A.SPIRE General Assembly & 5th Anniversary Cocktail

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This year, the General Assembly (G.A.) coincided with a very important milestone for A.SPIRE. 2019 marks the 5th anniversary of the creation of the SPIRE contractual Public-Private Partnership (cPPP) and the beginning of the collaboration between the eight industrial sectors (cement, ceramics, chemicals, engineering, minerals, non-ferrous metals, steel and water). For the past five years, the cPPP’s mission has been to ensure the development of enabling technologies and best practices with the purpose to contribute to a resource efficient process industry. It has and continues to do so with great success!

The G.A. invited members to participate and discuss statutory issues relating to membership, planning, governance, advocacy and budget. In addition, Ignacio Martin, from CIRCE and the co-chair of the SPIRE Partnership Board, presented an overview of the SPIRE projects from 2018 and the next steps for the Horizon 2020 work programme for 2019-2020. It was also announced that he would be stepping down as co-chair and that the process to search for a new candidate would be launched soon. The topic of bridging projects’ outputs to industrial exploitation, was brought up by Amy Peace from Britest, who sought engagement from members to find solutions on how to make results more tangible and providing the right climate to fully utilise the results.

The second part of the event was dedicated to the 5th anniversary of SPIRE, where together with all the stakeholders we value greatly, we looked back at where it all started, the journey over the years, the achievements made thus far, and what exactly are the ambitions for the future.

Daniel Gauthier, Chair of A.SPIRE, launched the celebration with the successes of the partnership and the potential role the cPPP could play within the upcoming Horizon Europe framework programme. Furthermore, he mentioned the importance of tackling the climate technology gap, which could be accomplished through the objectives highlighted in the recently published SPIRE 2050 Vision document. This visionary document is also paving the way to the new strategic SPIRE 2050 Roadmap.

Guest speakers from the European Commission and Austrian Member State, also shared a few words. Juergen Tiedje, from DG RTD, mentioned the numerous opportunities for public and private sectors to collaborate and engage in co-programming partnerships in Horizon Europe. From DG Grow, Peter Handley addressed the topic on the shift towards a carbon neutral industry and halting climate change from a European perspective. In addition, the Member States perspective on R&I needs in relation to industrial symbiosis and hubs for circularity, was discussed by the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology representative, Alexander Pogany.

Pierre Yoris, from DOMO Chemicals, and who will be succeeding Daniel Gauthier as Chair of A.SPIRE from March 2019, was given the floor and re-emphasized SPIRE’s commitment for future collaboration. Yoris also pointed out how he remembered the challenges faced by the Process Industries while SPIRE was being created, and stressed the huge potential the cPPP has  to offer in terms of added value to society in Europe, as well as its citizens.

No celebration would be complete without an awards ceremony! Awards in the form of Belgian chocolate trophies (in the shape of number 5) were distributed to winners in the categories below. Our warm congratulations to them and to all A.SPIRE members. The award is indeed for all!

  • Category 1: Participation in More SPIRE Projects (Winner: Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT))
  • Category 2: More SPIRE Projects’ Funding
    • 2.1 Companies  (Winner: ArcelorMittal)
    • 2.2 SMEs (Winner: IRIS)
  • Category 3: More News in SPIRE Newsletter (Winner: DOW)
  • Category 4: Best Environmental Results (Winner: Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA))
  • Category 5: A Sectorial Success Story (Winner: The Ceramics Sector)

The award ceremony was followed by a cocktail networking event. Please click here to see the photo gallery.

Klaus Sommer, the first Chair of A.SPIRE, was not able to attend the G.A. and 5th anniversary cocktail. He recorded a video looking at five years in perspective and the origins of SPIRE. We invite you to have a look at the video here.

In addition, on the occasion of the 5th anniversary we would like to invite you to take a look at the charity called the Kathmandu Institute of Child Health (KIOCH). It was initiated by Prof. Dr. Bhagawan Koirala, the first Heart Surgeon to perform open heart surgery in Nepal, as well as an experienced Hospital Director, and Mr. Deepak Raj Sapkota, specialized in Child Rights & Welfare and Executive Director of Karuna Foundation Nepal. KIOCH will provide healthcare services to children, coming from both rich and poor communities. In order to make this possible, KIOCH will implement a cross-subsidy mechanism whereby patients with a higher economic status support the treatment for those who cannot afford it. More information can be found on their website.