SPIRE-12-2017: Assessment of standardisation needs and ways to overcome regulatory bottlenecks in the process industry

Main pillar: 

  • Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, and Biotechnology


80 000 000



Call deadline: 

Thu, 19 Jan 2017


  • Forthcoming


Specific Challenge:

It is essential to take advantage of the potential important benefits from new technologies and materials while ensuring that there are mechanisms in place to prevent, identify and manage any potential risks that come about associated with certain use of such technologies. The European regulatory process should also instil consumer confidence in the approved marketed products and encourage the reduction of production costs and the increase of efficiency, improving of the quality of products and services, ensuring worker health and safety, and protecting the environment in order to keep jobs and a competitive economy.

The EU Regulation 1025/2012 defines the procedures to be applied when harmonised standards are used to provide a presumption of conformity with legal requirements.


Regulation should be simple and stable but, above all, should be reliable. Before any changes are considered, a very careful and well-thought analysis should be undertaken in order to minimise the risk of potential negative impact on innovation and on the uptake of technology. Furthermore, standards should be non-restrictive, reflecting a balance between a need for harmonisation and innovation.

A clear, consistent and predictable regulatory framework which avoids unnecessary administrative and financial burden is needed. Proposed support actions should cover the needs of the different industrial sectors representing big and small companies within the process industry. Their objective should be to identify and to propose solutions along the value chain, required to reach long term sustainability for Europe in terms of global competitiveness, ecology and employment.

Evaluation of standardisation and/or regulation needs could include recommendations within the following issues:

  • Re-use of different grades of wastewater for industrial purposes.
  • Re-use of different types of waste (e.g. through re-classification) as feed for industrial production and/or energy sources.
  • Recovery of valuable materials, metals and minerals from waste.
  • Lifecycle Assessment methodologies to allow a harmonised comparison between industries and sectors.
  • Production of advanced renewable fuels from the use of CO2 as feedstock.
  • General harmonisation of the European Waste, Water and Energy policies.
  • Eliminating bottlenecks for the transferability of new technologies across European borders.
  • Eliminating bottlenecks that prevent the stimulation of investments in new technologies, e.g. within clean and low carbon technologies.
  • New standardisation methodologies that facilitate continuous production.

While in some cases it is necessary to recommend harmonisation on a European scale through regulation and European Standards, in other cases it may only be necessary to enable transferability of technology across sectorial boundaries.

Examples for this could be (but are not restricted to) the following:

  • IT control systems and plant monitoring systems facilitating industrial symbiosis.
  • Equipment for Process Intensification.
  • Equipment for small scale localised production.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 500000 and 1000000 would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

No more than one action will be funded.

Expected Impact:

  • Enabling regulatory authorities to better address the different relevant issues based on a better assessment and taking into consideration the different stakeholders in SPIRE.
  • Rationalising the process to deliver standardisation mandates to the European Standards Organisations.
  • Successful implementation of different policies, regulations and standards within the SPIRE sectors.
  • Enabling of industrial symbiosis and better use of industrial resources.
  • Reducing cost of operation for the process industry.
  • International cooperation.

Call documents: