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Alliance for Materials – A value chain approach to materials research and innovation

Final Report Summary - MATVAL (Alliance for Materials – A value chain approach to materials research and innovation)

Executive Summary:

The original motivation behind the MatVal project was a lack of consistent coordination between the activities of the various ETPs, which has led to a diverse range of ideas as to what is important to European materials developments, and consequently a somewhat fragmented support for these developments. In 2010, a group of ETPs (EuMaT, Suschem, Manufuture, FTC, ESTEP and SMR) with the most significant material agenda, came together to create an Alliance for Materials (A4M). The driver for this collaboration was to ensure a Value Chain coverage to improve the speed of implementation of innovations in Europe that address the Grand Societal Challenges but with a clear attention to the competitiveness aspects too, in agreement with at least two of the pillars of Horizon 2020.
Among the fundamental concepts of A4M is the Value Chain concept. It is regarded as the key element driving synergistic benefits through a common path which integrates players, resources and strategies starting from the fundamental aspects of materials science up to the industrial system that produces and/or transforms materials into valuable products.
Alliance for Materials initiatives (A4M) is a new way of thinking; a partnership and networking in Materials Research and Innovation. With the MatVal proposal, A4M intends to enter into its crucial implementation phase creating the condition for a real enlargement of the network to the sector oriented ETPs active along the different value chains and concomitantly bringing together other relevant actors of the European Materials community, for a real integration of voices and visions.

The key objectives include:
• To contribute to the implementation of the A4M view and strategy
• To integrate the diversity of ideas in Materials across ETPs
• To rely on a Value Chain based concept as main driver for a credible integration
• To speed up industrial exploitation of materials
• To pull together all the key materials technologies to support the Commission in establishing priorities

MatVal is an EC-funded project, running from September 2012-14, with the aim of supporting the A4M concept. The main action we have carried out within MatVal so far has been linking the materials community with industry in the energy, transport, construction, health and creative industry sectors. These five sectors were selected based on their relevance to Horizon 2020’s societal Challenges and their importance in terms of European policies in R&D. Nevertheless, we are very interested in enlarging these networks to include other sectors in the future, following the completion of MatVal.
In many ways MatVal have achieved the original, overarching objective of A4M: to start the creation of a single voice in Materials R&D at EU level.
Today, anybody can play a role in contributing to the materials strategy and policy for R&I in Europe through A4M, and we have become a real reference point for the European materials community. MatVal has seriously contributed to set the ground for the creation of a future Material Common House.

Project Context and Objectives:
The original motivation behind the MatVal project was a lack of consistent coordination between the activities of the various ETPs, which has led to a diverse range of ideas as to what is important to European materials developments, and consequently a somewhat fragmented support for these developments. In 2010, a group of ETPs (EuMaT, Suschem, Manufuture, FTC, ESTEP and SMR) with the most significant material agenda, came together to create an Alliance for Materials (A4M). The driver for this collaboration was to ensure a Value Chain coverage to improve the speed of implementation of innovations in Europe that address the Grand Societal Challenges but with a clear attention to the competitiveness aspects too, in agreement with at least two of the pillars of Horizon 2020.
Among the fundamental concepts of A4M is the Value Chain concept. It is regarded as the key element driving synergistic benefits through a common path which integrates players, resources and strategies starting from the fundamental aspects of materials science up to the industrial system that produces and/or transforms materials into valuable products.
Alliance for Materials initiatives (A4M) is a new way of thinking; a partnership and networking in Materials Research and Innovation. With the MatVal project, A4M entered into its crucial implementation phase creating the condition for a real enlargement of the network to the sector oriented ETPs active along the different value chains and concomitantly bringing together other relevant actors of the European Materials community, for a real integration of voices and visions.

The key objectives include:
• To contribute to the implementation of the A4M view and strategy
• To integrate the diversity of ideas in Materials across ETPs
• To rely on a Value Chain based concept as main driver for a credible integration
• To speed up industrial exploitation of materials
• To pull together all the key materials technologies to support the Commission in establishing priorities

The MatVal project is an idea from a large group of subjects representing at, the highest level, the major systems/organisations in the Materials community, covering all its different facets, from industry to R&D and academic establishments. In order to have the largest representation in the project, the partnership has been drawn as follows:

• European Technology Platforms (EuMaT, Suschem, FTC, MANUFUTURE, ESTEP, SMR)
• European materials associations (E-MRS, FEMS)
• Network of Excellence (KMM-VIN)

The MatVal project is, by definition, a networking exercise aiming to create the conditions for long lasting and robust synergies between the many different systems/organisations which play a role in the complex nature of Materials R&D and Innovation. Consequently, the project brings together the views of a large variety of players, while keeping the project to a reasonable size for an effective management of delivery.

The MatVal project is organised on seven different work packages as described in figure 1
This structure has been proposed in order to fit perfectly the original Commission call requirements.

WP1. Project Coordination and Management
This WP includes all the activities necessary to ensure a smooth and regular operation of the project. A part of the activities devoted to the internal consortium management (monitoring, financial management, contract reporting, project meetings, etc.) and the contacts with the Commission, the WP1 includes some activity related closely the area of the WP7 (Communication and Dissemination). In particular, it covers the website activity which is equally shared with the WP1 due to the double role of the MatVal WEB site as crucial project management tools and concurrently as the main mechanism for the dissemination of the project activities to the public.

WP2. Creation of synergies between major materials stakeholders
The main goal of this activity is the implementation of the A4M concept as way for an effective integration of all the principal actors active on the Material R&D&I scenario at EU level. This is the main work package of the project and it intends to support a final and full implementation of A4M toward a future structure able to represent as a single voice the visions of a complex, heterogeneous material community. The delivery of a new implemented model for networking and linking the material community, from research to industry, in a Value Chain driven approach, is the final overall value of A4M and MatVal is the tool for this implementation.
WP2 includes all the concrete activities needed to evolve in this direction by working along identified value chains. Despite the fact that it was not be possible to approach all the different value chains, the A4M activity, even when limited to a certain number of value chains remain of value for establishing a methodology that can be easily expanded in the future to other sectors.

