Programme - MaterialsWeek 2024


The following programme is a preliminary outline; the exact timing of sessions may change. 

Public Community Meetings

The table below indicates the timing of the Public Community Meetings will be held – all are welcome. 

Please find more information here.

Training Courses & Workshops

The table below indicates the training courses offered by indiviual projects during the MaterialsWeek.

Please find more information here.

All timings are preliminary and may be subject to change, if necessary.

Conference Sessions

1. Materials Week 2024 - Welcome & Setting the Scene

Leading public and/or private decision-makers will highlight Europe’s current and future mix of policies pertaining to the role and use of materials in their diverse and complex value chains. By way of outlining the role of and expectations from materials R&I in the context of the relevant policies (e.g. Green Deal, Plastics Action Plan, Chips Act, Critical Raw Materials Act, Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability), the speakers will set the scene for the three-day MaterialsWeek 2024 Programme, and its diverse session topics.

2. Market Needs, Challenges & Opportunities for Materials R&I

This session highlights the various, and very complex, value chains in which R&I for materials already plays an important role today or will play an increasing role in the future. As the demand for advanced materials continues to grow across industry sectors, there is a pressing need for materials research and innovation to address the evolving market needs.

Key challenges in materials R&I, that represent and require a “mindset shift”, include not only the change towards designing materials and processes for recycling, the switch to alternative raw materials from recycling processes, the innovative substitution of unsafe, unsustainable materials and a convergence of disruptive technologies (incl. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning).

Speakers from both the public and private sector will introduce the Market Needs, Challenges and Opportunities pertaining to materials R&I, and describe their projects’, organisations’ or initiatives’ contribution to meeting these challenges.

Presentations and posters will also cover the following topics:

  • materials innovation for specific industrial markets with a focus on socio-economic improvements
  • specific industrial challenges for materials
  • materials circularity (incl. considerations of the (re-)use, re- and up-cycling)
3. Digital Innovation - Catalysing the Green & Digital Transition for Innovative Advanced Materials and Products

This Session is organised by the Horizon Europe DigiPass CSA, whose overarching goal is to support EU materials communities on their transition towards a green and digital future, irrespective of their current digital maturity level. The aim of DigiPass is to elevate the digital maturity of these communities by providing clear guidance and tools supporting the implementation of digitalised circular business models that rely on safe and sustainable Innovative Advanced Materials (IAM) and product manufacturing. This objective builds upon the Advanced Materials Initiative 2030 (AMI2030) and the up-coming partnership on Innovative Advanced Materials for EU (IAM4EU).

The main objective of the session is to initiate collaboration among different ongoing EU-wide and national projects and initiatives focused on digitalisation of IAM´s development and manufacturing. The session aims to foster homogenisation and standardisation within the IAM ecosystem as a necessity for the introduction and utilisation of open innovation processes and Digital Materials and Product Passports (DMP, DPP) for a diverse range of industrial applications.

Specific objectives of the session are to delve into the needs, requirements, and challenges pertaining to:

  • Requirements on an EU-wide federated digital platform supporting DMP/DPP utilization and to facilitate the design and manufacturing of IAMs.
  • Identification of common themes and scientific/technical interests shared among ongoing EU projects that align with the objectives and vision of the DigiPass CSA initiative.
  • preparation of an initial action plan on the collaboration of DigiPass and related projects and initiatives.

Presentations and posters will also cover the following topics:

  • Digitalisation of workflows in materials R&I along value chains,
  • Digital Materials and Digital Product Passports (DMP/DPP),
  • Data-handling, -storage, – management (e.g. Industry Commons)
  • Circular business models.

Abstracts submitted to this session are welcome from all EU-wide and national projects and initiatives with a focus on digitalisation of Innovative Advanced Materials.

4. Digital Transformation - Computational Tools & Platforms for Materials R&I Acceleration

This Session discusses the (potential) implementation of the most recent technology trends in the materials R&I process. Advanced modelling methods and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are already finding numerous applications in innovation processes, ranging from the autonomous discovery of components to the design of new substances and composites and their deployment in advanced devices. Moreover, such accelerated R&I processes are supported by advanced data analytics, robotics, and high-performance computing.

