Ensuring profit and innovation
The ambition of ESTEP's members is to maintain and reinforce the global leadership of the European steel industry in the face of growing competition across parts of the world. As part of this wider effort, ESTEP is focusing its efforts on promoting the research, and research partnerships, which will ensure that steel making and steel processing are economically sustainable and generate the wealth needed to ensure new investments. This involves meeting certain key challenges:
- To achieve the highest quality standards with highly productive, safe and efficient processes – both in steel making, steel processing and in the steel supply chain.
- To use R&D to continually renew the steel products on offer, aiming for innovative solutions and high added-value steels and steel products.
- A new sub-group on occupational safety was launched to boost the exchange of best practices and the submission of R&D projects in this field – for example to the Research Fund for Coal and Steel or the FP7 RTD programme.
- To shorten the time-to-market for innovative products and processes coming out of European steel research and development.
- To promote sustainable development and clean operations throughout the supply chain.
ESTEPs members in Working Group 1 (Profit through innovation) are active in a number of EU-wide initiatives to achieve its aims. In 2011 these included:
- ESTEP has a permanent ad hoc working group that contributes to the European Commission 'Factories of the Future' research programme. This programme involves a public-private partnership (PPP) to fund new and sustainable technologies in manufacturing industries.
ESTEP also contributes to the Intelligent Manufacturing initiative and, has launched initiatives in the field of the 'Efficient use of raw materials' – preparing pilot proposals to demonstrate the recycling and reuse of waste and by-products.
There is also an initiative on 'Energy efficiency in processes'. New approaches based on Integrated Intelligent Manufacturing (I2M) technology should contribute to developing more flexible, cost -optimal and environmental -friendly production processes.
Read more on I2M in ESTEP's updated Strategic Research Agenda
A major initiative in which ESTEP currently plays a role is the establishment of a PPP in the field of resource and energy efficiency in the European process industries. Better resource and energy efficiency in the supply chains of many industrial sectors can contribute to improving both competitiveness and environmental sustainability. ESTEP is taking a leading role, together with the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (Suschem), in bringing together many industrial partners – from sectors such as glass, ceramics, paper, aluminium and copper, among others – to launch the SPIRE PPP (Sustainable Process Industry through Resource Efficiency).
As part of its contribution to the SPIRE PPP initiative, ESTEP has established a temporary working group on 'Energy-efficient steel production'. At present, this group is collecting energy benchmark data from ESTEP steel-producing members with the aim of identifying new directions for R&D proposals. However, as the European steel industry supplies much of the primary resources (steel) for so many industrial sectors, this is a strategic initiative for ESTEP for the future.
For more information go to the SPIRE page
For more information on Working Group 1-Profit: see the latest Activity Report .
Last updated on: 2012-06-27