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AMBER responds to European Commissions plan to boost European industrial leadership in Advanced Materials

28 February 2024

Ireland is an international leader in the research and innovation of advanced materials which are used in the manufacture and exports of the products that drive the Irish economy. Yesterday’s publication of the European Strategy for Advanced Materials for Industrial leadership is a significant milestone in the creation of an ecosystem for advanced materials research and innovation across Europe. This harnesses Europe’s strengths in fundamental and disruptive research but also addresses weaknesses in transferring that research to industry for commercial exploitation.

Advanced materials are the backbone of modern technologies including semiconductors, renewable energy, automotive, aeronautic, pharmaceuticals, medtech, agritech and food, all of which are critical to Ireland’s economy. Advanced Materials are increasingly critical to addressing economic, environmental and societal challenges on a global scale, it is estimated that 70% of all innovations associated with the green and digital transition will depend on materials.

This European Strategy aims to create an Advanced Materials ecosystem in Europe that both ensures leadership in research and fast-tracks innovations to the single market. This will involve a coordinated approach across the Commission and the members states to align on EU, national and regional priorities on research and innovation with the provision of appropriate digital and physical infrastructure to support SMEs to FastTrack materials innovations from “lab to fab” with financing provided through a co-programmed Horizon Europe partnership. This partnership ‘Innovative Materials for EU #IM4EU is a €500M investment with matching industry contribution and future potential engagement with the large-scale Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) programme and European Innovation Council.

AMBER researchers and staff through engagement with the European Advanced Materials Initiative 2030 (#AMI2030) have been active contributors to the formulation of this strategy. As a relatively small member state it will be essential that Ireland continues to engage with and have influence on the emerging European policies and associated governance organisations which will define and oversee advanced materials innovation and deployment.

AMBER is calling for the development of a National Materials Strategy with the necessary funding for Ireland to play an important role in driving this initiative. A national strategy should engage all stakeholders across research, industry and the public sector allowing coordination across the ecosystem and position our Irish companies to take full advantage of the emerging opportunities in Europe and drive innovation in the areas of sustainability, circularity and substitution technologies which will underpin future supply chains of our manufacturing industries. A committed engagement in this European strategy is necessary to enable future Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and developing the Irish-owned exporting sector.

Commission presents new initiatives boosting European industrial leadership in advanced materials https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_24_1121

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AMBER has a strong emphasis on collaboration. Central to AMBER’s research remit are collaborative projects performed with industry partners, and working with academic, industry and wider stakeholder on international and national research programmes.

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