News Release: “Materials for Europe”, Warsaw, Poland 19 September 2015:
2500 European Materials Scientist met in Poland’s capital city
“Materials for Europe” – an event organized by the European Materials Research Society (E-MRS) and the Federation of European Materials Societies (FEMS), under the umbrella of the European Materials Forum (EMF) and the Alliance for Materials (A4M), was held in Poland’s capital Warsaw on 19 September 2015. “Materials for Europe” was established as integral part of a “Materials Weekend”, bridging the two largest materials conferences ever held in Central Europe, the E-MRS Fall Meeting and the FEMS EUROMAT conference. Both conferences and the “Materials Weekend” aimed at strengthening materials science and engineering in Europe and increasing its visibility. The goal was to demonstrate that the development and the application of new materials are essential to meet societal needs associated with energy, health, transport and climate change. The “Materials for Europe” programme provided an important platform for material researchers from academia as well as industry and politicians to attain a consensus on the road to the future. More than 70 invited VIP participants discussed with Clara de la Torre, the European Commission’s Director DG Research and Innovation of the Directorate for Key Enabling Technologies. Mrs. Torre presented her strategic view “Vision about the new challenges in the materials field”. She focused on the vital role of materials for a highly competitive European industry and explained the Commission’s effective approaches to coordinate research and innovation within the framework of the present and future European research programs and initiatives.
The major issues discussed were:
- The innovation policy in Europe and the role of materials in this context. The concept of the European Innovation Council to complement the well-established European Research Council was highlighted. Emphasis was put on the need to follow-up and evaluate projects ensuring that technological breakthroughs relevant to European industry are identified and market uptake is facilitated..
- The need to strengthen the new concept of a “Common House of Materials”. It should aim at discussing and integrating cross-cutting fields where materials are key prerequisites for development and progress.
- Smart infrastructures and how to empower them/link them to regional cluster.
- The connection between The European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme and the allocated national structural funds, focussing on various strategies and policies to gain the maximum benefit.
The “Materials Weekend” consisted of many more parts than the “Materials for Europe” event. 180 scientists and engineers from all over the world attended six tutorial courses on leading edge materials developments such as graphene, biomaterials, materials for energy and computer modelling of materials. A topic as well was the materials value and innovation chain. During a 2-day “Young Scientists Workshop”, 55 participants presented their latest research results complemented by an intensive exchange of experiences and expectations. The importance of this event was underlined by the support of the German and French Embassy in Poland as well as the Warsaw University of Technology. The Warsaw “Festival of Science” was opened at Warsaw University of Technology, the venue of the two materials conferences. In this framework scientists and students presented numerous activities related to advanced materials. . They demonstrated materials-based innovations particularly for the Warsaw community at large with a special focus on stimulating the interest of children youngsters.
FEMS is member of the Granted Project MATCH:
The Alliance for Materials way to the creation of the MATerials Common House - MATCH
Coordinator: Centro Sviluppo Materiali - CSM, Italy
MATCH runs from January 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Type of funding scheme: Coordination and Support Actions (Coordinating Action)
Work programme topics addressed: H2020-NMP-CSA-2014
THE MATERIALS COMMON HOUSE (MATCH) IS LOOKING FOR INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
The fragmentation of research efforts has long been identified as a European weakness. A significant part of national R&D budgets is spent without substantial coordination across the Union, a significant waste of resources at a time of shrinking funding possibilities.
Mastering the design, research and development of new and improved materials will remain key for achieving the goals of the European Innovation Policy, in agreement with the European Strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
A dynamic structure, following materials research and innovation across the European Union, is called for. The goal is to make Europe a more coherent system, and also to help in better coordinating future EU materials activities with those in Member States, Associated Countries, Global Partners, industry and academia, to avoid duplications and gaps.
The MATCH consortium has been able to gather major stakeholders in materials research and innovation in Europe, both in the core group (six ETPs forming the Alliance for Materials A4M, EMRS, FEMS and NoE with strong materials agenda) and through the group of External Partners, covering a broad set of agendas where materials are essential for their developments.
The scope of the activity is to give support to a monitoring system and a forum to debate developments and needs, identify gaps and opportunities, and establish priorities in order to create a sound, authoritative, consensual, science-based, economy pushed, society-driven Europe-wide knowledge base of materials science and engineering.
Synergy with or use of present structures, existing schemes and international collaboration would be welcome. International benchmarking of materials activity is needed to identify features and strengths.
Terms of Reference
The proposal is for the support of technology platforms, institutions, materials organisations from countries outside of Europe to enter into an informal agreement for information sharing and assessment of national policy, foresight, coordination and to give indications in which application areas materials research and innovation has the most impact. The proposal should also provide elements for a constant monitoring system, as well as success cases and best practices stemming from funded advanced materials research strategy and implementation.
To define the main policy and strategy crucial for the promotion of sustainable advanced material development and innovation:
- Ø National Science & Innovation Policy, reference and contexts of advanced materials
- Ø Advanced materials initiatives and strategy to accelerate growth and development.
- Ø Government supported coordination.
- Ø The importance of cross cutting technologies in sectors and applications underpinning advanced materials innovation
- Ø The role of advanced materials in enabling advanced high value manufacturing
- Ø Identification of potential integrated hubs/clusters and geographical connection of competencies
- Ø The strategic importance of “security of access” to critical raw materials
- Ø Internationalisation strategy & identification of collaborative programmes and international research project cooperation
The external partners supporting A4M in this benchmarking task are IK4-Tekniker (Spain), IOM3 (UK), Tecnalia (Spain), CNR (Italy) & CEA (France).
International partners to be approached for assistance could be e.g. Korean Materials Research Society (K-MRS), Japanese Materials Research Society, International Union of Materials Research Society, Japanese National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Chinese Materials Research Society and Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
Coordination of Cooperation
Coordination and liaison would be supervised through EMRS, a nominated international partner representative and IOM3 as the task leader.
Reporting & Information Provision
Based on the expected outcomes a summary report will be drafted highlighting the best practices.
Over the course of the project web links to information source will be recorded for use as an overall reference.
The anticipated resource allocation is 1.0 MM commencing end May 2015 and completion of draft report by end July 2015.
Command of English, both spoken and written
Ability to communicate clearly and concisely
European Parliament: Materials for the 2020 Challenges
A workshop on “Materials for the 2020 Challenges” took place on 10 July 2012 in Brussels to discuss the role of materials as a key enabler element for boosting the industrial and technological growth in Europe. The workshop was organised by STOA (the Parliament’s own Science and Technology Options Assessment body), together with four organisations representing the science and technology materials community at European level: E-MRS, FEMS, EMF, EuMaT. The Workshop was chaired by Prof. António Correia de Campos and Dr. Paul Rubig, members of the European Parliament and STOA Committee and was supported by the presence of selected eminent speakers from the European organisations and from major European industrial firms. Of particular relevance was the attendance of Dr. Herbert Von Bose, Director responsible for Industrial Technology within the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, who provided essential information and comments on the role and position of Materials research in the future “Horizon 2020”.
Through a pre-recorded video, Prof. Jerzy Buzek, EP President during the first half of the 7th legislative period, insisted on the crucial role of Materials for achieving success in all three main “Horizon 2020“ pillars, and asked for a clear dedicated space for Materials R&D within the future implementing structures of “Horizon 2020”. Relevant benefit from Materials Science for all industrial sectors could be expected through a radical change in the approach to Materials Science by moving to a materials design approach, where the design of the materials and components/systems is regarded as one single integrated exercise.
Dr. Von Bose stressed the importance of ensuring coherence among the future Commission initiatives involving aspects of Materials R&D in order to achieve a real continuum from basic research to applied research. This will imply a real need to “work together”, both at the level of Commission services and at that of external systems/organisations representing the materials community at the different stages of the value chain. Prof. Yuan Tseh Lee (Nobel laureate) spoke about the importance of sustainability and the potential role of Materials Science and Technology in this respect: Innovations from materials science play a huge role, such as enabling us to harvest solar energy ever more efficiently.
In their concluding remarks, Prof. Correia de Campos and Dr. Rubig confirmed the commitment of the European Parliament to consider Materials R&D a crucial element in supporting and driving the future European industrial and societal growth.
Industrial Technologies Conference: European Materials Researchers for a More Competitive and Sustainable Industrial Economy in Europe
At the EU Danish Presidency Industrial Technologies Conference 2012 which was held in Aarhus, Denmark, in June, the European materials research societies and the technology platform EuMaT have engaged themselves in the efforts to realise a stronger, more competitive, and sustainable economy in Europe. At the end of the 3-day’s conference, on 21 June 2012, the Aarhus Declaration was formulated and signed by a range of industrial partners, and co-signed by materials resarch societies including FEMS. The Aarhus Declaration was the climax of the Industrial Technologies Conference 2012, and represents a major commitment by industry to support European research and innovation activities for the common good of European society and its citizens. This strategic document addresses challenges facing our society and it demonstrates clearly that innovative products and processes provide the only sustainable way for our manufacturing industries to thrive in global competition and to continue to create jobs in Europe.
The large materials societies FEMS and E-MRS as well as the technology platform EuMAT, representing a broad community of academic and industrial researchers and innovators, support the commitments expressed in the “Aarhus Declaration”. They committed them to contribute actively to the goal of a stronger, more competitive and sustainable industrial economy in Europe. The demand of improved strategic partnerships between industry and research, to take research closer to market introduction by working on applied research and prototypes, was also the topic of Ehrenfried Zschech’s talk at the conference. In his talk he explained potential new forms of liaison between industry, research centers and universities, e. g. the idea of a university-based European collaborative research consortium, supporting research in the field of materials science and engineering.
Advanced Materials Research and Innovation - A Cross-Cutting Element of Horizon 2020
On May 30, 2012, representatives of FEMS, E-MRS, EuMaT and EMF were invited to a breakfast debate of the European Parliament to explain the needs of the European materials research community from both the academic and the industrial point of view. The event was organized and chaired by Maria da Graça Carvalho, Member of the European Parliament. Members of the ITRE committee who are particularly active within the Horizon 2020 dossier, Cristina Gutiérrez-Cortines, Amalia Sartori, Patrizia Toia and Antonio Cancian, as well as representatives of the European Commission, DG Research & Innovation, Herbert von Bose, Director Industrial Technologies Programme, and Renzo Tomellini, Head of Division Materials, took part in this event. FEMS was represented by Margarethe Hofmann-Amtenbrink.
In the convivial surrounding of a common breakfast, Rodrigo Martins, President of E-MRS, and Marco Falzetti, Chairman of the Steering Committee of EuMaT, explained the implementation need of the three pillars of advanced materials strategies, (i) to link fundamental research with the industrial competitiveness and the societal challenges, (ii) to be aware of the relevance of advanced materials as enabling technology for any major innovation and societal challenge, and (iii) to foster the intrinsic value of materials research in the Triangle education, research and innovation. The objective of the four materials associations was to promote a discussion about the relevant role of materials along the whole value chain and to highlight the crucial role of advanced materials research and development. Maria da Graça Carvalho promised to consider the recommendations given within the Horizon 2020 programme. Herbert von Bose was particularly excited by the power of the European materials community, and he underlined the importance of a so-called “Materials R&D&I Tower” to monitor and conduct activities, with the goal to use synergies between different programs and avoid duplication. Moreover, the need to generate a pipeline of innovation from research to market was discussed. Particularly, the creation and testing of prototypes, mainly by SMEs and spin-off/start-up companies, has to be considered more in future. This idea was further elaborated by MEP Cristina Gutiérrez-Cortines, who suggested special pilot lines for prototype testing using regional funds, to support particularly SMEs.