Edition no. 13, 2017



MONSOON ("MOdel-based coNtrol framework for Site-wide OptimizatiON of data-intensive processes") is a SPIRE project started in October 2016. Its goal is to develop a methodology and the related platform and ICT infrastructure to support industries in predictive control tasks. In the era of big-data, also industries are dramatically increasing the amount of collected information on processes, supported by the large diffusion of sensor technologies. The availability of more data allows deeper analyses and the control on the processes can be strongly enhanced. The ultimate goal is to optimize the prediction strategies to foretell undesired events (e.g. failures, breaks, stops, bad quality production), and promptly react. The positive impact of such achievements is expected to be significant in economic and environmental terms.
The ambition of MONSOON is to propose a novel approach to predictive control, providing suitable machine/deep learning algorithms for big-data analysis, and building a "data lab" to collect and process the data, and respond in real-time to the industry needs. The MONSOON control framework will be concretely implemented, deployed and tested in two different domains, namely aluminum and plastic sectors. This will be the starting point to extend their use to other industrial domains.

More detailed information on the project can be retrieved on MONSOON website.
New Bio4Products video released
Click here to watch the new video 'Unlocking the potential of the bioeconomy' describing the objectives of the Bio4Products project. Bio4Products demonstrates an innovative conversion method to transform residual biomass into bio-based products, directly replacing fossil materials such as bitumen, phenols and creosote to deliver a 75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The project sees a unique blend of organisations and expertise working together, led by BTG Biomass Technology Group from the Netherlands. Industrial partners from Belgium and Germany will demonstrate the viability of the new value chains, with support from expert partners in the United Kingdom and Belgium. The project began in September 2016 and will run for four years.

Sustainability assessment by 2030 - SAMT vision and recommendations - new report and video!
presents the SAMT vision, roadmap and implementation plan, and summarizes the main findings from the project. The SAMT project brought together representatives of different process industry sectors and promoted cross-sectorial learning and uptake of the most promising methods and tools related to sustainability assessment. Need for cooperation and life cycle thinking is highlighted in a blog text that introduces some of the SAMT recommendations.

Resyntex: A new circular economy concept
It's been just over two years now since Resyntex started exploring circular processes to produce chemicals from fibres in post-consumer textiles, such as wool, cotton and polyester.

Read the Resyntex newsletter to discover more updates on recent developments such as:
  • How biomass research helps to realise industrial-scale 'textile-refineries'
  • A new report on residual textile waste in the EU
  • The final Stakeholder Focus Group in Prato, Italy
  • Site visits to refineries and pilot plants in Italy and France
Third European Workshop on Membrane reactors:
Membrane Reactors for Process Intensification

Memere and Romeo, jointly with 3 other major European projects on membrane reactors, BIONICO, FERRET and FluidCELL organized a workshop in Villafranca di Verona, Italy on 9 and 10 March 2017.
MEMERE and ROMEO are two RIAs that respond to the EU Horizon 2020 call SPIRE-05-2015. Fausto Gallucci from TUe Netherlands the coordinator of MEMERE headed the oragnisation committe of the event .
Harnessing the sun to clean up industrial processes
The SOLPART project (started in January 2016) aims to develop and implement, for the first time at a pilot scale, a high temperature (800-1000°C) 24h/day solar process suitable for reactive particle thermal treatment in energy intensive non-metallic minerals' industries, such as cement, lime, phosphate or clay processing. These industries, which are the second biggest energy consumers and CO2 emitter (behind the power industry), need the major part of their energy input as thermal heat (currently provided by combustion). Therefore, there is the need for an alternative way of providing this thermal heat apart from conventional solutions and this is what the SOLPART project intends to do. The project challenges will be to demonstrate that solar energy can provide this process heat in a continuous mode including particle high temperature transport and storage systems. By injecting for example 60% of solar energy in cement processing, this would enable to save 40% of CO2 emissions. 
Solpart was presented at the last Climate Change conference hosted on the 29th of May under the auspices of the Malta EU presidency.

Click here to read the introduction to this event or access the SOLPART flash presentation.
The digitalization of chemical industry can provide untapped benefits in performance, environmental benefits and resource optimization. One of the main challenges for implementing digitalization strategies for disruptive innovation is the training of new skills and adaptation of existing knowledge of engineers.
PRINTCR3DIT is taking three actions towards the challenges of the implementation of digitalization:
  • Developing flexible reactors for teaching reaction engineering. The evolution of this task will be presented at the World Conference of Chemical engineering in October in Barcelona.
  • Providing a course on implementation of 3D printing. The content of this course will be released to other European universities in the course of our project.
  • Launching the second edition of our contest to design a 3D printed reactor
We look forward to receiving applications from all across Europe, particularly those that will promote the interest of young students in additive manufacturing, encouraging them to pursue technical jobs, which will ultimately strengthen European competitiveness in the long term.

