ECP4’s Chairman & Vice President of European Affairs of CEATech Dr. Bertrand Fillon presented the association’s activities and overall ambitions during the EuPC Annual Conference, which took place on 23-24 May in Lyon, France.
The need to foster innovation in the plastics and composites sectors through strengthened synergies between industry and research was the leitmotiv of Dr. Fillon’s input, which focused on the importance of reinforcing the cooperation between industrial partners and research institutions, with the ultimate purpose of contributing to the pivotal mission of increasing the circularity in the field and defending the European companies’ sovereignty in the EU market, also by ensuring their compliance with the “circular ambitions” set at EU-level through a wide array of legislations.
Dr. Fillon’s presentation provided a detailed overview of ECP4’s activities and their overall purpose of facilitating research and funding in Europe for plastics converters and composites producers by creating a cross-border network of excellence and connecting partners with a large range of backgrounds, from R&D centres to clusters and EU-level associations. The all-encompassing expertise of the ECP4 members within the plastics and composites sectors currently includes diverse areas of skills, such as material characterisation, new solutions for material processes and machines as well as smart industrial energy systems, with applications covering different industry sectors, including transport, building, packaging, energy and manufacturing. Thanks to the members’ well-proven know-how, ECP4 affiliates have mobilised all together more than 230 EU-funded projects with an overall total budget of € 400 million, supporting the plastics and composites industry in proceeding towards higher levels of circularity.
By organising workshops and participating in engaging sectorial events, such as the 2022 Chemical Recycling Workshop or the IndTech Conference, the ECP4 members widely extended their network, raising awareness on the added value of the group’s activities in the field of research and innovation by interacting with industrial partners interested in uniting forces to pave the way for a more sustainable future in the plastics and composites sector. The ECP4 Project Building Session core team will soon meet again to discuss the 2024 Horizon Europe Calls, aiming at extending the EuPC’s members engagement in the years to come.
“ECP4 researchers need to industry to develop new technologies at industrial scale, as much as the industry needs the researchers for the identification of their needs, the development of tailored project ideas and the evaluation of their feasibility at lab-scale and pilot scale by benefitting from EU funding”, underlined Dr. Fillon as a core point of its presentation. His participation in the final panel discussion, together with industry leaders as well as associations’ representatives helped emphasize this message and gather feedback on the best way to achieve such a pivotal objective.
Moreover, other ECP4 representatives gave their contributions during the three divisions’ sessions on the first day of the conference, showcasing some success stories within their individual project portfolios. During the Automotive & Transport session, Marco Monti, ECP4 board member and R&D project manager at Proplast, presented the results of AURAE, a project funded by the Piedmont Region in Italy, based on the developments of new aesthetic solutions for automotive components based on eco-sustainable processes and materials. Ine De Vilder, Research Scientist at Centexbel, presented CISUFLO during the Building & Construction Session, providing insights on the overall objectives of the project, which is focused on the development of new technologies and products to improve materials’ recovery and drive the flooring sector in Europe towards a more circular economy. During the Packaging session, the ECP4 board guest member Bruno Pereira da Silva, Head of Circular Economy and Environment at PIEP, presented the Better Plastics project, co-financed by COMPETE 2020, Portugal 2020 and the European Union, through the European Regional Development Fund; the project is particularly focused on the objective of reinforcing research, technological development and innovation in the plastics sector.
After this inspiring event in which the ECP4 members were able to gather valuable insights from the industry’s side, the association’s focus on the identification of the industry’s needs will now be further reinforced with greater awareness and with a view to implementing synergies and actively contributing to a more circular Europe in the field of plastics and composites.
If you wish to find out more about ECP4’s activities, visit regularly our website and get in touch with the association’s secretariat.
Federica Gallicchio, ECP4 General Manager