Presentations (oral and poster) will also cover the following topics:

  • Materials R&I supported by materials acceleration platforms, autonomous robotics platforms, AI-driven design and advanced simulations, theory and multiscale modelling (High-Throughput Experimentation, Digital Simulation of Test Methods/Materials),
  • Digital twinning of and use of AI in materials characterisation and fabrication technologies,
  • AI-based data handling and workflow optimisation,
  • Business models for platforms and best practices, and
  • Digitalisation of materials modelling and characterisation and test methods.
5. Digital Transformation – Towards a common Materials’ Data Ecosystem

Knowledge sharing and information transparency is a prerequisite to meet the requirements for SSbD innovative and advanced materials by supporting co-innovation, better and faster decisions, accelerated development, and the ability to handle complexity. This session will discuss key elements and innovations towards a common material’s data ecosystem include building the foundations of data documentation, the data sharing framework and its governance, ensure that harvesting and exploiting data from digital systems and technologies, such as modelling and simulation, is advanced and integrated along the value chain.

Presentations (oral and poster) will also cover the following topics:

  • Materials digitalisation and data management in trusted data spaces,
  • Federated governance across distributed data spaces,
  • Harmonisation and automation of data documentation and FAIRification across all areas of materials innovation and SSbD,
  • Reporting standards and provenance documentation as part of trust building in integrated approaches of data and software solutions applied for decision support, and
  • Stakeholder-centric data documentation and aggregation to support e.g. cross-domain interoperability, regulatory applications or dissemination to the general public based on the digital material / product passports.
6. Frameworks & Methodologies for Materials Safety & Sustainability

This session will focus on the requirements to establish the relevant ecosystem for the safe and sustainable materials R&I focusing on (policy) frameworks and their implementation measures. This includes:

  1. the upstream conduct of the R&I, scale-up of innovative products and processes, their safety assessment (experimental and in silico) using model and alternative organisms and new approach methodologies (NAMs), and life cycle sustainability analyses (LCSA), or either one of its components, such as environmental LCA, life cycle costing (LCC), and social assessment (S-LCA), material flow analyses (MFAs), and eco-design;
  2. the challenges related to downstream (re-)use, and possible re-and up-cycling at their end-of-life; and
  3. development, validation, standardisation, and harmonisation of test methods applicable to (advanced) materials and their application in risk assessment.

Presentations (oral and poster) will also cover the following topics:

  • Contributions to the implementation of the Safe & Sustainable-by-Design (SSbD) framework: case studies for applications and interdisciplinary insights,
  • OECD Test Guidelines & Guidance Document development and implementation Strategies for Advanced Materials,
  • Standardisation of methods, materials, models, workflows, definitions (e.g., CEN/ISO),
  • Upstream R&I conduct: eco-design,
  • Downstream R&I: challenges to LC(S)As, and end-of-life (recycling),
  • Scaling-up of R&I best practices,
  • Development of (innovative approaches/non-animal assays) methodologies and their incorporation into the hazard identification and risk assessment process, and
  • Best practices on LCA screening early in the R&I.
7. Sustainability & Circularity driven by Advanced Materials

This Session is focussed on the contributions that materials R&I can make to improving the sustainability and circularity of products and processes containing or involving materials. The relevant improvement of sustainability and/or circularity may pertain to the functionality of a material (e.g. enhanced durability, energy efficiency) or of the product or process containing the material (e.g. improvement of the barrier or containment of a material within a product or process). Use of materials in delivery of the SDGs is also targeted.

Demonstration of improved sustainability (including safety) / circularity of processes through inclusion or use of advanced materials is encouraged.

Presentations (oral and poster) will also cover the following topics:

  • materials R&I for the substitution of incumbent materials with greener, more abundant, safer alternatives,
  • materials R&I for the improvement of the safety, sustainability and/or circularity of a material, product, or process (e.g., innovation of barrier materials),
  • process innovation to improve the safety, sustainability and/or circularity of materials (e.g. innovation of containment, handling, or processing)
  • structural or compositional changes improving the functionality of a material, product or process,
  • Materials Optimization based on AI/computational studies, from screening to market, and
  • Demonstrations of improved sustainability/circularity of materials/processes/ products through application of the SSbD framework.
8. Materials Innovation & collaborative Approaches for Resilience

This Session focuses on the contributions that materials R&I can provide to meeting the resilience targets of Europe, such as those stipulated in the Critical Raw Materials Act, and the need to develop climate resilience.

