Support for SPIRE in European Parliament

< Back

SPIRE can inspire a new European industrial revolution

Brussels, 25 January 2013. Members of the European Parliament and senior European Commission officials were part of a packed and inspirational lunch debate on the proposed SPIRE Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) on Thursday 24 January. The potential value of SPIRE to lead a new industrial revolution in Europe for sustainable growth, jobs and competitiveness was outlined. Through its ambitious, but achievable, research and innovation agenda to improve resource and energy efficiency in the process industries, SPIRE can make a huge difference to Europe's prospects. And it is ready to run now!

The lunch time debate was hosted by Amalia Sartori, MEP chairwoman of the ITRE (Industry, Research and Energy) Committee of the European Parliament in association with A.SPIRE (the European Association for Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency) the organisation that is managing and coordinating the SPIRE PPP proposal.


Opening the debate, entitled a 'New industrial (R)evolution through the SPIRE Public Private Partnership', Madame Sartori outlined the EU's priorities to regain high rates of employment, boost competitiveness and ensure greater social cohesion. Within this strategy a rejuvenated industrial policy was essential. "We must fill the gap between the market and research and the creation of a PPP is one way to fill this gap," she added. "We need instruments that can increase our competitiveness and allow us to address the great challenges that face our continent: we need industry - and industry needs us. SPIRE is perfectly aligned with Europe's needs – the European Parliament will pay strong attention to the outcomes of this debate." A.SPIRE President Klaus Sommer of Bayer responded by outlining the ambitions and objectives for SPIRE. He suggested that SPIRE's coherent and integrated vision could help "close the circle" of the various European policy proposals in research, innovation and competitiveness. The eight industrial sectors involved in SPIRE all have a clear commitment and track record in innovation: the essential bridge from research to the market. The SPIRE proposal exploits the synergies and commonalities between sectors that represent 20% of the EU's economy with a focus on innovation for resource and energy efficiency.

Reduce, reuse, replace, reinvent

"Reduce, reuse, replace, reinvent are the four words that summarise SPIRE's research and innovation road map," stated Dr. Sommer. "Our aim is to decouple economic growth from use of resources." Summarising the SPIRE PPP Dr Sommer stated "SPIRE is a broad commitment from eight industrial sectors in Europe representing a combined turnover of some € 1.6 trillion. SPIRE will help Europe's competitiveness through its focus on societal needs. If the policy environment is also prepared then SPIRE is ready to go!" The initiative was supported by Enrico Gibellieri, Member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) who stated: "The SPIRE PPP is the most important initiative in this field. It is changing the approach to research and innovation policy in Europe and showing the future trend.

"This was endorsed by Waldemar Kütt, Deputy Head of Cabinet with European Research Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn. "Research efficiency and resource efficiency are important for all areas," he said. "We have to do more with less."


A lively question and answer session followed that reinforced the compelling arguments for the SPIRE approach and the remarkable support from other Members of the European Parliament present and consensus that has developed for this PPP proposal. Industry has a responsibility and a unique ability to respond to these challenges facing society. This lunch debate showed that it is responding in an innovative, open and transparent way. SPIRE's high ambitions are matched by strong industrial commitment on an unprecedented scale and, through it, Europe can make a giant leap to enhance its competitiveness and sustainability and achieve its goals for smart, inclusive and sustainable growth.

Notes for Editors

SPIRE is a proposal for a European Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) dedicated to innovation in resource and energy efficiency and enabled by the process industries. It aims to reduce fossil fuel energy intensity by up to 30% and reduce non-renewable, primary raw material intensity by up to 20% by 2030. Essentially it will enable society to do more with less while boosting competitiveness in a sustainable way. The eight sectors involved in SPIRE represent 20% of the total EU economy, employing over 6.8 million people and generating over € 1.6 trillion turnover per year.

To find more information on the SPIRE project and its objectives visit the SPIRE website or contact Loredana Ghinea (A.SPIRE Executive Director) at