Currently, Europe is facing highly turbulent times in the context of the unpredictable changes caused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, a significant fast-paced bottleneck in the supply of energy resources to the economy, in other words, an energy crisis, is firmly approaching. In order to tackle these challenges and provide sustainable solutions in long term with the goal of securing a climate-neutral economy, a disruptive innovation/transformation of the industrial value chains is needed, especially those of Energy-Intensive Industries (EIIs). EIIs are responsible for generating more than half of the energy consumption of the European industry, thus causing a tremendous carbon footprint. Furthermore, EIIs value chains are deeply embedded and cross-linked with most of the other global industrial value chains. Digital and green transition are the key drivers for boosting such a change and securing the long-term viability of the European inclusive market. Both drivers are firmly embedded in the industrial strategy for Europe (European Commission, 2020) as engines with the utmost digital future. The Ingenious project will serve as a lever for the companies to implement highly innovative solutions, penetrate key markets, attract a critical mass of partners, and obtain needed support in order to strive. Furthermore, Ingenious will support, develop and maintain the long-term cooperation of companies and other organizations in a cross-sectoral and cross-border way. This EUROCLUSTER will work together with other supporters like the European Cluster Collaboration Platform, Enterprise Europe Network, and European Digital Innovation Hubs but also with other Euroclusters projects (e.g., CircInWater) and other related projects to maximize the impact and spread knowledge. The Consortia members already joined the European meta cluster organisation CEDEG in order to secure long-term sustainability of the partnership and to continuously provide high added value services for European SMEs and innovation actors. The consortium of Ingenious is in close relation with 63 other clusters all over Europe with a capacity to reach over 11.000 cluster members whereof more than 7.000 are SMEs.
Metalworking, nano and plasma technology are just examples of Energy Intensive Industries (EII) and the activities developed within the Ingenious project should be transferred to other energy-intensive industries in Europe and beyond (e.g., cement, ceramics, refractory, chemicals, refining, lime, pulp etc.). The Ingenious consortium is structured in such a way that members of METAINDUSTRY4, BalticNet-PlasmaTec and Nanoprogress are considered as challenge owners from the energy-intensive sectors but also as solution providers while members of Mazovian Cluster ICT are solution providers. Long-term cross-border and cross-sector cooperation also guarantees the application of the project results, the undertaking of joint activities by consortia in the field of water or food. The graphic below illustrates the possibilities.
Main achievements of the project
- Resilience preparedness / business continuity plans in Energy Intensive Industries
- Networking and collaboration events including matchmaking to improve the innovation potential of SME
- Ingenious Open Call Dossier (Innovation voucher: max. 9 funded project with consortium of 2-3 SME, max. funding 60.000 € per SME minus 250 € for Training (resilience) voucher
- New-to-firm products or services in the industrial ecosystem/s and business process innovations adopted in the industrial ecosystem/s selected from the awarded projects
- Training for cluster managers
- Training voucher for SME (Each funded innovation project [innovation voucher] has to go to the training for the business continuity model plan (resilient plan) after or during their project. This training is mandatory for all SME that are getting innovation grants. Additional training voucher will be around 80 voucher each 250 € for different training activities)
- Services portfolio to implement internationalisation actions (Internationalisation voucher for SME to enter new markets outside Europe. 10 vouchers are available, 5 per each market with a volume of 2.500 € each voucher)
- Mission Lessons Learnt
- Joint communication strategy
- Communication outreach
- Project quality plan
The Ingenious project is financed by the European Union under the Single Market Programme (SMP COSME).
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or The Agency implements the European Innovation Council and manages other EU programmes focusing on SME support, innovation and the single market (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.