Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: The consumption of energy and other resources often represents a major part of the cost of manufactured products. Energy and other resources savings need to be considered at several levels: machine, process, the whole factory and along the entire value chain. The development of new business models focusing on the collaboration of companies operating in the same value chain to increase resources and energy efficiency can bring important cost savings in products and increased competitiveness. Inter-company cooperation can be further facilitated by geographic proximity (Industrial Symbiosis). The ultimate objective is to increase competitiveness of the EU manufacturing sector while at the same time improving environmental performance.

Scope: Research activities should be multi-disciplinary and address all of the following areas:

-          Energy and resource consumption data collection along the entire value chain, modelling and integration of data into the decision making tools and procedures.

-          Development and implementation of new business models aimed at reducing energy and resource consumption along the whole or a relevant part of the value chain including final users when possible and recycling or reprocessing companies.

-          Clustering of factories, suppliers or any other company in order to implement common resources optimization or intelligent demand side management strategies. That may require the development of adapted Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES).

-          Development of strategies for enabling energy characterisation of enterprises as a means for obtaining energy certifications coherent with the European Eco-design provisions.

-          Development of coherent detailed business cases, including economic, strategic and commercial analysis, of the business models developed during the project.

Projects are expected to use appropriate Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Cost techniques with rigorous baseline values in order to estimate the impact of the results of the project.

For this topic, proposals should include an outline of the initial exploitation and business plans, which will be developed further in the proposal project.

Activities expected to focus on Technology Readiness Level 4-6.

This topic is particularly suitable for collaboration at international level, particularly under the IMS scheme.[1] Project partnerships that include independent organisations from IMS regions[2] are therefore encouraged. For a project to get the IMS label it must include independent organisations from at least two different IMS regions.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 3 and 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

The impact on the areas of application of the projects is expected to be:

·                Energy consumption and CO2 emission reduction (LCA) for the final product of at least 20% from cradle to gate (use and disposal omitted).

·                Energy consumption and CO2 emission reduction for the product of at least 30% from cradle to grave.

·                Product Life Cycle Cost (LCC) reduction of at least 10% from cradle to grave.

Type of action: Research & Innovation Actions

[1] IMS (Intelligent Manufacturing Systems) is an industry-led, global, collaborative research and development programme, started in 1995 as the world’s only multilateral collaborative R&D framework:

[2] The current member regions of IMS are the European Union, the United States of America, Mexico and the EFTA state of Norway.

Record Number: 665042 / Last updated on: 2015-03-25