On the 30th of March, 2023, we held our first General Assembly of the year in Belgium. This time, the meeting was hosted by IMEC (Leuven) and it was again combined with side activities on the day before.

Our programme started on March 29th. We gathered in Genk for a networking lunch and a visit to the EnergyVille’s facilities. EnergyVille is a collaboration between four Belgian research partners KU Leuven, VITO, IMEC and UHasselt (all members of EMIRI), in the fields of sustainable energy and intelligent energy systems. After very insightful presentations from the 4 partners of EnergyVille and the lab tour, we headed back to Leuven where we had dinner at the Italian restaurant Pepenero.

The next day in the morning, we met up again in the IMEC’s facilities in Leuven where we held our General Assembly. More than 30 members joined us physically in Belgium while around 10 connected online. Our chairman Eric Peeters welcomed all the attendees and highlighted the work conducted during the past months, especially in regard to the Advanced Materials 2030 Initiative (AMI2030) before giving the floor back to Philippe Jacques, our Managing Director.

After the verification of quorum, the approval of the minutes of the last General Assembly and the approval of the agenda, we moved to the main achievements of 2022 and the outlook of the activities of 2023. As already highlighted by our chairman, EMIRI has been highly involved in AMI2030, therefore, we spent some time discussing with all the members the ambition of the initiative, the objectives, specific actions, and next steps. This part was mainly led by Fabrice Stassin who is also the industry co-chair of AMI2030.

The next topic on the agenda was the EMIRI Focus Groups. Philippe Jacques informed about the status of the two on-going FGs (Batteries and Hydrogen) and announced the launch of the next round: the FG on Buildings, led by Victor Trapp from Fraunhofer and Tommy Detemmerman from Dow and, the FG on Low Carbon Industries led by John Oakey from the University of Cranfield.

Then we moved to the EU Projects where EMIRI is involved (BIG-MAP, Battery 2030+ and IRISS) and we reviewed the upcoming events.

After approving the accounts of 2022 and the budget for 2023, we proceeded with the election of the Steering Committee available seats. The two new additions were Peter Jansens from FZ Julich, who was elected as a Research Director and Ilian Todorov from EMMC, as an Observer. Welcome on board Peter and Ilian! We want to take the occasion to specially thank John Oakey and Rodrigo Martins for their great contribution to the Steering Committee during the past years! Both were elected as Honorary Members of the Steering Committee.

With this election, the EMIRI Steering Committee currently looks like this:

  • Eric PEETERS (DOW) – Chairman & Industry Director
  • Philippe THIBAUX (ARCELORMITTAL) – Industry Director
  • Fabrice STASSIN (UMICORE) – Industry Director
  • Ludovic ODONI (SOLVAY) – Industry Director
  • Thomas SOLLER (SIEMENS) – Industry Director
  • Karim SIDI ALI CHERIF (CEA) – Research Director
  • Pieter JANSENS (FZ JÜLICH) – Research Director
  • Omar Perego (RSE) – Research Director
  • Klaus PETERS (ESTEP) – Observer
  • Ilian TODOROV (EMMC) – Observer
  • Eva SCHILLINGER (SUSCHEM) – Observer
  • Amaya Igartúa (EUMAT) – Observer

For the last part of the General Assembly, we invited Javier Sanfelix, Policy Officer at DG Research and Innovation to give a short talk on The SSbD Framework, and Anné Chloé Devic to present the IRISS project.

After another networking lunch, we were introduced to IMEC’s activities, and we had the opportunity to visit their labs. With this, we put an end to these 2 days full of insightful discussions on the advanced materials sector!