Giving a focus to the resulting socio-economic improvements, the presentations in this session will highlight innovative strategies or business plans for the sourcing of materials, including the (re-)use of hitherto unused by-products, or the re- or up-cycling of materials from waste processes.

Presentations (oral and poster) will also cover the following topics:

  • Innovation of materials, their products and/or processes to substitute or avoid CRMs,
  • Novel materials sourcing strategies that improve the resilience of the application of materials in their relevant value chains,
  • New business models regarding the (re-)use of byproducts, or the re- or up-cycling of materials from waste processes,
  • Economic considerations of re- or up-cycling processes, or measures to implement circularity, and
  • Material R&I initiatives under the scope of resilience targets.
9. Infrastructure & Methods Requirements for Materials Innovation

This Session is focussed on the requirements for novel and innovative infrastructures for characterisation- and measurement methods for organic and inorganic materials, hybrid, persistent, biodegradable and more materials to keep pace with the advancement in materials R&I.  This includes, for example, clean room infrastructures, synchrotrons and other large-scale facilities, but also access to high end materials modelling infrastructures and testing.  Innovative approaches for democratising access to expertise in experimental design and optimisation, as well as infrastructures for data management are also welcome.

The Session will include contributions on the implementation of the Safe & Sustainable-by-Design (SSbD) Framework or similar design-tools that aim at improving the safety, sustainability or circularity of a material, or material-including product or process.

Presentations (oral and poster) will also cover the following topics:

  • Requirements for novel/innovative characterisation methods (incl. quantitative imaging, smart sensors),
  • Automated, high throughput screening methods,
  • Intra-scale characterisation methods,
  • Digitalisation & data platforms along with FAIRness elements, and
  • AI in experimental process/output (e.g. image/pattern recognition anomaly detection).
10. MaterialsWeek 2024 Closing- & Awards-Ceremony

This Session will provide a summary of the sessions, presentations, posters and discussions of the previous three days and close the conference with a festive act of Award Ceremonies:

  • 2 oral and 2 poster presentations will be awarded a prize of EURO 250 each, kindly sponsored by CSBJ: Nanoscience and Advanced Materials Section, and 
  • 1 award for the winner of the ‘Data Tool & FAIRness Competition Award’, kindly sponsored by PARC.

Public Community Meetings

I. Advancing Antimicrobial Nanocoating Technologies Community Day (Monday, 17. June, 09:00 - 18:30)

Join us as we explore the latest in antimicrobial coating technologies, fostering a safer future!

You are cordially invited to  the Advancing Antimicrobial Nanocoating Technologies Community Day, a key event during the Materials Week 2024!  Organized by the Horizon Europe projects  NOVA, RELIANCE, STOP, and SUSAAN, this event is dedicated to the advancement of antimicrobial coating technologies.  This networking opportunity aims to bridge diverse scientific communities, from scientists to industry leaders, in our collective fight against the transmission of disease through surfaces.

Our mission:
  • Synergy Creation: To cultivate a collaborative ecosystem among projects, industries, and scientific bodies working on antimicrobial coatings.
  • Networking & Alignment: To strengthen connections and harmonize objectives within the antimicrobial coating community.
  • Knowledge Sharing: To share lessons learned, promoting smarter, more effective future endeavors while establishing a shared space for disseminating research, findings, and upcoming events.
  • Awareness & Dialogue: To enhance mutual understanding and foster open discussions on community challenges.

This event is tailored for a diverse interdisciplinary audience!

Main Topics

Next generation antimicrobial nanomaterials

Moderated by Fotis Katsaros, Research Director at the National Center for Scientific Research “Demokritos,” this session promises to unravel the complexities and showcase the innovations defining the next generation of antimicrobial solutions. Discover the transformative potential of biobased materials and the precision of nanoparticles in crafting coatings that not only combat pathogens but also prioritize sustainability and safety.

