EU Commission Unveils Strategy for Advanced Materials to Boost Industrial Leadership

February 28, 2024

The European Commission has unveiled a comprehensive strategy aimed at securing industrial leadership in advanced materials, heralding them as a pivotal enabling technology. In a communication sent out yesterday February 27th, 2024, the Commission aims to create a dynamic, secure, and inclusive ecosystem for advanced materials in Europe. Advanced materials, defined as those engineered for specific properties or enhanced functions, are set to play a crucial role in shaping the future of industries across various sectors.

Key Points

Key points shared in this communication, available via this link, highlighted the significance of advanced materials and the challenges and objectives. The challenges acknowledged in the strategy included the fragmentation in research and innovation ecosystems, insufficient private investments, and a lack of progress in circularity and material efficiency. It also recognised the lengthy innovation processes which can be accelerated by digitalisation and the disconnect between innovative research and industry uptake. Several needs were also identified, such as testing and experimentation facilities, harmonised standards, and upkeep of skills needed to increase the innovation capacity and production of advanced materials.

Five Pillars of Action

To address the identified challenges, the strategy points to five pillars of action, these being:

  • European R&I on advanced materials: serving as a launchpad for the twin transition and EU resilience.
  • Fast track from lab to fab: streamlining the process of bringing innovations from the laboratory to full-scale production.
  • Increasing capital investment and access to financing: supporting the growth of advanced materials industries through adequate funding mechanisms.
  • Fostering the production and use of advanced materials: promoting the development and application of advanced materials across various sectors.
  • Overall governance framework: establishing a coherent framework to coordinate efforts and initiatives related to advanced materials.

The European Commission’s strategy underscores the importance of advanced materials in driving innovation, sustainability, and economic growth. By addressing existing challenges and leveraging collaborative efforts, the EU aims to establish a dynamic and inclusive ecosystem for advanced materials, ensuring Europe’s leadership in research, innovation, and industrial applications.

Text by Mariam Debs, Chief Operations Officer for Research at INL