WP3. Identification of common elements between ETPs
The main goal of WP3 is to analyse the Strategic Research Agendas of the different ETPs and identify common materials elements within them. The SRAs have been analysed along with other supporting documentation and interaction with the ETP representatives. Common R&D interests per by material type have been bought together covering the different sectors represented by the different ETPs.

WP4. Development of strategies for boosting research
This work package, WP4, explored factors and processes that may adversely affect the development of materials research activities in a European and national setting. These include issues such as:
o conflicting needs and interests of the main players (research institutions, enterprises, SMEs) in defining the research fields and funding R&D activities:
• academia: free choice of research topics (including blue sky research),
• industry/SMEs: product development oriented research,
• policy makers: research facing societal grand challenges,
• financial sector: research expected to maximise interest rate,
o lack of continuity of research funding along the value chain (even most promising technologies/solutions suffer from this cause)
o fragmentation and overlapping of research, both within the EU-supported research and between the EU-supported and national research
o shortage of well trained and skilled workforce to conduct high quality research
o difficulties to create a critical mass of expertise necessary for problem-oriented research,
o insufficient or inaccessible research infrastructure.
A set of measures have been proposed to remove or at least reduce the barriers identified. This strategic plan will take into account the value chain setting i.e. from raw materials, via development of new or improved materials, to innovative products.
Research to boost growth takes three basic forms. Firstly, there is research that creates entirely new products and processes, based usually on some form of scientific and technological breakthroughs (radical research). Secondly, there is research into upgrading of existing products and processes (incremental research). Thirdly, thanks to avoiding of fragmentation and overlapping, new synergies will develop. Each poses major challenges and opportunities for policy and impact review and were both covered in this part of the MatVal project.

WP5. Development of strategies for boosting innovation
The activity of WP5 is similar to the activity carried out in WP4, but its focus is on Innovation. The integration of the two exercises, Research and Innovation, was done mainly in WP6.
Included in the principal activity of WP5 is the identification of key horizontal issues (regulation, standardisation, public procurement, access to finance, skills & education etc.) that impact on the transfer of advanced material research into industrial innovation in Europe. This study allowed the development of an action plan and policy recommendations to address identified needs and challenges, which deals with a final setting-up of a permanent expert community to carry on these activities beyond the project life.

WP6. Implementation of commonly defined activities
The main goal of this activity has been the elaboration of a detailed project exit strategic plan endorsed by the widest possible project stakeholders and contemplating the necessary actions supported by the value chain clusters. In that regards WP6 is a sort of summary and integration exercise of the different MatVal activities.

WP7. Communication and dissemination
The main goal of this activity was to provide the appropriate communication tools to support promotion of the overall project and specific work package components as needed, including the promotion of the role of A4M in cross-sectorial materials R&I and highlighting the overall importance of improved cross-sectorial value chain focussed materials R&I. In addition, WP7 developed and implemented the appropriate tools required for dissemination of intermediate project results, and the results and recommendations of the consortium at the end of the project.

The MatVal project has been able to gather major stakeholders in materials research and innovation in Europe, both in the core consortium (six ETPs forming the Alliance for Materials A4M, EMRS, FEMS and NoE with strong materials agenda) and through the group of External Partners, who expressed their commitment to the project activities via the letters of support. This is an important asset of the MatVal proposal and a precondition for the impact of the project to be substantial and up to the expectations of the work programme. This critical mass of stakeholders and the ambitious MatVal work plan described in the work packages will have an impact on several levels which are presented in what follows.

o Improved synergy amongst major stakeholders in materials research and innovation
o Efficient implementation of ETP’s Strategic Research Agendas and Roadmaps
o Facilitation of the development of future research and innovation initiatives in the NMP-Materials fields
o cost-effectiveness of future delivery of Materials programme
o an effective research and innovation linkage for materials research and valorization
o Creation of the conditions for a future A4M dreaming idea for the estabishement of a European Materials Common House
o the establishment of a permanent structures (A4M) in order to guarantee achievement of defined objectives on a longer time horizon

In many ways MatVal have contributed to achieve the original, overarching objective of A4M: to create a single voice in Materials R&I
Today, anybody can play a role in contributing to the materials strategy and policy for R&I in Europe through A4M, and we have become a real reference point for the European materials community. MatVal has seriously contributed to set the ground for the creation of a future Material Common House.  

Project Results:
Specificities of materials research in selected sectors (WP 2)

The WP2 main achievement was the organization of a workshop gathering 4 industrial sectors with a strong materials agenda in order to identify the main differences and common elements in their materials research and innovation strategies in their respective value-chains. The selected industry sectors are:
- Transportation (automotive, aeronautic, marine)
- Energy
- Construction
- Creative industries

In interactive break-out sessions, the sectors were presented with a set of questions:

Block A – Approaches
• What are effective market pull and technology push strategies for identifying and addressing the materials needs and opportunities for your sector?

Block B – The Specificities
• Please, list up to 5 important specificities of your sector which affect/ characterize Materials R&D and Innovation in your sector

Block C – The Topics
• Please, list, rank and comment the top five materials or material-technology challenges critical/strategic for your sector

Block D – Collaboration
• From the point of view of your sector, do you expect any value from the collaborations in materials technology with other supplier, user or otherwise related sectors?

Block E – The Tools
• How much does Horizon2020 fit with your Materials Technology requirements and expectations?
• Which horizontal research/technology support programs (e.g. LEIT*) would be essential to facilitate/complement your specific material development/innovation activities?
• Please, list from up to 5 concrete support actions/initiatives you would imagine to greatly support your specific materials R&D/Innovation activities/needs
Although it is not easy to find widely common features between the materials needs for the different sectors, one can see the importance of regulations and manufacturing aspects as well as the needs for long-term planning and technology roadmaps. Also the need for better use of waste or materials recycling is appearing more and more important.