Microbial Frontlines

Join our specialized session designed for materials scientists interested in microbiology, microbial resistance, and antimicrobial mechanisms. This session will delve deep into the critical challenges posed by microbial resistance. Participants will explore the complex interactions between pathogens and antimicrobial surfaces, examine the escalating threat of resistance, and address the hurdles in testing antimicrobial efficacy. This session serves as a bridge, transferring vital microbiological knowledge to the field of materials science, fostering interdisciplinary understanding and innovation.

Harmonizing Antimicrobial Efficacy with Environmental Integrity and Health

This session addresses the pivotal challenge of optimizing antimicrobial coatings for maximum efficacy while prioritizing environmental health and safety. This dialogue will encompass the intricate interplay between antimicrobial action and its implications for living organisms and ecosystems, highlighted through discussions on life cycle assessments (LCA), life cycle costing (LCC), and social life cycle assessments (S-LCA). Emphasis will be placed on the critical examination of toxicity and ecotoxicity, ensuring the well-being of all life forms. Additionally, we will navigate the intricate regulatory frameworks that govern the deployment of these technologies.

From Lab to Market: Translating Antimicrobial Innovations

This session focuses on the intersection of material’s antimicrobial mechanisms and testing methodologies, aiming to ensure the reliability, efficacy, and functionality of these vital technologies. This session is an essential platform for those committed to setting the benchmark in antimicrobial coating development and application. As antimicrobial coatings continue to play a vital role in public health and safety, the establishment of clear, rigorous standards becomes ever more critical. This session is not just about setting benchmarks; it’s about paving the way for innovation that can be trusted and adopted on an european scale.

Detailed session schedules and speaker information will be announced shortly.

II. Towards the IRISS SSbD Supportive Roadmap (Monday, 17. June, 14:30 - 16:00)

The roadmap developed by the European Project “IRISS” to facilitate SSbD will be presented in an interactive session. Participants are welcome to contribute ideas to bridge research, skills and education, and knowledge sharing needs within the SSbD roadmap to align it with their individual field of work.

III. Roadmap towards Safe and Sustainable Advanced and Innovative Materials (Outlook for 2024-2030) (Monday, 17. June, 16:00 - 18:30)

A roadmap towards Safe and Sustainable Advanced and Innovative Materials (Outlook for 2024-2030) presented by the NanoSafety Cluster (NSC) presents the primary areas relevant to safety and sustainability of both nanomaterials and other innovative advanced materials. For each of these areas a description is provided of the current state-of-the-art, and unresolved aspects and emerging issues are identified, as well as the needs to close the gaps within each area. By providing these issues and needs the NSC aims to supply directions in research to facilitate development of safe and sustainable innovative advanced materials and offers knowledge based on years of nanosafety research. The NSC can help innovation projects and shape the effective and proportionate governance of nanotechnology by EC Member States and promote the societal acceptance of the use of nanomaterials and advanced materials. This requires some investment that can be reached by active participation in newly developed projects in the IAM4EU partnership and projects started thereof.

Training Courses & Workshops

A1. How to expand the use of your test method? – Validation is key towards standardisation (Wednesday, 19. June , 14:30 - 16:20)
How to expand the use of your test method? – Validation is key towards standardisation
Wednesday 19th June 2024 – 14:30–16:20   Are you part of a research project that aims to develop new techniques and methods? Do you think it would be great if your method is used by many people around the world? Then you should participate in this training. Regulation needs to keep pace with innovation and industry needs reliable, standardised test methods. This requires identifying specific issues in material sciences innovations. These may need to be translated into regulatory requirements and/or require development or adjustment of standardised and harmonised test methods. Many scientific projects are developing advanced methods and techniques, which can be of use for regulation and industry. To take full advantage of these scientific developments, however, standardisation and harmonisation is needed. This is where this training comes in. The training will inform about different standardisation organisations (e.g. ISO, CEN, OECD) and the process towards an accepted standard. While this involves several different steps, an important early step in the process is validation. Validation is a crucial step for obtaining reliable results and increasing the acceptance of these new techniques and methods. Hence, a thorough validation of the methods and the used protocol is a prerequisite for the use of these protocols as standards in industry or guidelines in regulation. The training is mainly addressing scientists involved in method development in research projects. We will discuss how to validate methods and protocols with the aim for obtaining widely accepted standards and trustworthy test results. One focus will be on the importance of interlaboratory comparisons. The training will highlight incentives and ways of engagement for scientists into standardisation. This interactive training allows everybody to participate actively and to transfer the learnings to his or her own projects. This training course is supported by:
Standardisation needs for regulatory testing of graphene and related 2D materials

Wednesday 19th June 2024 – 16:40-18:30

Are you part of a research project that graphene or similar materials? Do you want to help transfer scientific findings into industrial applications? Do you want to learn more on regulatory testing of these materials? Then you should participate in this training.

