Although the European process industry holds a globally strong position, it is losing competitiveness in the face of world regions which are richer in raw materials and/or have lower energy, labour and environmental costs. Consequently, in order to maintain its competitiveness on the global stage, it will be important to substantially improve its performance, as well as the energy and resource efficiency of its operations. In addition, the existing industrial processes often do not provide sufficient flexibility (e.g. ability to easily change production rates) making them unable to meet the demand for fluctuating production volumes and seasonal production campaigns requiring in situ processing (e.g. bio-mass, limited batches), which would benefit from flexible and/or mobile production systems that do not require extensive infrastructure (e.g. containerised approach).
During the last decade, several concepts have been developed and reported to enable more flexible, compact and cost effective processes proposing a variety of process intensification methodologies, which have the potential to achieve the very significant improvements in performances, energy usage and material efficiency sought by the industry. However, these concepts have mostly been demonstrated/validated at laboratory/small scale and further work is needed to fully assess their industrial potential in terms of performances, techno-economic feasibility and scalability, in order to contribute to a circular economy in the European market.Scope:
Proposals are expected to identify and demonstrate innovative, compact, high performance production lines for existing and novel products with significantly lower operational and investment costs (compared to their existing analogues). This may be achieved by adaptation, redesign of existing process units or by completely new concepts, possibly using process optimised materials, provided that a significant improvement in cost, flexibility and performance can be achieved, compared to the commercially available processes. The approach proposed should allow short time-to-market and integration in currently existing plants, while ensuring a high flexibility (e.g. production lines with a broad turn-down ratio or by using parallel modular units for adapting capacity).
Proposals should address all of the following activities:
Demonstration of the integration in existing industrial scenarios would be a major added-value.
The proposal should include clear steps for the deployment of the concepts in industry (e.g. including clear business cases and a work package on business plans).
The proposal should provide evidence on the concept potential for job creation.
For this topic, proposals should include an outline of the initial exploitation and business scenarios, which will be developed further in the proposed project.
Activities are expected to focus on Technology Readiness Levels 5 to 7 and to be centred around TRL 6.This topic addresses cross-KET activities.
A significant participation of SMEs with R&D capacities is encouraged.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 6 and 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.Expected Impact:
Proposals should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the Introduction to the LEIT part of this Work Programme.