There are a number of specificities:
- In transport, there are many possible connections between automotive and aeronautic even if the final requirements and the methodologies are rather different. Technology transfers are possible. For sea transport, regulations are very important and not easy to change.

- In buildings, the introduction of new materials is not easy due to the naturally conservative nature of the market but also the necessary adaptation of the work-force skills and the importance of working conditions.

- In energy, long-term policies will determine priorities including for materials R&D; durability is of prime importance. In this sector, some critical raw materials aspects are clearly mentioned.

- Creative industries have very specific features and regarding materials, the approach is more opportunistic (shop for the most appropriate material) and timing and customer’s adoption are key.

Identification of common elements between ETPs (WP 3)

In this WP, a thorough analysis of the respective SRA from the participating ETPs was done and common elements were sought for within different categories:
• R&D key areas
• Growth Areas
• Challenges and Impact
It appears that there are quite a number of common elements among the ETPs. Here are the main conclusions for each category
R&D Key Areas

The R&D activity areas sought by the different ETP are summarised in Table 3. A grouping of the common R&D areas is also performed (the left hand side column in the table contains the common topics headings).

Based on the analysis performed in Table 3, the following common elements across the platforms are identified:

Common themes and overlaps

This section does not cover the advanced materials themselves but processes that facilitate their development, manufacture and implementation. The topics discussed are mentioned in most, if not all, of the SRA documents.

• Knowledge Based Engineering (KBE) / Intelligent Systems: This is part of all the SRA documents apart from EuMat . KBE and intelligent systems facilitate the development of high value processes. It appears that the meaning, use and background are used in a different context in the different SRAs. A full and in depth understanding is lacking. The use of KBE and intelligent systems allows the gathering of knowledge across a wide group and allows rapid implementation in future systems. With this being a common theme a greater degree of understanding in the individual ETPs would be valuable.
• Light weighting: Reducing the weight of materials and components was considered highly desirable for a number of reasons: added value, lower energy consumption during usage and lower material consumption. The achievement of this was detailed in several ways, including:
o Reduced material density by addition of low density particles.
o Mechanical property improvement by advanced alloying and fibre addition and development.
o Optimised design processes using KBE.
o Improved characterisation and modelling, including both materials and processes.
• New and multiple functions: The importance of materials that encompass multiple desired properties and uses is recognised in most of the SRAs. In some of the documents, it is further analysed to specific functions (for example fire abrasion resistance in the EURATEX SRA) while in other cases the mentioning of new functionalities is more generic.
• Life Cycle Analysis (LCA): Although predominantly aimed at environmental impact, LCA is becoming an important metric in examining and differentiating materials. Accuracy in this is important and transparency in working impact analysis is fundamental to its acceptance.
• Existing resource optimisation: The issue of resourcing of raw materials and scarcity is highlighted in some of the SRAs. The approach for optimised use of resources follows two ways:
o The first is the improved use and handling of recycled materials from both industrial and consumer use to create higher value materials by making their use more economically viable.
o The second option is a deeper understanding of the availability of resources within the EU and their viability for use. Technology development should also be focused on making currently unexploited resources exploitable, e.g. by more efficient recovery technologies. This refers mainly to inorganic minerals and metallic ores as well as oil and gas.
o Another potential method for addressing existing resource optimisation can be seen in broader implementation of substitution solutions.

Materials R&D Overview

Some of the SRAs have a considerable materials overlap, while others are separate. Typically, the review by SMR (Minerals) overlaps with one for ESTP (Steel) with respect to extraction and process.
• Nanotechnology: This covers the development of nano-sized additions to increase functionality as well as manipulation of materials at the nano scale to create new materials. Both approaches are indicated as showing promise for future strategies and their ability to create new advanced materials technologies.
• New material development and combinations: The development of new advanced materials can proceed by both generating totally new material forms or by new material combinations. Both of these routes start with low technology readiness level (TRL) research and bring this through the development cycle to production.
• Increasing functionality: Increasing the functionality of existing materials is considered a key enabler, as it can bypass the need to develop new materials. This increase in functionality can be either to the bulk material or, more commonly, as a highly functional surface layer. The increased functionality can be in a range of properties, from traditional mechanical property improvement and operating temperature window, to more specific properties such wear, to special properties such as anti-bacterial. Specifically focussed development of how to impart this functionality is considered a key research area.
The economic growth targets vary on each ETP. A general remark is that all ETPs acknowledge the room for financial improvement of existing structures such as existing supply chains, infrastructure, time to market etc.

The growth sectors are also versatile across the different ETPs. The growth in value is defined either as a percentage of the EU GDP or as a percentage of global activity.

Both the EU and national governments invest considerable resources into research and development. A commonly highlighted problem is the translation of the research outputs into new products and companies. In some cases, this transition is very slow or non-existent. Strategies to assist and speed up the time to market are considered highly important particularly for new and advanced materials which often start as research programmes.

There is a strong need for the ETPs to work on better common understanding of the definition of Knowledge Based Engineering as it may bring more consistent description of their needs and facilitate identification of the common objectives.

Barriers and critical bottlenecks in conducting innovative research on materials (WP 4)

This Work Package is composed of two parts:
- The first part is a survey among major European industry and academic organization dealing with Materials Research
- The second part is an investigation of the way some selected Research and Technology Organizations around the world work and their level of success.

Survey on innovative research on materials
This part of the Work Package (deliverable D4.1) is based on a survey done with major academic and industrial Research organizations.

The primary objective of the survey was to identify the barriers and critical bottlenecks in conducting innovation-leading research on engineering materials. The target groups were predominantly researchers working in different environments like universities, research institutes and companies of various industry sectors. The survey was addressed to stakeholders dealing with materials along the value chain, i.e. from raw materials to final products. Some issues related not only to barriers to innovative research but to innovation as such were also included in the questionnaire.
The online questionnaire was completed by 167 respondents from two main groups of stakeholders: research providers from higher education /research centers abbreviated in this report as “Academia” (146 completed questionnaires) and industry-based respondents (51) abbreviated as “Industry”. The majority of identifiable answers came from old Members States (UK, Spain, y, Italy, France) and two new Member States (Poland and Romania) of the EU. Industry sectors with the highest representation were Transport (Automotive and Aerospace) with 30 and Energy with 17 completed questionnaires, respectively. A vast majority of respondents (85%) had extensive experience of collaborative R&D, having been involved in one or more EU funded projects. Overwhelming majority of respondents from both groups are involved in transfer of knowledge between academia and industry, indicating their awareness of the potential benefits.

Main Findings
The most critical barrier to innovation stemming from R&D projects, as picked up by the respondents, was ‘Lack of continuity of research funding’ (ranked 3.78 on 1-5 scale) followed by ‘Different agendas between industry and academia’ (3.11/5.0) and “Poor cooperation between company and academia’ (2.67/5.0).
Other factors such as ‘Effort and cost of characterisation and qualification of innovation for service in critical applications’, “Problems with IPR’, “Lack of supply chain for the materials and processing’, ‘Poor cooperation between companies’, ‘Poor cooperation between academic organizations’, ‘Shortage of skilled workforce’ and ‘Difficulties with identification of source of expertise’ were relatively evenly valued (around 2.0/5.0). 'Inclusion of appropriate personnel in the decision-making process', 'Access to information required', 'Knowledge of appropriate standards', 'Regulatory framework' and 'Health and environment' issues were not barriers to innovative research on materials.
The highest score of the factor ‘Lack of continuity of research funding’ is rather obvious considering the fact that the majority of respondents were from Academia. However, the factors ranked no. 2 and 3 can be traced back to the specifics and priorities of the Industry and Academia groups and the complexity of interaction between them. As commented by one of the respondents: Exploitation of R&D results often fails because of the limited understanding that R&D practitioners have of how companies and agencies operate. The user will not take up a new technically superior technology unless a number of non-technical factors are satisfied. Such factors could be, e.g.: the application of the new technology will not affect current production, the investment made on current processing facilities has already been recovered, there is a ready pool of skilled persons to support it, the technology does not go against another market successful technology already in the company.
There are number of major differences between Industry and Academia respondents as to the innovation indicators used to measure success of the projects. For Industry 'new products and services', was the most important innovation indicator, closely followed by 'return on investment' and 'cost, weight or efficiency savings'. For Academia 'generation of papers' was considered the most important measure of success of the project - a consideration that ranked lowest for the industry sector. 'New products and services' and 'generation of patents', both important indicators for the industry sector, also featured highly in the innovation indicators used by the research providers from Academia.

Besides the main conclusions concerning the barriers and critical bottlenecks in conducting innovative research, other conclusions have been drawn from the survey, such as:
- the research projects were aligned to the technical aims of the company;
- industry appears to be satisfied with the effort/outcome balance of the projects;
- both groups of respondents had experienced instances of significant timescale gaps in the transfer of knowledge between industry and academia, the timescale gaps cannot be ascribed to geographical barriers;
- both groups of respondents concur that the target of innovation-oriented, research funding in materials science projects be focused on specific functions, products and processes.

Geographical patterns:
In addition, some observations have been made in the context of different countries represented by the survey participants. These observations are presented below.

In general, public funding is more demanded at early stages of development and innovation process, whereas private (internal and external) funding carries more relative weight at the last stages. Notwithstanding this, industry relies much more on private funding than on public money as a general rule. This seems to imply that when companies launch new projects, they look for public money to help them lay their foundations, that is to say, preliminary/basic research relies partly on public funding. However, once the project is well defined and shows positive prospects, companies prefer to go ahead with them making use of their own resources or with the help of private investors. This fact could be explained at least by two reasons: one is the search of confidentiality at the final stages of an innovation process, the other one being that public funding programmes don’t usually cover the industrial implementation of an R+D project. Interestingly these trends are much more prominent in such countries as Italy, where private funding is much less used at all stages of the innovation process. In turn, private funding is higher and rather constant at all stages in Germany. It doesn’t seem to be a case of differences between northern and southern countries as Spain and the United Kingdom show similar patterns.

Among the most frequently used indicators to measure the success of projects the generation of patents and, somewhat surprisingly, new products and services are important for Industry and Academia alike. This seems to indicate a customer-oriented thinking in Academia what is promising for the industrial innovations. However, for Poland and Italy the generation of papers as an indicator of innovative research was ranked very highly, which was not the case for Germany and the United Kingdom.

As mentioned above, the knowledge transfer between Academia and industry seems to be satisfactory, but not the timescale gaps involved. These gaps are outstanding in Spain, but rather weak in Germany. This seems to imply that Spanish University works at a different (slower) pace than Spanish industry, whereas German University’s response rate to industry looks higher. It could in turn mean that German universities and industry work more closely together sharing goals and results. Interestingly, the poor cooperation between company and academia does not appear as a barrier in the United Kingdom and Germany, whereas it seems to be a significant barrier to innovation in Poland, Italy and Spain.

Other potential barriers to innovative research, either material-research related or University and R+D-related, don’t seem to be important. It’s worth highlighting that geographical barriers are nearly negligible, which shows that transnational cooperation is an established fact at the moment.

The regulatory framework for new materials is usually known before starting new projects. This is especially true in the cases of Spain and Italy, but not so much for Germany, the United Kingdom and Poland. This is not easy to interpret: less access to regulatory rules in the latter countries? More "challenging" projects involving entirely new materials (no regulatory framework) in Germany and the UK?

Only respondents from Germany state that market research is implemented extensively in their projects. All the other cases show that market studies are not properly done. This is an important issue as it seems to mean that many new projects searching for new materials or products are not market-driven. If this is the case, the probability of failure of these projects must be high. This way of research has been typical of universities for many years but it doesn't make any sense when it comes to industry.