20 years ago, monolayer graphene was isolated by Novoselov and Gleim. Since then, graphene and related 2D materials (GR2M) have attracted a huge amount of attention in the scientific community, which was clearly shown in the Graphene Flagship as one of the biggest European research projects. Now the time has come to transfer these scientific findings into industrial applications. To enable this one challenge is still the lack of broadly accepted test methods. Standardised methods are needed to allow business-to-business communication as well as regulation.

The training will give an overview of the state of the art of testing of GR2M. We will highlight needs for the development of standardised methods and guidance for their testing. The first part of the training will focus on physico-chemical testing of GR2M. Here, the focus is to identify the minimal needs which are necessary for the characterisation of the material. Especially, new challenges that may arise from the transfer from scientific to industrial and regulatory testing. In the second part of the training, we will discuss challenges in (eco)toxicity testing. Here further research and standardisation needs will be identified. We will also show how the experience gained in the standardisation and regulation of nanomaterials can be used for GR2M.

The training is mainly addressing scientists that are involved or interested in testing and research on GR2M. The training addresses challenges in physico-chemical characterisation as well as (eco)toxicity testing. This interactive training allows participants to actively interact and to transfer the learnings to their own projects.

This training course is supported by:

B. Public engagement through citizen science and science communication (PlasticUnderground) (time: Monday, 17. June, 09:00 - 13:00)

Continuous course, held in the following time-slots:

  • Monday, 17. June, 09:00 – 13:00.

This Transferable Skills-ATC will focus on how researchers can engage and deeply involve members of the public in their research; skills required to communicate science to all stakeholders of society with OPEN DATA capabilities. The course will cover development and design of citizen science projects, including special data management for citizen science, volunteer motivation and impact evaluation. Innovative methods of science communication will be introduced and practiced. Design of a mobile phone app and considerations on usability and engagement will also be part of this course.

This project has received funding from European Union’s HORIZON EUROPE research and innovation program GA N°101072777-PlasticUnderground   HEUR-MSCA-2021-DN-01.

Advanced Training Courses (ATCs) sponsored by the PlasticUnderground Doctoral Network will ensure that core research skills are developed for all Doctoral Candidates (DCs) within the Network and young researchers alike. ATCs are consistent with PlasticUnderground vision of educating young scientists across a wide range of disciplines and sector boundaries.

C. Modelling MnP fate and transport in the subsurface (PlasticUnderground) (time: Tuesday, 18. June, 13:00 - 18:30; Wednesday, 19. June, 09:00 - 18:30; Thursday, 20. June, 09:00 - 13:00; Friday, 21. June, 09:00 - 18:30)

Countinuous course, held in the following time-slots:

  • Tuesday, 18. June, 13:00 – 18:30;
  • Wednesday, 19. June, 09:00 – 18:30;
  • Thursday, 20. June, 09:00 – 13:00;
  • Friday, 21. June, 09:00 – 18:30.

This Scientific Skills-ATC will introduce the fundamental principles of conceptualizing, designing, and developing models for simulating MnP fate and transport in soil and groundwater aquifers. The ATC will include introductions into mathematical methods for particle tracking and transport modelling in porous media, including reactive transport and particle degradation. This training will apply practical exercises and data from collaborating practitioners and non-academic beneficiaries and partners. DCs and other participants will get trained in advanced methods of uncertainty analyses and communication of model and scenario simulation outputs and uncertainties with diverse end-user communities.

This project has received funding from European Union’s HORIZON EUROPE research and innovation program GA N°101072777-PlasticUnderground   HEUR-MSCA-2021-DN-01.

