.”

Dr Sommer continued by praising the A.SPIRE office personnel, in particular A.SPIRE executive director Loredana Ghinea, for their “tireless efforts and their great leadership in pulling our proposal unscathed through the process. Great job!”

Great expectations
The first calls for SPIRE projects in Horizon 2020 were published on December 11. But already there had been an impressive first round of expressions of interest, especially through the first SPIRE brokerage event in October, as well at the PPP infodays on 16 December. “A lot of expectations have been raised;” said Dr. Sommer. “It is now in our hands to match them and make this PPP happen.”

He urged the SPIRE community to continue and build engagement towards designing good project proposals that have highest chances to get funded. Dr Sommer highlighted some points that people should take advantage of when designing proposals and consortia:

  • the guiding objectives and principles of the SPIRE roadmap
  • the diversity of the SPIRE community and 
  • the facilitator role of the A.SPIRE office

He also highlighted the criteria that have made the SPIRE initiative unique:

  • cross-sectorial aspects, synergies and opportunities 
  • the sustainable nature of the projects demonstrated with appropriate methodologies and tools 
  • impact across sectors and throughout the value chain, including through new business models 
  • the potential to enhance skills for innovation in the process industry through improved exploitation of innovation output from projects

These have been to have translated into the spirit of the SPIRE calls.

Expert evaluation
In addition Dr Sommer called on members of SPIRE to get involved with the expert evaluation of Horizon 2020 projects. “Given that we are exploring new territories with a more innovation-focused PPP than before,” he said “Our chances towards successful projects awards depend on the quality and preparation of the evaluators.”

Both SPIRE and SusChem are encouraging companies to take the opportunity to become expert evaluators. More information on the requirements for expert evaluators can be found here, and the registration page for Horizon 2020 experts is here.

Finally on behalf of SPIRE’s Board of Directors, the A.SPIRE office he wished all SPIRE members and supporters: “A very happy holidays, good rest and a happy and healthy New Year 2014 that will be hopefully SPIRE-busy and certainly inSPIREing.”

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