The potential of projects' outcomes to disrupt the current market is rather poorly rated. It seems that current research is more of the incremental type rather than of the disruptive one. This is a clear proof that most of the materials research currently done is not really innovative. The outlook shows that there's a strong wish for this to happen in the future and the challenge is to find out how to reach that level of disruptive research.

Some conclusions and recommendations:

• Academia and industry still don´t have a smooth cooperation. Though the goals of research look reasonably aligned between the two worlds, an effort is still needed to make this cooperation more efficient. As universities are strongly innovative research-oriented, Industry must benefit from an increased collaboration with Academia.
• Market research needs to be improved in order to make R+D projects more successful. New concepts and new ideas must be somehow validated in terms of market. Industrial or consumer applications should always be looked at as the final target of a research project and market should be considered as one of the driving forces for innovation.
• Funding must be assured all the way through a project's lifespan. Be it public or private, the continuity of funding is key when it comes to reaching positive outcomes out of an innovative research project. No resources means no new challenges in terms of innovation and research.
• Not much disruptive research is done at the moment. Can a better and correctly aligned Academia-Industry cooperation, a more market-oriented research and assured resources allotted to innovative research improve this? In the latter case, how to combine properly public and private funding in the mid and long term? The European industrial tissue is not homogeneous and companies have different views on how and by whom breakthrough research should be supported and funded.

Deliverable D4-2: Case studies and best practice proposal for innovation-oriented research models

In this deliverable, 7 well-known RTO around the world were investigated:
- NIMS (Japan)
- KIMs (Korea)
- KICET (Korea)
- ITC (Spain)
- Fraunhofer Institute (Germany)
- CCMX (Switzerland)

Here are the main conclusions:

All of the presented concepts of conducting research related to advanced materials have certain ingredients that can be advantageous when designing a research organizational model leading to industrial innovation.

NIMS (Japan) is a “success story” for a state-financed and fundamental research oriented institute. Its current orientation versus “societal needs” is interesting, but not supported by a direct contact to the society e.g. no real links to SMEs, or real involvement of NIMS in the day-to-day problems in industry can be found. As a “case study and best practice proposal for innovation-oriented research model” for Europe, NIMS can offer a lot in terms topics tackled and scientific results achieved, but few in terms of organizational model or “bottom-up” ensured sustainability of material science research. Without state support and long-term vision, the above achievements of NIMS would not have been possible. Its organizational form and business model are, therefore, probably not a future model for the materials research in Europe.

NIST (USA) is also financed by the government but its six Laboratories often conduct research in close collaboration with industry to improve their products and services. Importantly, through its extramural Hollings MEP network NIST stays very close to the small and medium sized industry. On the debit side, NIST organizational model has not been devised to ensure sustainability of material science research by the Laboratories themselves. In that sense the NIST labs and extramural programmes can be useful to look at when the excellence of research is concerned but will be of less help when constructing the financial model that would boost innovative research.

The successful innovation leading policy of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is based on several factors. The most important one is its financial model with over 30% annual funding coming directly from industry contracts and 30% from public funding sources. This gives a good balance between directly applicable research results and precompetitive research which both may contribute to innovations.
The precondition for the large amount of industry contracts are qualified research staff and state funded investment in advanced research infrastructure. Also the performance based remuneration system for research staff (with the variable component of salary linked to the effectiveness in getting research contracts) is a factor stimulating innovative research.

Specific ideas on how to effectively link research and academic education with the needs of industry proposed and implemented in practice at the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing in
Dresden (IZFP-D), the Instituto de Tecnología Cerámica (ITC) in Spain and the Competence Centre for Materials Science and Technology (CCMX) in Switzerland, as well as the two Korean institutes (KIMS and KICET) are valuable detailed solutions that should be taken advantage of when proposing the strategic plan of boosting research.

A significant added value can be seen also in establishing closer cooperation and running common projects with partners from outside Europe.

Strategies for boosting research on advanced materials

This work package undertook a selective review of materials R&D within the member state countries and benchmarked this against global leaders such as South Korea, Japan and USA.

The analysis used information already in the public domain, often, but not exclusively, work already published by the European Commission (JRC). Countries for evaluation were selected on the basis of published ranking systems, in particular the Innovation Index based on R&D intensity as a measure of GDP and total R&D investment. Countries were chosen to represent modest innovators, moderate innovators, innovation followers and innovation leaders in ascending order of innovation performance.

Innovation leaders commit close to or in excess of 3% of their GDP to R&D
Innovation followers between 2 – 2.5%
Moderate innovators between 1 – 1.5% and
Modest innovators less than 1%

The EU overall has a current average of 2.0% (to increase this to 3.0% is one of the 5 key targets within Europe 2020).

Public sector funding predominates in moderate and modest innovators.

Private sector funding predominates in innovation leaders and followers.

This work package looked at materials research across borders, across institutions and across industries and sectors:

I. Across Borders
The Research and Innovation landscape in Europe is diverse, characterised by different institutional paths and governance structures. Improved coordination of national policies will allow more efficient and coherent representation of European R&D&I in the world and increase its visibility and impact.

Regional and national cluster initiatives often lack a European dimension. Major strategies to boost research across borders include improving the “cluster” policy at national and EU level, connecting clusters through trans-national cluster cooperation and exchange. Cluster mapping could help identify existing, growing, declining and emerging industry clusters in a given geographical area.

II. Across Institutions
Competitive and open access to high quality Research Infrastructures supports and benchmarks the quality of the activities of European scientists, and attracts the best researchers from around the world. It is necessary for each research institution to have the necessary policies and mechanisms in place in order to identify inventions with commercial potential and, with the assistance of skilled Knowledge Transfer professionals, identify the best way to commercialise.

Materials R&D activities are highly concentrated in the core regions of the EU. Approximately half of total research expenditure goes to 30 regions out of 254. Disparities between regions in research in industry are even wider. There must be a strategy to enable funding to help all regions build R&D capacities according to their situation and priorities. Research institutions should define and communicate a long term strategy in relation to the management of IP and knowledge transfer.

Between Industries and Sectors
Innovation driven R&D needs to be analysed at sector and industry level. This must then be linked to strategic technological capacity and to areas where there is growing global demand.
Use should be made of strategies already identified for energy, health, transport and construction to develop a common single cross-cutting materials strategy. Further commercial incentives should be implemented to collaborate and share knowledge where this is non-competitive.

Tax incentives for R&D as a form of indirect financing can be used to complement direct government funding through R&D&I contracts, subsidies or grants.

Publicly funded knowledge must be made available for materials research in the private sector to enhance the knowledge base, diminish regional discrepancies and promote innovation.

Development of strategies for boosting innovation in Materials (WP 5)

This Work Package was implemented through a focused workshop where experts from different sectors discussed the types of innovation and their specificities

Executive summary
The MatVal project organized a one-day workshop on 18 June 2013 to discuss key innovation policy issues in the advanced materials production and application sectors with the aim of finding new and better ways to enable the transfer of advanced materials knowledge as well as related technologies into industrial innovation. The project consortium invited policy makers to discuss and exchange information with industry innovators and leading academics to understand how current policies and programs impact materials-driven innovation in Europe, and how these policies could be made more relevant in the future.

The specific objectives of the workshop included:
- Exchange on main innovation issues and challenges faced by the EU advanced materials industry sectors
- Identification of main drivers and barriers that can boost or obstruct industry’s ability to address innovation challenges
- Review of existing and planned policies to support industry to address innovation challenges
- Brainstorming on concepts, strategies and concrete actions to better address identified innovation challenges through policy measures at EU, national and regional level

Participants totaled 25 people and included representatives from two European Commission Directorate Generals: DG Research and Innovation (DG R&I) and DG Enterprise and Industry (DG ENTR).

In interactive parallel workshop sessions 3 broad innovation themes were discussed among experts and the following conclusions on enablers/drivers, barriers and needed stakeholder actions were presented in the wrap-up session.

The selected innovation themes were identified as the main types of drivers for innovation in materials.

For each innovation domain a break-out session was conveyed and the participants had to answer a set of questions:

- What are the main drivers and success factors behind smart/functional material innovation?
- What are the main barriers faced by innovators? What market failures exist and could to be addressed by public policies/programs?
- Which technological and industrial capacities are required for successful smart material innovation? Can they be developed in a structured way? How can public policies/programs support this?
- Are there successful examples of existing policies/programs at EU, national, regional level that could be reinforced and replicated?

Here are the main findings for each innovation domain with a summary of the scope of each domain:

HIGH-TECH MATERIALS: Radical materials innovation – major material shifts in industry sectors and markets:

Radically new material concepts to solve new problems or revolutionizing solutions to old problems (Establishing new material paradigms and value chains in old and new industries)

Scope: The development and industrial application of disruptive new material concepts are often at the basis of entirely new markets and industries such as silicon at the start of the computer-age. In other cases when we try to tackle big new challenges such as the exploitation of a new source of energy or the development of new means of transportation radically new high-performance materials are required. While a constant stream of new materials is being developed in research labs around the world, radical material innovations leading to new markets and industries usually require the set-up of new value chains which can provide and process the new materials in sufficient quality, quantity and at economic cost. It further requires extensive and often large-scale testing and demonstration. Many markets were safety and long-term reliability of materials are crucial such as energy and transport systems, construction or medical applications are relatively conservative in their approach to new materials. They rely on long-established practical knowledge, processes and supply chains and have elaborated technical standards based on their conventional materials, which usually create high barriers for material innovators.

Answers to the questions:
- Radical material innovation often originates in sectors/markets dealing with extreme requirements such as defense, aerospace, energy where they are facilitated by available public funding and get later transferred mostly through industrial funding into other sectors
- Strong long-term political commitment and related public funding is necessary to achieve quantum leaps in material innovation, which industry alone will not tackle due to high risk and long-term uncertainty (EU examples: CERN, Airbus, US examples: NASA, defense research)
- Need to build industry commitment from big and small companies, SME involvement to tackle specific detail challenges, more industry transfer through cross-sectorial technology brokerage (e.g. ESA brokerage days)
- Public policies/programs with great potential for radical material innovation incl. public procurement schemes, a KIC on advanced materials and the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) program.

SMART MATERIALS innovation – bringing new functionalities and custom-made properties into existing markets or new market niches - Adding value to existing products by making them safer, smaller, easier etc. through smart material uses

Scope: The functionality and user value of many products or systems scan be enhanced in virtually endless ways by the application of materials with improved characteristics and use properties. Sometimes the improvement of a small but critical part or the application or a minimal amount of a functional material (i.e. a nano-layered coating) can dramatically improve the user value of the end product or system. Such smart functional material innovations are also a strong enabler of customized products giving the possibility to tailor solutions to very specific requirements and use conditions of individual customers and end users.

Such specialty and smart materials innovation is often the domain of SME’s or mid-sized companies which are better able to exploit market niches. Still many such materials require extensive testing, certification or standardization compliance which may present prohibitive cost barriers in very small end markets.

Answers to the questions
- Smart materials innovation is most successful when it can provide measurable improvements over existing solutions and give tangible benefits to users/customers. It often results from combination of existing technologies in innovative ways or by transferring material solutions from one sector to another. It is a natural area for SME’s targeting specific niches.
- Main barriers to smart material innovations are difficulties of transfer from lab to (semi-) industrial scale, translation problems of technical material properties to tangible user benefits, lack of standards or measurement concepts/technologies and missing end user involvement/knowledge
- Proposed policy measures to stimulate smart materials innovation include more technology transfer support (lab to industry, cross-sectorial), fast technology scouting/screening schemes, funding of new business model development and demonstration and developer-end market intermediation, more use of fiscal incentives, establishment of permanent demonstration/pilot plants and open innovation centers.

