On January 27th, experts from the regions involved in the Vanguard Initiative pilot “Advanced manufacturing for energy applications in harsh environments” gathered at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels to discuss main industrial challenges and key technology areas. More than 110 participants attended, including high-level political representatives as well as experts from top-tier European companies, such as Siemens, Vattenfall, Gamesa, Ormazabal, Vicinay, Crea, Elsyca, Righini, Zensor, Outokumpu and Vacon, among others.
Capitalising on the Vanguard Initiative framework and the solid public and private commitment of 13 European regions, the workshop aimed to set the next steps for the establishment of targeted, cross-regional Public-Private-Partnerships for the financing of common priority technology areas. To this end, the workshop:
- Presented the industrial challenges faced by companies and potential technological solutions.
- Explored novel technology fields that would play a major role in tackling industrial challenges.
- Allowed for a lively debate on the needs of the industry and the policy framework at regional & EU levels.
The workshop was divided into 2 rounds of parallel sessions:
- The first round of parallel sessions allowed leading companies from different market areas to discuss potential technological solutions, partnering options and respective barriers and share their views on “Cost-reduction in Harsh environments: design device, operation and maintenance” “Corrosion in water”; and “Advanced manufacturing processes”;
- The second one explored the areas that leading companies were looking for further development, the type of infrastructures needed, collaborations or any other requirements for stepping forward from the technology to the solution of the challenge on “Composites, new materials and materials testing”; “Power transfer and conversion”; and “Sensing, instrumentation and monitoring”.
One of the main conclusions was the need for joint collaboration in the private sector. In this respect, the discussions among companies, innovation actors and technical experts produced clear consensus of the scale of opportunity, and scope for industry collaboration. In addition, the discussions highlighted significant challenges that need to be addressed:
- Developing test and demonstration facilities
- Engaging regional SMEs in the supply-chains and procurement processes of larger companies
- Establishing effective Standards, and
- Securing significant new sources of finance and investment.
As next steps, the Technology Roadmap exercise will be completed, with direct participation by companies, which will include working with pilot experts to identify mechanisms to followthrough on the outcomes of the workshop and the Matchmaking in February, and to take forward the development of the pilot’s Demonstration Cases.
This process will be then underpinned by:
- Facilitating the development of 6 Energy Pilot ‘communities’ derived from the associated industry challenges and technology fields which have emerged from the Technology Roadmapping survey work (e.g. the early development and emergence of joint demonstration activities / cases linked to the themes and associated funding and investment opportunities).
- Developing an Industry Leadership Committee (ILC) to strengthen the industrial ownership of the ADMA/Energy pilot.
- Following up outcomes of the ADMA Energy Technology Roadmapping and industry engagement workshop (27 January) and the Energy Pilot sessions which will take place at the matchmaking event (25 February).
- the agenda of the workshop