The Concept

The original initiators of A4M initiative are six European Technology Platforms with a strong material agenda in their respective strategies. These are: EuMaT, Suschem, Manufuture, FTC, ESTEP, SMR. 

Among the fundamental concepts of A4M is the Value Chain concept. It is regarded as the key element driving the expected synergy through a common path which integrates actors, resources and strategies from the fundamental aspects of materials science up to the industrial system which produce and/or transform the materials in valuable products, acting as driver of the final innovation processes.

The driver for this collaboration was to ensure a Value Chain coverage to improve the speed of innovation implementations in Europe that address the Grand Societal Challenges.

Relevant technological initiatives are underway and further will appear to face the identified challenges. In almost any of these, the proposed innovative solutions have demanding requirements in terms of Materials needs. Many of these solutions will fail or will not be fully implemented if suitable and proper Materials and the necessary manufacturing processes are not available on time.

Even if the related industries belonging to A4M will have competitive activities the A4M group regards the complementary aspects of higher importance: the collaboration impact is stronger than the sum of the individual contributions

Materials R&D is by definition a crosscutting and enabling technology area which affects almost every industrial sector. The achievement of effective coordination between different sectors, while maintaining the relative autonomy, interests and strategies of each, is an essential condition to achieve the best and most effective use of community resources in Materials R&D targeted to make effective contributions to the Societal Grand Challenges. A4M intends to contribute and to provide an effective answer to this coordination need, in the frame of the present and future European research and innovation programme and initiatives

This integration will contribute to overcome some limitations existing in the today research and innovation programmes  still mostly sectorial driven.

Vision & Objectives

To contribute to create the conditions for an effective integration of stakeholders, views and resources in the field of Materials R&D at EU dimension

  • Stakeholders: any subject/system directly or indirectly involved in the process of increasing knowledge on materials, producing materials, processing and/or transforming materials, using materials and any form of their aggregation (i.e. ETPs)
  • Views: any technological, industrial, commercial strategy which deal with materials R&D and/or count on that
  • Resources:  any programme, initiative or financial tools, at national or EU level, able to support the R&D and innovation processes in the field of Materials R&D

A4M does not act on behalf of the single ETPs which remain totally independent in their decision making.

A4M does not intend to be an over structure where to meltdown all the different actors of the Materials R&D community, but it intends to become a single table where all the relevant different initiatives are shared and discussed with the whole community of R&D actors but giving central role to the others players of the value chain too.

A4M welcomes and supports in principle any initiatives launched by the different actors of the value chain in the field of materials R&D but providing these initiatives have been shared and discussed within the A4M concepts

Events & Activities

  • mid-2010: first informal meetings between representatives of the 6 related European Technology Platforms
  • November 2010: Signature of Memorandum of Understanding among the 6 ETPs and formation of an A4M coordination committee
  • December 2010: Information of EU Commissioners for Research & Innovation and Enterprise & Industry about the launch of A4M and the initiative's objectives
  • Early 2011: further A4M coordination committee meetings to develop structure, activities and external communication of A4M
  • July 2011: Workshop with energy-related European Technology Platform to explore collaboration interest with A4M
  • September 2011: Presentation of A4M at EU FUMAT Conference in Wroclaw/Poland, positive reaction from several EU member states
  • Oct.-Nov. 2011: Work on a Terms of Reference document to more fully define structure, governance and activities of A4M
  • February 2012: joint submission of the MatVal Coordination Action proposal to the European Commission
  • October 2012: start of the MatVal project involving 12 partners representing the 6 related European Technology Platforms as well as the 2 major European material research networks EMRS and FEMS
  • February 2013: high-level launch conference of MatVal in Rome
  • June 2013: organisation of the MatVal Innovation Policy workshop in Brussels
  • September 2013: official enlargement of the Alliance4Materials to involve EMRS and FEMS
  • March 2014: organisation of the MatVal sectors workshop in Brussels discussing new material trends and needs in key material user sectors such as transport, energy, construction & creative industries
  • May 2014: submission of the MATCH CSA proposal to the HORIZON 2020 Programme to strengthen and deepen the Alliance4Materials strategy with a further increased stakeholder network
  • September 2014: organisation of the final MatVal conference connected to the LET'S Conference on 29/09-01/10 in Bologna
  • January 2015: start of the MATCH project involving 18 partners representing the 6 related European Technology Platforms and several major European material research organisations

To learn more about the activities and results of the MATCH project please visit

Information & Resources


European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry
European Technology Platform for Avanced Engineering Materials and Technologies
European Steel Technology Platform
European Technology Platform for Sustainable Mineral Resources
ManuFuture Technology Platform

A4M Presentation at FUMAT Conference (Sept. 2011)