Advanced Training Courses (ATCs) sponsored by the PlasticUnderground Doctoral Network will ensure that core research skills are developed for all Doctoral Candidates (DCs) within the Network and young researchers alike. ATCs are consistent with PlasticUnderground vision of educating young scientists across a wide range of disciplines and sector boundaries.

D. Data & Tool FAIRness Competition & Award (Award: EURO 250) (PARC) (Tuesday, 18. June, 14:30 - 18:30)

Are you seeking to increase the impact of your research? Or to gain more citations on your publications? Or even to find novel collaborations? Look no further! Make your data or models more Findable, Accessible, Interoperable & Reusable (FAIR) and extend its use!

MaterialsWeek Data & Model FAIRness Award, sponsored by PARC project, aims to recognize, and reward those who demonstrate FAIR principles in their work. Whether you’re presenting orally or through a poster, you could be eligible for this notable award.

To nominate your research for consideration, attend this competition. You’ll learn how to FAIRify your research, derive a FAIRification score and understand the criteria for award nomination.

Don’t miss this opportunity to maximize the visibility and usability of your research!

Hope to see YOU in the FAIRness training session, the FAIRification Award team: Irini Furxhi, Martin Himly, and Iseult Lynch.

The award of EURO 250 is kindly sponsored by the PARC Project:

E. Integrate & Balance SSbD Categories from Industry Perspective (PINK) (Monday, 17. June, 09:00 - 10:30)

In this 1.5 h introductory training session we will overview approaches for implementing SSbD-guided research and innovation (R&I) in several different industrial sectors for replacing substances of concern (SoC). Starting from the ECHA’s assessment of alternatives (AoA) approach we will, at first, put emphasis on the scoping phase during which the requirements for replacement will be identified, and the limitations for the changes possible and trade-offs acceptable for the company will be defined, in agreement with relevant stakeholders to be further involved in AoA scoping, e.g., for setting the trade-off levels. This also includes listing the SSbD-relevant aspects in the different categories (i.e. functional performance, health, environment, social, and economic sustainability) in a customised manner, followed by weighting them in relation to their expected impact on the intended SSbD-guided multi-objective optimisation procedure. An additional dimension is provided as to how to deal with uncertainties, e.g., data gaps or compromises in data quality, or which assessment methods and tools to employ. Notably, it represents the company’s own decision to herewith set the requirements and goals for replacement, and this can be done at different levels, such as the material or chemical itself, changes in the production processes, or within the entire system of a product’s life cycle spanning across its entire value chain(s), which can be documented employing the use maps concept.

Sponsored by:

F. Getting YOUR hands on Life Cycle Assessment (PINK) (Monday, 17. June, 10:30 - 13:00)

During a 3 h hands-on training session you will get besides a general understanding of live cycle assessment (LCA) methodology especially a deeper insight into Prospective and Anticipatory LCA, illustrated and explained with specific examples provided by the involved experts from EMPA and LIST.

Over the past years, various definitions have been formulated for the terms Prospective and Anticipatory LCA. Both terms imply a temporal positionality of the LCA, aiming at investigating how a current, (often immature) technology will evolve in a future time step while anticipating an increasing readiness level of the technology (i.e. including an increase of the technology maturity). Thereby, the term “Prospective LCA” always involves an increase in technology maturity in the future, which is not necessarily the case when speaking about “Anticipatory LCA”. “An LCA is prospective when the (emerging) technology studied is in an early phase of development (e.g., small-scale production), but the technology is modelled at a future, more-developed phase (e.g., large-scale production)” (Arvidsson et al., 2018) is one of the most comprehensive definitions for “Prospective LCA”. On the other hand, “Anticipatory LCA” has been defined as a “forward-looking, non-predictive [LCA] tool that increases model uncertainty through inclusion of prospective modelling tools and multiple social perspectives” (Wender et al., 2014), like ex-ante.

Besides a clarification of these concepts, the interdisciplinary PINK team will provide you during these 3 hours with hints on the use of machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) techniques for anticipatory LCA of new chemicals and products. And in the 2nd part of the training session, you will get the possibility to experience yourself LCA as part of a break-out group, applying this methodology to a classical LCA case study. The session will end with a general discussion of the obtained results, of the made experiences with the expert trainers.

Sponsored by: