The European process industry employs more than 6.8 million people and is generating more than €1,600 billion turnover each year (as of Nov 2016). The process industry is technologically sophisticated and innovation-orientated. The process industry is confronted with, amongst others, regulations regarding environmental issues as well as existing and forthcoming standards (or lack of them). These constraints result in an environment that is, especially for SMEs, hardly manageable.
A coherent, cost-effective and predictable regulatory framework is considered of key importance for encouraging investments in innovation. The same importance applies to accelerated, simplified and modernised standardisation processes.
It was in this context that the European Commission launched the HARMONI project within the framework of SPIRE in the Horizon 2020 programme.
The HARMONI project aims at bringing together all the relevant stakeholders of the process industry to jointly identify, analyse and propose solutions to the regulatory bottlenecks and standardization needs that hamper their innovation processes and the market uptake of their results, necessary to move towards a more sustainable and competitive European process industry.
ECREF will be involved as a partner and Cerame-Unie (CU) will be a member of the advisory board. CU will play a role of facilitator between the CU members and ECREF to gather data, distribute questionnaires, designate CU members to attend to specific meetings, etc. The kick-off meeting was on the 12-13 September, the next meeting is planned for March 2018.