The scaling-up of the production and the ability to make proof-of-concept are fundamental aspects when we need to take the innovation out of the labs and into the market.
Advanced Materials, as well as Nanotechnology, are crucial Key Enabling Technologies (KET), for Europe’s competitiveness. They contribute towards giving EU industries the competitive edge they need for industrial leadership in global markets and promise breakthroughs to solve global challenges and achieving a circular, resource-efficient and climate-neutral EU economy.
The materials development cycle is long and entails several steps such as characterisation, modelling, processing, upscaling and engineering, including a lengthy assessment in industrial environments. To enable uptake by industry, especially SMEs and start-ups, the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme has supported the creation of an open innovation ecosystem in advanced materials.
The Commission has invested approximately 250 million euro in Open Innovation Test Beds (OITBs) to bring nanotechnologies and advanced materials within market reach by providing access to demonstration and upscaling facilities and advisory services to advance technologies from laboratory validation to prototypes in industrial environments. This open innovation ecosystem aims at gathering all the relevant actors while covering all relevant enablers and services needed for innovation based on new materials, therefore reducing technological risk thus attracting more investors and cutting the time to market.
Currently, 19 OITB projects are running in six technology domains: Lightweight nano-enabled multifunctional materials and components (4 OITBs), Safety Testing of Medical Technologies for Health (3 OITBs), Nano-enabled surfaces and membranes (4 OITBs), Bio-based nano-materials and solutions (4 OITBs), Functional materials for building envelopes (3 OITBs), and Nano-pharmaceuticals production(1 OITB).
Three Open Innovation Test Beds for materials characterisation and three Open Innovation Test Beds for modelling will be also funded, in addition to the already existing NanoSafety Platform.
These are expected to contribute to setting the foundation for a European ecosystem.
The objective of this satellite workshop is to take stock of current policy initiatives and open innovation testbeds to get new ideas to support the Advanced Materials European Innovation Ecosystem in the context of Horizon Europe. OITBs, related clustering initiatives and end-users will have the opportunity to share their experience, expectations and new ideas to put nanotechnologies and advanced materials at the service of companies and users.