2nd SPIRE Brokerage Event

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23 May 2014: over 140 participants attended the 2nd SPIRE brokerage event in Brussels to start work on the next two calls for Horizon 2020 and get the first news on the results of the Public Private Partnership’s initial call under the new European Commission Research and Innovation Framework programme. Clearly SPIRE is already up and running in Horizon 2020 and helping boost energy and resource efficiency in Europe.

Ignacio Calleja (below) of Tecnalia and Chair of SPIRE’s R&D working group opened the event welcoming the delegates from A.SPIRE and outlined the objectives of the meeting: in the morning to present project proposals for the next SPIRE Horizon 2020 calls for 2015 and in the afternoon to start collating ideas for the third wave of calls for 2016/2017.

Soren Bowadt from the European Commission gave feedback on the evaluation exercise for the first 2014 SPIRE calls. The deadline for proposal submission had been 20 March and the evaluation process had concluded in early May.

For SPIRE’s four calls 72 proposals had been received of which 68 were deemed eligible. Of these 17 projects had been evaluated as being above the quality threshold for funding. This represented a success rate of around 16% for submitted proposals under the four calls. Soren said that he was pleased with the number of submitted proposals, which compared well the PPPs established under FP7 such as Factory of the Future. The successful projects would be publicly announced after 20 August.

Soren underlined that the evaluation process looks at ‘impact’ and ‘excellence’. The greater emphasis on impact in the evaluation was really important: proposals must focus on how society will benefit from the project rather than exclusively on the research “nuts and bolts”. He also reminded delegates that proposals must be per se interdisciplinary and cross-sectorial in nature.

It was also important to include a clear exploitation or business plan in the proposal and any ideas to tie into other funding for, for example, demonstration activities through regional smart specialisation would be very useful.

“Considering it was our first evaluations for Horizon 2020 and for SPIRE, the whole process has been quite successful,” concluded Soren.

Summing up the first sessions Ignacio Calleja told delegates that: “It was not enough to have good proposals – you needed excellent proposals to succeed!”

The remainder of the morning was taken up with three parallel sessions presenting project proposals for the next round of SPIRE calls under Horizon 2020.

A large number of presentations were made covering the following calls:

In addition two Factory of the Future calls (FOF 14 – 2015: Integrated design and management of production machinery and processes and FOF 8 -2015: ICT-enabled modelling, simulation, analytics and forecasting technologies) were also featured with 7 presentations.

After lunch a structured discussion on potential first ideas for 2016-2017 took place beginning with an outline of the process and presentations on preliminary ideas from the SPIRE working groups.

This was followed by break-out sessions where views were exchanged on the ideas in SPIRE’s five Key Component areas of the Roadmap:

  • Process
  • Applications
  • Feed
  • Waste2Resource, and
  • Horizontal Issues.