GREEN & (C)LEAN MATERIALS: Eco-Innovation through materials – establishing sustainable, recyclable and resource-efficient materials in new and existing markets - Turning ecological challenges into sustainable material innovations
Scope: Eco-innovation is any form of innovation resulting in or aiming at significant and demonstrable progress towards the goal of resource efficiency and sustainability. Public policies and derived legislation at all levels (such as the Eco-innovation Action Plan EcoAP at EU-level) are strongly encouraging and supporting eco-innovation. In addition consumers and business customer increasingly demand sustainable products. Despite such favorable political and market trends eco-innovators face many barriers and constraints when trying to introduce their more sustainable solutions into the market. In general eco-innovation is most readily embraced by businesses when tangible near-term economic benefits are linked to it, such as cost saving from more resource-efficient processes or the reduction or re-use of waste. On the other hand, many eco-innovation oriented investments are enforced by changes in environmental legislation. Consumer preferences for “greener” products are also important impulses for industry’s eco-innovation efforts, but limited willingness of customers to pay a higher price for such products, destroyed many hopes for faster market uptake.

Answers to the questions
- There is massive potential to drive eco-innovation through new materials such as bio-based chemical feed-stocks, heat storage materials, light-weight materials or new materials for manufacturing and processing equipment.
- The main barriers for eco-material adoption are unfavorable cost-performance ratios, lack of engineering/design/simulation/manufacturing capabilities, lack of a business case and unwillingness of the market to accept higher costs for an eco-innovation, lack of favorable standards and regulations
- Proposals for policy measures to address these challenges include: adoption of innovation-friendly regulation focusing on challenges or performance targets, not technology solutions and devise incentives to nudge the market in the right direction, more rigorous LCA and cost-benefit analysis to determine earlier if new concepts can be viable/beneficial, focus more on value-chain and system approaches rather than partial solutions.

Conclusions for WP5
As one can read, the different types of innovation do not require the same framework conditions to be successful; the main ones are:

- High Tech materials: strong long term commitment from public research bodies in connection with the high tech industries. High tech materials can further be developed for uses outside of the high tech industry itself.
- Smart materials: mainly pulled by the market needs; policies favouring technology transfers between academia and industry are a key for success.
- Eco-innovation: framework policies favourable to products and solutions with better LCA are a condition for their development.

General conclusions and recommendations

Starting from the ETP’s roadmaps or looking at the materials agendas of the different industry sectors, there is no doubt that the concept of value-chain is widely recognized and used. Within this value-chain the overall manufacturing process (which turns into cost for the parts or systems at end-user’s level) is a core consideration which means that the integration of the manufacturing aspects for a material has to be part of any materials research agenda.

Not surprisingly, the different sectors have different drivers as far as materials are concerned but we see the importance of regulations, long-term visions and road-maps (technology planning). Most of the sectors see the rising importance of recycling issues.

Regarding the research activities, we still see some gap between the academia’s views and the industrial actors. It is mainly attributed to the limited knowledge from the academia’s part of some profitability criteria used by the industry and to some “time-to-market” issues (industry can stop some research because the market opportunity has been lost). But basically academia and industry have learned to work together.

Regarding the role of public funding in materials research there is a recurrent opinion mainly from academia that it is hindered by a lack of continuity in the funding lines, preventing the research to go to the desired level. This can also be connected to the competitive nature of projects bids. It is not guaranteed that the same entity will be the winner on the next call for a given materials topic.

On the innovation side, it is recommended that high tech materials be supported through public funding on a continuous base (Note: it can extended to all key enabling technologies); this is pulled directly by markets immediately in need of these materials (aerospace as an example) with the vision that other markets will benefit from these materials at a later stage; this can be facilitated by some efficient technology transfer structures. Smart materials and clean (green) materials rather need more typical supports like the public-private partneships and are connected to market needs on one side and the need for better LCA on the other side.

Bench-marking among some well recognized RTO’s worldwide indicates that the pattern used by the Fraunhöfer Institute is appropriate to Europe and very successful. It includes a mix of market research to define future needs and provide technology roadmaps, pioneering research and collaborative and more applied research. It remains to be seen how the FH model can be extended in Europe and whether there are other good examples in Europe which were not considered in MatVal. It must be noted that some RTO’s linked to specific industry sectors can be very successful for their own sector (e.g. Ceramics).

Some preliminary recommendations from the MatVal project are:

- Strategic materials research and innovation pulled by the markets should be done between all the actors of a specific value-chain with in view the market requirements and a well thought manufacturing component and with recycling aspects in mind. Public-praivate partnerships are a good scheme to support this type of materials innovation
- High tech sectors should get a clear support in terms of public funding with the early adoption of new materials followed by their development in other sectors with the support of adapted technology transfer bodies.
- Up-stream market research to define the future needs must be carried out and translated into materials technology roadmaps and foresight related activities should play a more significant role with active participation of both academia and industrial representatives.

Potential Impact:

MatVal Website
MatVal web platform has been launched on 01/08/2013.
The website link is:
The website is divided in 4 different areas, each of them represented in the home page.
1) At the top, there are the logos and the introductory information on the project (About Us, Project, Contacts), as well as the login page for those who would like to join the MatVal Community (currently providing updates to members via e-mail.

2) The second lervel covers the main topics of the project (Material and Innovation in Business, European policies on Materials, Materials and the Value Chain) and links to the News and Events Area

3) The third level is deicated to specific dossiers on the topics mentioend in the Project page. Currently the topic of Materials in Energy and Materials in Costruction are covered with more dossier to be uploaded in the next months

4) The bottom part of the home page is dedicated to the more interactive part of the website, including a Focus On area for specific article covering events and initiatives from the event and from the Partners. It also includes a News area to announce events and initiatives and links to the social media spaces (YouTube, LinkedIn)

Social Media Presence

A MatVal YouTube channel is active since 01/03/2013. Currently there are 10 videos uploaded. The videos are embedded in Matval’s website, which also links back to the YouTube channels.

