Last week, on April 16th, 2024, we held our first General Assembly of 2024 in Brussels, hosted by Syensqo (formerly Solvay). As we have been doing in the recent years, we also organised complementary activities the day before to get to know a bit more the activities of our members. We have to say that this was a very special occasion, as it was the last General Assembly before the retirement of our current Managing Director, Philippe Jacques.

But let’s start from the beginning!

On April 15th, the meeting point was at the VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) where our colleagues from the MOBI department received the EMIRI group and showed us their batteries and electrochemical labs. Then, we headed to the ArcelorMittal’s facilities in Ghent to dive deep into the world of steel. After a networking lunch, our ArcelorMittal colleague Guido, guide through the steelmaking plant and explained all the details of the process, including Carbon Capture & Utilization (CCU) projects such as Steelanol. To finish this long and exciting day, we went back to Brussels for dinner at the Cowfish restaurant.

On the next day, April 16th, we met at Syensqo for our General Assembly. Our vice-chairman Karim Sidi-Ali-Cherif opened the session in substitution for our Chairman Eric Peeters, who recently resigned from DOW to start a new professional adventure. We want to use this opportunity to wish the best to Eric and to thank him for his dedication to the initiative over the past years. Then, we gave the floor to Jurgen Tiedje, Head of Unit at the European Commission (DG-RTD), to present the recently announced EU strategy “Advanced Materials for industrial leadership” including a European co-programmed partnership on innovative advanced materials. This was very linked with the next talk, in which Philippe Jacques explained the work that AMI2030 and Graphene Flagship/2DMI are conducting to implement this partnership.

After a short coffee break, we proceed with the more “formal” part of the General Assembly, including the update on financials and approval of the accounts for 2023, the reporting of main achievements in 2023, the outlook and budget for 2024, and the approval of the Steering Committee members.

No election was needed this time, as we received the right number of candidates for the open seats. As a result, the Steering Committee is composed as follows:

  • Karim Sidi Ali Cherif, Vice-Chair – Research, CEA
  • Philippe Thibaux, Vice-Chair – Treasurer, ArcelorMittal
  • Omar Perego, Director, RSE
  • Ludovic Odoni, Director, Syensqo
  • Fabrice Stassin, Director, Umicore
  • Peter Jansens, Director, Forschungszentrum Jülich
  • Paolo Matteazzi, Director, MBN Nanomaterialia
  • Tommy Detemmerman, Director, DOW
  • Ilian Todorov, Observer, EMMC – European Materials Modelling Council
  • Klaus Peters, Observer, ESTEP – European Steel Technology Platform
  • Amaya Igartua, Observer, Eumat
  • Eva-Kathrin Schillinger, Observer, Suschem

We are happy to welcome Paolo Matteazzi (MBN Nanomaterialia) and Tommy Detemmerman (DOW) to the team, both as Directors representing industry! In the upcoming weeks, a new chairman will be elected among the members of the new Steering Committee, so stay tuned!

In this second part of the meeting, we also had the chance to discuss the future of EMIRI in the context of the upcoming association representing the private side of the IAM4EU partnership. If you want to know more about IAM4EU, do not hesitate to send an email at!

At last, we wrapped up the session with the words of our Vice-chairman, followed by a speech of Philippe Thibaux (ArcelorMittal) and Jérôme Gavillet (Policy Officer, EMIRI) on behalf of the whole EMIRI community to specially thank our Managing Director for the great job done leading the initiative during the past 6 years! A gift and a video message from the materials’ community were offered to Philippe to wish him all the best in this new phase of his life.

This is definitely a very exciting moment for our community, which is expected to grow significally in the upcoming months. We hope to see you all soon in the forthcoming General Assembly that will be scheduled between the end of September and early October.


If you want to know more, please visit our space spaced. The recording and the slides of the session are available on the EMIRI Hub, open only to members of EMIRI.