New article published on MefCO2 project!
MefCO2  is a highly collaborative and multidisciplinary project that is developing an innovative technology that will use surplus electricity to synthesise 'green' methanol from captured CO2. This could help mitigate global warming, abating one of the most pressing global challenges we face. This month MefCO2 has published an article on the Impact Magazine, a series of high quality, open access and free science reports. The article contains an interview of some of the key partners involved in the project as well as an introduction of the main problems the consortium is currently addressing.

Click here to access the complete edition (you will find MefCO2 article in page 6).
INSPIREWATER - More efficient water management in the process industry
The EU project INSPIREWATER aims to reduce water, raw material and energy consumption in the process industry. Special focus will be on the steel and chemical industries, with the long-term goal of applying innovative technologies across further process industry sectors for maximum impact. The new solutions will be tested at three demonstration sites in Europe.
In many regions worldwide water availability is becoming more and more critical. Even in countries that generally have a good supply of water, the competition for available resources is increasing. "A competitive European industry needs to rely on efficient water management and that is what INSPIREWATER will contribute to", says Uwe Fortkamp, project coordinator at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
REslag - suitability of steel slag to produce low cost and advanced refractory materials.
Halfway into the  REslag project activities, the results obtained from the proposed steel slag valorization technologies have already start revealing their true potential.
In this line, Renotech Oy and VTT, the leading partners related to the refractory material production have been recently able to obtain a first set of refractories using slag as aggregated feedstock. This success has been the result of a complete research in terms of the production route, methodologies and final recipe identification, developed within the REslag project.
This important result, obtained in the facilities of Renotech Oy in Turku (Finland), clearly demonstrated the viability of the proposed concept, leading to a new generation of refractory materials with improved cost effectiveness and similar physical behaviour. The demonstration pilot has already been constructed and its laboratory scale operation is ready, after the concept demonstration through the small scale material production.
With the main goal of sharing the obtained results to the rest of the project consortium, last March, Renotech also hosted the last REslag project general meeting, where the complete project status was deeply discussed. It is also very important to highlight the particular contribution that the members of the Advisory Board of the project had during the meeting.
In the following months the project will enter in a very challenging stage, aiming at the experimental demonstration of the REslag concepts. The targeted pilot scale demonstration facilities will be the key success indicators which will validate the proposed concepts and designs.
Check out the REslag leaflet...
...and follow it on LinkedIn and Twitter for more updates!

The EPOS project - Enhanced energy and resource Efficiency and Performance in process industry Operations via onsite and cross-sectorial Symbiosis - brings together 5 global process industries from 5 key relevant sectors: steel, cement, chemicals, minerals and engineering.
The EPOS project Interim Report is now available. Discover how the EPOS project is developing a simple and single management tool for exploring industrial symbiosis (IS) across process sectors. A wide range of technology and management solutions are suggested for supporting collaboration between sectors, by making process manufacturing sites more efficient, more cost-effective, more competitive and more sustainable.
Remaghic project has been working already for more than 18 months. During this time project partners have developed recycling methodologies for magnesium alloys, finding efficiencies of 80%, and recycling methodologies for different residue streams (lamp phosphors, cathode ray tubes and nickel metal hydride batteries) to obtain rare earth elements. This work has been recently published at the ERES conference.  
In Remaghic , the processes being researched are solvometallurgical and ionometallurgical methods, molten salt processes, HydroWEEE process and high temperature processes. From the results obtained up to now, it is clear that the optimized solution for the recovery of the REEs to be alloyed with magnesium will not consist of a unique process type but will involve a combination of several techniques specifically designed and verified for each material source. Currently, decision methodologies are being researched to be able to combine the technical indicators from process or chain or processes together with LCA (life cycle analysis) and LCC (life cycle costing) analysis indicators in order to yield conclusions of the project best process and their possible future developments.
ADREM and MEMERE in the International Process Intensification Conference
The SPIRE projects ADREM - Adaptable Reactors for Resource- a
nd Energ y-Efficien t Methane Valorisation and MEMERE  Methane Activation via Integrated Memb rane Reactors are developing new reactor concepts for th e direct conversion of methane from different so urces into higher value chemicals. 
ADREM and MEME RE will team up to discuss current issues of methane valori
zation using different nov el reactor concepts during  a joint session at the International Process Intensification Conference , which is a part of the  World Congress of Chemical Engineering in Barcelona , 1-5 October 201 7. You are welcome to join the  session on Monday, 2nd October 2017, 11:30, and discuss no vel processes and reactor concepts for the resource- and energy-efficient valorization of methane. 
A.SPIRE viewpoint paper: towards the next Framework Programme
A.SPIRE published its viewpoint paper on the next Framework Programme.  The eight sectors of the European process industry (cement, ceramics, chemicals, engineering, minerals, non-ferrous metals, steel and water) within the SPIRE Association (A.SPIRE) highlight the key considerations that the European Commission should take into account to keep these vital sectors engaged with the forthcoming ninth research framework programme (FP9). This is essential to ensure impact and delivery for sustainability, growth and jobs in Europe. Four messages are proposed to empower the next generation of process industries in a modern economy.

