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Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies united for Lightweight

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AMULET (Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies united for Lightweight)

Reporting period: 2021-09-01 to 2023-03-31

The lightweighting value chains across sectors encounters several technical challenges, which if overcome could enable further lightweighting (and related business opportunities) of varied products and technologies, something that has the potential to hugely reduce emissions from related sectors, among other benefits. However, overcoming these challenges on a major scale requires collaboration and interaction along and across different value chains, not taking place sufficiently today because of:
- lack of awareness at SMEs of what exactly large industries in their value chain need in terms of innovations, and how such large corporations could ‘fast track’ adopt proposed innovations.
- limited opportunities for SMEs to test and develop their technologies in existing applications.
- lack of flexible innovation assessment processes at end-users making them poorly equipped to assess the potential of the different solutions offered by SMEs in a way that allows such SMEs to engage with them.
- scarcity of practical methods and techniques for both parties to engage with each other, leveraging the latest innovation practices while operating within existing innovation adoption frameworks.
- limited business environments and communities where both parties can co-develop their solutions.
To do so, AMULET will:
1. Create a unique self-sustainable business framework, inclusive to end-users and SMEs from established industrial supply chains to explore innovative lightweight-driven market opportunities novel to their current businesses under a collaborative approach. In order to become a EU network of reference, the consortium will facilitate three types of activities. Launch 2 Open Calls..
1.2. Technical advice & training. Set up a network of more than 50 experts from academia to provide continuous support in the advanced materials & manufacturing field to all SMEs interested in lightweight. AMULET will define and implement a complete catalogue of technical courses. Technical consulting and dedicated support for developing the winning solutions to a demonstration scale will be also provided, achieving TRL7.
1.3. Business-to-business coaching. Set up a network of more than 50 experts from industry that will give continuous coaching for exploring lightweighting market opportunities in the targeted sectors and bring innovative ideas to a commercial scale. Business consulting and marketing strategy for taking the winning solutions to a market-readiness stage will be also provided, with the aim of achieving future successful commercialization of the up to 13 technological projects.
2. Guarantee the long-term sustainability of AMULET’S lightweight community. To do so, the partnership will engage with the 10 regional administrations by direct intermediation of clusters to:
3. Promote the cluster alliance, its members and stakeholders and its results, within Europe as well as globally, to showcase and reinforce the image of Europe in this field and generate more opportunities for the SMEs and the other cluster members. To do so, AMULET will foster staff exchange while defining and executing a dissemination plan with specific activities targeting different audiences.
The launch of the project was on september 2019. A definition of all the activities and the actions to be done to impact SMEs was performed.
Three types of activities were implemented to foster innovation in SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises):

Firstly, innovation projects targeting current sectoral challenges will be developed thanks to AMULET to reach TRL7. For this, AMULET partners reached end-users to identify actual challenges and two Open Call were created to allow SME consortia to answer this challenge and to be funded. Each consortium can receive up to 120 000€. During the first period of AMULET project, the first open call ended and 24 projects were selected. As for the 2nd Open Call, the end date was on 27th of March.

Secondly, technical training support was given to the SMEs and to the SMEs participating in the thematic challenge competitions to develop their innovative projects. Webinars were performed by AMULET partners and the recording are available on the website of the project.

Thirdly, dedicated business-to-business coaching are made available by the partners for accelerating the commercialization of SMEs innovative solutions . Besides supporting SMEs from the thematic challenge competitions, AMULET also provide continuous support in technical and business topics through educational materials to SMEs interested in lightweight.This is available on AMULET and ELCA website.

These activities allow AMULET project to create a unique self-sustainable business framework in which end-users and SMEs from established and new industrial supply chains will explore innovative lightweight-driven market opportunities.
The expected results of AMULET are presented below :
-AMULET will contribute to strengthen the industrial leadership of Europe by generating innovative solutions in the field of advanced materials and their manufacturing as cross-cutting KETs, and placing them close to market (TRL7). In addition, AMULET offer an ecosystem that will foster SMEs innovation via the challenge competitions and the expert training provided. The framework generated in AMULET involving SMEs, RTOs and clusters will favor value chain cooperation, promoting their growth and reinforcement.
-AMULET promote the development of new high added-value products in the field of lightweight materials which will strongly impact their respective markets introducing products with very relevant competitive advantages such as: reduction of weight in the products, the decrease of the environmental impact in their lifecycle, provide possibilities of enhanced performance... The advances in lightweight materials will enable the development of emerging industries and the creation of new value chains, allowing economic growth and jobs as well as being more energy efficient and have a lower environmental impact.
-The innovation action proposed in AMULET is based in the development of advanced materials with lightweight characteristics with a strong relation with the objectives included in the European New Green Deal. The trans-national nature of AMULET partners stimulates the emergence of synergies, inter-regional collaboration and cluster partnerships, enhancing the generation of EU-wide international value chains.
-AMULET arrange a continuous coaching program that enable the performance of the supported SMEs to be monitored at various stages. In terms of impact, more than 1639 SMEs from all the 10 countries are expected to become aware of AMULET and at least 350 SMEs will be engaged in the activities. After the first period of the project, at least 714 SMEs connects on AMULET websites from 21 countries. After the open calls, up to 14 SME consortia are expected to develop innovations at TRL7, hence bringing to the market new or significantly improved products and technologies in the medium-term.
-AMULET holistic framework will generate an enriching open inclusive space for SMEs, characterized for being multi-sectoral, multidisciplinary and multinational, which enable co-creation and discussion of novel ideas as well as finding the suitable partners for their development and implementation.