Context of the EMIRI initiative

Among the various challenges facing Europe today, access to clean, secure, affordable energy sources, and the reconstruction of a strong industrial base powering up growth and employment are among the keyzones.

The European Commission Study 

Discover the Study that started it all... and made the EU recognize advanced materials as a key enabling technology (KET) to bring economic growth & competitiveness across Europe

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Solving the energy challenge relies namely upon low carbon energy & energy efficiency technologies (windmills, grids, solar energy, rechargeable batteries for energy storage, …) whose economics and performance are strongly dependant on the development of innovative, well-performing and cost-competitive advanced materials.

In a study published by the European Commission, energy and environment materials are presented as key sectors worth 60 billion € by 2020. Europe’s industrial leadership in the global arena of the advanced materials industrial sector is however at stake and needs to be reinforced in the light of international competition to create tangible economic growth and employment opportunities for our continent.

New in Horizon 2020 (EU's new founding framework programme for 2014-2020) is the clear push of EU towards research & innovation topics focusing on higher technology readiness level (TRL) with the purpose of accelerating research & innovation and reduce the time to market for energy solutions containing advanced materials.

While Europe is very good at generating knowledge & know-how in the form of publications and patents, the process from lab to manufacturing and market presence (invention to innovation) must be improved to ensure that the sector of advanced materials for low carbon energy & energy efficiency technologies steadily contributes to European prosperity.

An industrial policy & the associated public support aiming at reinforcing and developing the European advanced materials sector including research & innovation across Europe is therefore needed to leverage European world-class capabilities and create industrial leadership and economic growth.

What is EMIRI?

In 2012, following the development of the Strategy Energy Technologies (SET) plan and its associated SET Plan Materials Roadmap, key industrial actors and leading research organizations felt the need to associate under the Energy Materials Industrial Research Initiative (EMIRI) … an industry-oriented grouping complementary to established actors, uniquely positioned to span the innovation cycle and focusing solely on advanced materials for low carbon energy & energy efficiency technologies.

Today, EMIRI has more than 50 members across Europe, of which more than twenty are leading industries sharing a similar vision on driving forward research and innovation and building on a strong industrial sector in Europe on advanced materials for low carbon energy and energy efficiency technologies. Therefore EMIRI’s mission is to ensure that such long-term objective is translated into actions through different policies.

EMIRI’s strategy encompasses the full Europe-based value chain from the lab (R&I on advanced material) to the end-market development of various low carbon energy & energy efficiency technologies through the development of strategic elements for the competitive manufacturing of advanced materials and derived products.

Such a strategy building up on 3 strategy pillars is undoubtedly what makes EMIRI distinct and will hopefully contribute to reinforcing the European industrial sector of advanced materials for energy and the associated crucial research.

Other complementary Brussels-based key actors in the field of advanced materials are very active at promoting sustained attention of the various policy makers to the topic … The reader will find strong interest in discovering more on the various active platforms such as EUMAT European Technology Platform, European Energy Research Alliance EERA and the KIC InnoEnergy … More information can also be found by visiting the SETIS website.

Current EMIRI achievements and future challenges for the initiative

EMIRI grew to more than 60 members covering various countries, technology sectors and steps in the innovation value chain, and is now a recognised endorsee/underwriter of the SET Plan Materials Roadmap and a key valuable interlocutor to the European Commission.

Since its creation in 2012, EMIRI provided research and innovation input for Horizon 2020’s 2014 /2015 work programmes, contributed strongly to the SET Plan Integrated Roadmap Working Group and has participated in the various SET Plan Energy Industrial Initiatives (EIIs) of the European Commission. EMIRI has also provided input to the structure of the transnational M-ERA NET programme (Low Carbon Energy Materials) and has established constructive communication channels with the various Directorate Generals of the European Commission, as well as other associations such as the Brussels-based European Technology Platforms (EUMAT, TP Wind, ETP PV) and others (EERA, EASE, …).

Last but not least, the “Let’s Get Started Ideation brokerage workshop” organized by EMIRI in November 2013 was a strong event with more than sixty organizations present, which lead to eighty proposal ideas for the first calls of Horizon 2020. A document summarizing the eighty proposal ideas is available upon request.

How can EMIRI and a stronger collaboration between entitites help Europe tackle European challenges?

EMIRI is a key catalyst to ensure that the various public support programmes (EU Horizon 2020, structural funding, national programmes, …) effectively contribute in building a vibrant industrial sector of advanced materials for energy, attracting and aligning the major stakeholders from industry, research, EU and Member States.

It is key that industry and the research community share the same long term vision and collaborate from the early technology readiness levels (TRL) to ensure that research and innovation programmes are designed to accelerate innovation, with an increased return on investment in public funding.

Bringing research and development (R&D) results from the lab to the market to reach full commercialisation is predominantly relying upon private investments, and spending increases exponentially as programmes evolve across the TRLs. Public funding / risk sharing vehicles stimulating the transfer of R&D results from the lab to final commercialization through crucial steps of piloting and scaling up demonstration are crucial for the European sector. Horizon 2020’s shift from the research framework programme 7 (FP7) focusing on higher TRLs while preserving sufficient funding for lower TRLs is a very encouraging move to the sector.

Why should you join the EMIRI Initiative?

By joining EMIRI, your organization will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of advanced materials as a key enabling technology in the European Union.

EMIRI already acts today as a driving force in working towards a stronger partnership between industry, research & technology organizations, universities and multiple key stakeholders involved across Europe (European and National levels) in defining policies aiming at solving Europe’s challenges around energy, climate change and industrial renaissance.

Help shaping the future of advanced materials, become an EMIRI member

Members benefit from

  • Participating in setting long-term funding priorities in advanced materials for the low-carbon energy & energy efficiency sector
  • Being informed about EU and Member States priorities and funding opportunities
  • Enhancing their visibility towards European and national policymakers and take part in the dialogue
  • Joining a proactive, motivated network of potential future consortium partners consisting of leading industrial players, SMEs, research & technology organizations, universities, trade associations and technology platforms