YouTube channel:

2.b LinkedIn
A LinkedIn Group to be used by Project Partners as well as other relevant audiences has been created on 17/09/2013.

The LinkedIn Group:

MatVal is present in Twitter through the #MatVal, to be used by partners and other users alike to promote the project’s initiatives and related topics.


MatVal E-Mail
MatVal dedicated E-mail has been activated on 01/08/2013. The service provider is

MatVal E-mail:

MatVal E-mail is currently available in the Contacts page of the MatVal website

MatVal E-mail has been used to e-mail MatVal’s emailing lists

E-Mail concerning the launch of MatVal website (02/08/2013)

Articles in Print and Electronic Magazines
Title: Materials Union
Author: Interview with Dr-Ing Margarethe Hofmann, President, Federation of European Materials Societies
Magazine: International Innovation:
(MatVal Mentioned)

Title: European Research and Innovation in Materials Science and Engineering: What to change in the future?
Author: European Commission
Magazine: © European Union, 2013
2013 Report from the Materials Summit in Brussels, 10 September 2012 (MatVal Mentioned)

Title: Federation of Material Science
Author: Interview with Professor Ehrenfried Zschech, President of the Federation of European Materials Societies
Magazine: International Innovation, 11/2013 :
(MatVal Mentioned)

Title: Federation of European Materials Society
Author: Interview with Professor Rodrigo Martins, President of the European Materials Research Society - International Innovation, 11/2013
Magazine: International Innovation:
(MatVal Mentioned)

Title: A Material Community
Author: An exclusive with Research Media MatVaL Project Coordinator and Chairman Alliance for Materials Dr Marco Falzetti speaks to Research Media, 06/2014
Magazine: Research Media
(MatVal Mentioned)

Blog Articles
MatVal: Concrete Actions from Closing Conference
09 Oct 2014
On 30 September 2014 the MatVal FP7 project held its closing conference as part of the major European Commission LETS 2014 event in Bologna, Italy. The conference brought together policymakers, R&D experts, material ...

MatVal Cross Sectorial Workshop to Take Place in Brussels
18 Mar 2014
MatVal, the SusChem-supported FP7 project is organizing a cross-sectorial workshop in Brussels on 26 March. The workshop will bring together a selection of experts to identify how innovation in materials research can help ...

SusChem Blog: MatVal Website is Online
02 Aug 2013
Today the website of the FP7 Project “Alliance for Materials – A value chain approach to materials research and innovation” - MatVal for short - has gone online. The website is the roof of the Alliance for Materials “common ...

SusChem Blog: MatVal makes debut in Rome
26 Feb 2013
MatVal, the new SusChem-supported FP7 project, was launched at a conference in Rome on 7 and 8 February. The two-year, €1.3 million project aims to integrate requirements, ideas and solutions in materials across sectors ...

European Materials Community Comes Together
07 Feb 2013
With MatVal, an EU-funded project, A4M enters its implementation phase by creating the conditions for a significant enlargement of the network to include all sectors active along value chains. The project will bring together the ...

SusChem Blog: Shaping the Future of Europe's Materials ...
08 Sep 2014
To celebrate the end of a very successful FP7 project, the MatVal team will present its final findings and recommendations at its closing conference on September 30, 2014 in Bologna, Italy. The event will take place during the ...

The communication activity, mainly WP7, is coordinated by CEFIC and shared with CSM.

Since the time of the organisation of the Rome Conference. CSM and CEFIC have established an editorial team with the objective of coordinate all the communication activities impacting the different parts of the programme.

The activity of the editorial team has involved during the time the following persons;
o Annie Mutamba
o Esther Agyeman-Budu
o Galland Quentin
o Lorenzo Marchese

o Marco Falzetti
o Elisabetta Amici
o Leonardo Cicala

The list of the main meetings of the editorial board (this list does not include the set of meetings carried out for the preparation of the Roma Conference and all the related media materials)
02/05/2013 – Website Training Conference Call
24/05/2013 – Website Strategy Meeting (CEFIC, Bruxelles, Belgium)
13/06/2013 – Website Update Conference Call
19/06/2013 – Project Committee Meeting (Bruxelles, Belgium)
27/05/2013 – Communication Strategy Meeting (CEFIC, Bruxelles, Belgium)
26/07/2013 – Website Finalization Meeting (CEFIC, Bruxelles, Belgium)
11/09/2013 – Communication Strategy Meeting (CEFIC, Bruxelles, Belgium)
03/12/2013 – Communication Strategy Meeting (CEFIC, Bruxelles, Belgium)

MatVal Newsroom

Tuesday, 30 September 14

Monday, 08 September 14
MatVal closing conference

Thursday, 19 June 14
WORKSHOP Materials for Health: a Value Chain in the Frame of H2020

Friday, 13 June 14
MatVal Workshop “Developing strategies to boost Materials R&D in Europe”

Tuesday, 18 March 14
MatVal Cross Sectorial Workshop to Take Place in Brussels

Tuesday, 18 March 14
EuMaT/KMM-VIN: Workshop “Current research, clinical and industrial issues in bone implant development”

Thursday, 07 November 13
Two MatVal Partners Explain the Role of Materials in Innovation in Europe

Monday, 14 October 13
4th WORLD MATERIALS SUMMIT Explores Importance of Advanced Materials for Europe

Friday, 20 September 13
A4M a protagonist of the decision-making process on materials policy in Europe!

Tuesday, 17 September 13
The Next SusChem "Pre-Brokerage" Event Coming in October

Tuesday, 30 July 13
MatVal Website is Online
Today, the MatVal Website has been published online.

Press Releases
September 14
Link on MatVal website:
Distributed to major news wire

April 20 14
Title: SusChem attends Industrial Technologies 2014
Published on Cordis:
(MatVal mentioned)

February 20 13
Title: First ever initiative to bring together the whole materials community in Europe
Published on Cordis:
Picked up on:

List of Websites: