SPIRE proposal acknowledged by European Commission

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BRUSSELS, July 10, 2013 - Today the European Commission (EC) confirmed its strong commitment to the process industry by acknowledging the importance of Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency public-private partnership (PPP) as a powerful tool to deliver on innovation and growth in Europe. The Communication on PPPs in Horizon2020 intends to strengthen the industrial engagement in Horizon2020 and outlines how the strengths of the PPP concept will be enhanced. The PPPs are expected to contribute to generating sustainable growth and put Europe back on track in the race for global competitiveness.

These collaborative public-private initiatives will be based on transparency, clear objectives, stronger focus on close-to-market activities, stronger industry commitment and major simplification. Strong industry input and commitment have been identified as indispensable elements for achieving the objectives of Horizon2020 and Europe2020 strategy. Building on the experience with PPPs in FP7, the European Commission intends to engage in a number of structured partnerships for the implementation of the Horizon2020 programme. Along with seven other contractual PPP proposals, the Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency (SPIRE) initiative has been acknowledged by the Commission as a mature proposal in a highly relevant area for both its industrial partners and for the strategic European agenda. Innovating within the process industry will constitute the basis and the driver for the sustainable re-industrialisation, rejuvenation and the competitiveness of the whole European economy.

The journey begins
Dr.Klaus Sommer, President of A.SPIRE Board of Directors, appreciated this announcement and emphasised the strong innovation capacity held in the SPIRE roadmap and the power and novelty of the SPIRE cross-sectorial approach where eight major industrial sectors will build synergies by working together. He also recognised the essential role of the public partner in this ambitious strategic endeavour.

“We have worked very hard to come to this point and we have a long programme now in front of us, but it is our chance to work on a programme that we have all identified as being a priority. We have the opportunity to work on what drives us, which is ultimately competitiveness, resource and energy efficiency in Europe,” said Dr. Sommer. “With all the encouragement that we have received from the Commission and other partners, this is the moment in time when we can say ‘we can do it’ and we are ready to start this journey right now!”

Loredana Ghinea, Executive Director of A.SPIRE, warmly welcomed this announcement as a big step forward for the SPIRE initiative and expressed her gratitude for the members’ commitment in developing the SPIRE PPP proposal during this intensive one-year journey since A.SPIRE was founded in July 2012.

By the end of July, the Commission will conduct their final evaluation of industry proposals against the criteria established under the Horizon 2020 Regulation. Subject to this final positive evaluation, a SPIRE Contractual Arrangement (in the shape of a Memorandum of Understanding) will be concluded between the Commission and A.SPIRE, the organisation representing the industrial partners behind SPIRE, setting out the PPP’s global and specific objectives, commitments, key performance indicators and outputs to be delivered within the period of seven years from 2014 to 2020. The Commission will aim to conclude this arrangement in time to launch SPIRE activities at the beginning of 2014 as Horizon 2020.

See EC press release: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-668_en.htm?locale=en

See reactions from SPIRE representatives: