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Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Materials to provide solutions for tomorrow’s challenges

An Alliance for Materials Memorandum has been published by the EuMaT, with the aim to underline the paramount importance of materials science and technology in addressing societal challenges and to state the Materials community’s commitments for a better future.

The European Technology Platform for Advanced Engineering Materials and Technologies (EuMaT) has published an “Alliance for Materials Memorandum” addressed to the European Parliament to highlight the key role played by materials science and technology in the design of a sustainable future. The Alliance for Materials (A4M) -- which is a joint initiative of technology platforms, academia, industry and research institutes, including the ICN2 -- is committed to contribute to reducing CO2 global emission and make Europe the first Climate Neutral Continent. As materials are at the foundation of many devices, machinery and services that are fully integrated in our daily life, engineering new eco-friendly and sustainable materials or redesigning conventional ones – metals, concrete, plastics – can produce a significant impact on pollution reduction and open the way to a greener society.

For these new technologies to be developed and translated to industry, continuing funding and support from the European institutions is key. The current climate and environmental crisis, as well as the role of materials science in meeting the UN sustainable development goals, has to stay central in the vision, policy and governance of Europe. As a consequence, the A4M proposes that the new Horizon Europe framework programme of the European Commission keep upholding and increase investments in material research, development and innovation. It also offers to support the EU in governance and strategic planning in this field: an Opinion Paper to explain this proposal was published last February.

Besides putting effort to develop new sustainable materials, the Alliance for Materials focuses on research in the medical field, to provide novel and highly efficient ways to deliver therapies and to enhance diagnostics. Biocompatible nanoparticles and nanostructures can play a prominent role in these applications. The A4M is also determined to contribute to the design of next-generation devices based on graphene and quantum technology, in the development of which the ICN2 is fully involved.