A.SPIRE signed the Joint Declaration for an ambitious EU industrial strategy.
A.SPIRE signed the Joint Declaration for an ambitious EU industrial strategy, t ogether with 130 Associations. The Euroepan manufacturing industry, representing a diverse range of sectors, calls on the European Commission to:
  • reaffirm its commitment to reaching the target of 20% of GDP from industry, with an ambitious and realistic timeline;
  • adopt an Action Plan to tackle the challenges that the industrial sectors are facing, in the
  • framework of a Communication that would include concrete steps and milestones; and
  • commit to implement this Action Plan in a timely manner and regularly report on progress.
Member States and the European Parliament clearly stated their full support for a strong European industrial strategy via the European Council Conclusions calling to strengthen and modernise the EU's industrial base (15 December 2016) and the Parliament Resolution on the need for a European reindustrialisation policy (5 October 2016).
The Signatories of this Joint Declaration are ready to step up our cooperation with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Competitiveness Council to define and implement this ambitious and coordinated European industrial strategy that will help safeguard the world leadership of European manufacturers and jobs in Europe...

Read the full declaration!
Reports corner: Lamy Group and RISE Group
In September 2016 the European Commission set up a  High Level Group of experts, following an online call for  expression of interest to which over 350 candidates responded. In the context of the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020, the Group's mandate is to provide advice on how to maximise the impact of the EU's investment in research and innovation. The group is chaired by Pascal Lamy, President Emeritus of the Jacques Delors Institute. It consists of 12 personalities appointed in a personal capacity. The group started its work in December 2016.
The High Level Group report was published on 3rd July 2017, on the occasion of the ' Research & Innovation - Shaping our Future' conference in Brussels.
Furthermore, t he RISE group  (A dvisory Groups  Research, Innovation and Science Policy Experts)  published its book 'Europe's future: Open Innovation, Open Science, Open to the World' on 15 May 2017. The report was presented to Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, at discussed at a workshop in Brussels hosted by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS).


H2020 Interim Evaluation 

Horizon 2020 found to be meeting its objectives, but is underfunded.
A new assessment of the first years of Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme, shows that it is on track to help create jobs and growth, tackle our biggest societal challenges and improve people's lives. Horizon 2020 has clear European added value by producing demonstrable benefits compared to national or regional-level support, but it has been so successful in attracting the best researchers and innovators that it could have spent four times its budget in support of excellent projects.
SPIRE Impact Workshop
The 7th Impact Workshop on the contractual PPPs (cPPPs) was organized by the European Commission on 17 May 2017. The workshop gathered together representatives from a range of Horizon 2020 projects funded under recent cPPP calls and members of the cPPP Partnership Boards to discuss their experiences.  This was the first time that three cPPPs have presented together in a single Impact Workshop with the aim of learning from each other's experiences. The focus was not just on technical aspects but also societal and business impact.

EU Process Industry Conference: 19 September 2017 - Registration is open!
Registration is open for the Process Industry Conference, the SPIRE mid-term policy event which will take place on 19 September 2017 in Brussels. 
It intends to gather all relevant stakeholders for the European Process Industry. This event - open to all interested stakeholders - will be dedicated to picturing the future EU Process Industry and what can be implemented if appropriate investments are met.  SPIRE projects founded in 2014, 2015 and 2016 are invited to a pitching session on the same day. 

Two additional days dedicated to thematic sessions and a brokerage event will be hosted for A.SPIRE members only.

SPIRE Projects' booth at EuroPACT 2017
The 4th European Conference on Process Analytics and Control Technology took place in Potsdam, Germany, on 10 to 12 of May 2017, and attracted over 220 experts in the field of PAT and control from research and industry. 
SPIRE was impressively represented with its own booth, a plenary lecture, two regular scientific presentation, 10 scientific posters from different SPIRE projects (
Consens , ProPAT, IbD FUDIPODISIRE), and a live demonstration of an online NMR sensor. Participants visiting the boot h were impressed by the SPIRE PPP approach, the broadness and excellence of the SPIRE projects and the progress achieved so far. Several participants expressed their interest in getting involved.
Book corner - "Why innovate? What are the challenges for Europe ?"
Luc Chefneux, engineering physicist, Doctor of Applied Science and graduate in Economics and Management (University of Liège) and ex member of the A.SPRIE Advisory Board, published a book in June. Returning to R&D within the ArcelorMittal Group in 2005, he is currently Director of Partnerships and European Affairs. 
Innovation is often presented as a kind of magic potion for rescuing our societies from stagnation. But does everyone using that word have the same understanding of it? Is there awareness of the benefits but also the risks and the prerequisites for success? The concept of innovation, what it is and what it is not, and the reasons for lesser European performance when compared with the USA, are reviewed.
Welcome to our new  A.SPIRE  members
In June 2017, the following organisations joined A.SPIRE:  
We warmly welcome them and hope that their contribution will make our PPP even stronger.  

Upcoming events
  • 5th Hellenic Forum for Science, Technology & Innovation, 5-7 July, Athens, Greece. More info...
  • Life Cycle Management Conference 2017, 3-6 September 2017, Luxembourg. More info...
  • Process Industry Conference, 19-21 September 2017, Brussels. More Info...
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