In the picturesque city of Fulda, Hesse, Germany (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulda), the RECREATE Consortium convened for two days from 22nd to 23rd November 2023 for their fourth meeting, marking a significant milestone in their journey towards improvements in the circularity of composite materials. The meeting, graciously hosted by EDAG Group, not only provided an insight into the progress made, but fostered collaboration and shared insights among the participants coming from 21 project partners from 9 EU countries.
The Consortium, now 18 months into its ambitious initiative, aims to revolutionise the treatment of end-of-life complex fiber-reinforced composite waste. The primary objective is to develop innovative technologies that can transform this end-of-life materials into valuable feedstock for the manufacturing industry, thus promoting sustainability and circularity.
The first day of the meeting was dedicated to overview of activities and coordination between partners. The meeting kicked off with a warm welcome and logistical information provided by Stefan Caba of EDAG, setting the stage for a day filled with informative sessions and collaborative discussions. Gianmarco Griffini, the Project Coordinator, provided an introduction and a concise project overview, outlining the agenda and objectives for the day. He presented the current state of the project, including the progress made, concluded deliverables, and milestones reached, offering a comprehensive snapshot of the consortium’s achievements thus far.
The agenda was structured around work packages (WPs), each focusing on different aspects of the project: Input end-of-life (EoL) streams and output requirements (WP1), Re-use and remanufacturing of EoL composite structures (WP2), Recycling and reprocessing of materials from non-reusable parts (WP3), and the Development of next-generation recyclable-by-design composites (WP4). The second part of the day featured sessions on Circular economy and sustainability assessment (WP6), Co-design and validation of learning resources (WP7), Communication, dissemination, and exploitation (WP8), and Project management (WP9).
The programme of the first day concluded with a thematic/training session focused on the development of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) led by Valeria Baldoni from Il Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI). The pathway towards a MOOC aligns with the project’s commitment to sharing knowledge and fostering a community of practitioners in the field.
All sessions, led by representatives from different partner organisations, showcased the substantial progress made, with activities aligning well with the project’s overall objectives. The open discussions and question-and-answer segments facilitated a dynamic exchange of ideas, addressing challenges, and identifying opportunities for further improvement.
At the end of the day, participants visited the test ground for EDAG’s city bot, which is also one of the RECREATE Demo Cases. The EDAG City Bot (https://www.edag-citybot.de/en/) is a fully integrated solution to the urban mobility challenges of tomorrow and represents a design of a sophisticated urban mobility ecosystem. Learn more about City Bot here: https://www.edag-citybot.de/en/
In the evening of the first day, the consortium had the opportunity to explore the charming city of Fulda through a guided tour, creating a delightful interlude before the consortium dinner. These informal gatherings fostered camaraderie among the partners, strengthening the collaborative spirit that is crucial for the success of such initiatives.
The second day of the programme was devoted to the review of the project activities by George Kostikos, project officer of the European Commission and Mark Robinson, expert external reviewer. Both provided valuable feedback on the results achieved so far, ongoing activities and plans for the next period of the project. The consortium gained valuable insights and recommendation that partners will take into account in order to proceed.
As the day wrapped up, the consortium engaged in a discussion to address any remaining open issues and to prepare for the next steps in their journey. Two main checkpoints are on the horizon, as the RECREATE initiative has been progressing towards the engagement of external stakeholders interested in the project outcomes and results: the Innovation Workshop about the Circularity of Composites and Textiles on 1st December in Bordeaux (https://www.recreatecomposites.eu/join-us-at-the-digiprimes-innovation-workshop-about-the-circularity-of-composites-and-textiles/) organised jointly with DiGiPrime and the 21st European Conference on Composite Materials for Academia and Industry (ECCM) (https://eccm21.org/) in Nantes on 2nd-5th July 2024, where RECREATE will host a dedicated session.
The meeting not only showcased the substantial progress made by the consortium but also highlighted the collaborative spirit and dedication of each partner towards the common goal of achieving circularity in composite materials.
All participants kindly thank Stefan Caba and Alexander Erler from EDAG for the organisation of the meeting. Their efforts ensured a seamless and productive environment for the partners to engage and collaborate.
In retrospect, the meeting in Fulda not only solidified the progress of the RECREATE initiative but also laid the groundwork for future activities in the field of circular composite materials.
All presentations and a recording of the review meeting are available for partners on the Partners Area in the folder Consortium meetings – Fulda.