Cerame-Unie is a founding member of A.SPIRE aisbl, an association governing a private part of a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) funded under the Horizon2020 framework programme. The PPP SPIRE focuses on the sustainable process industry and A.SPIRE represents more than 45 industrial and research process industry stakeholders from over a dozen countries spread throughout Europe.
Since its launch in July 2012, many activities have taken place:
- The long awaited Horizon 2020 legislation and its work programmes for 2014 and 2015 were published in December 2013. Ceramic companies and RTOs presented their initial ideas at a SPIRE brokerage event in October and during the PPP Infodays in December.
- Ceramic companies and research centres submitted project proposals by the March 2014 deadline but unfortunately none were selected.
- Cerame-Unie attended SPIRE General Assembly in October 2014 in Brussels and the SPIRE Partnership Board meeting in December, where the European Commission presented their first ideas for the 2016-2017 SPIRE calls.
- Cerame-Unie gave a welcome speech at the SPIRE event “Connecting innovative small & big industries” held on 29 June 2015. As an SME sector and founding member of A.SPIRE, Cerame-Unie highlighted the importance of SMEs receiving EU funding for research. SMEs face many difficulties when seeking EU funding including limited resources, both human and financial, and a lack of connections at EU level. But European and national structures, i.e. associations and research centres, can help SMEs to participate in research projects. Improving contacts with National Contact Points, gaining experience with national funding or becoming connected to a PPP like SPIRE are other ways SMEs can increase their chances of receiving EU funding. Cerame-Unie also participated in the SPIRE Brokerage event on 30 June and discussed the upcoming work programme for 2016-2017.
Further information can be found on the SPIRE website.