EU-VRi as a cluster organization is organized as the European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG) regulated by the provisions of “REGULATION (EEC) 2137/85 of 25 July 1985 on the European Economic Interest Grouping of the Council of the European Communities”[1], by the laws in the country of the court registration/incorporation (Federal Republic of Germany). Being a part of the EEIG, EU-VRi is obliged to facilitate and develop economic activities of our members and facilitate cross-sectorial collaborations by identifying their respective research and development (R&D) needs and technology gaps. Such requirements are then addressed through organization or participation in stakeholder engagement, trans-national and inter-sectorial workshops and research activities often funded or in collaboration of public bodies such as European Commission (EC).


[1] https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/fa713db3-7df6-4b72-985b-02930f44c674/language-en


 

EU-VRi is a dedicated cluster management organisation on a full-time basis.


The main activities and services that EU-VRi provides to its members include;

  • Consortium building: EU-VRi helps partners enrich their consortium and build a strong partnership that is capable of implementing the project ideas.
  • Proposal writing & submission: EU-VRi provides good templates and help in generic aspects related to proposals for research projects and for the administrative submission process.
  • Management & coordination: EU-VRi provides day-to-day administrative and financial project management in close collaboration with the scientific leader of the project.
  • Stakeholder involvement and liaison: EU-VRi provides management of stakeholder platforms (advisors/experts, end-users, technology providers etc.) by reaching out to its members from academia, research and industry to ensure active participation of relevant groups through surveys, focus groups or group-Delphi-exercises. EU-VRi collaborates with relevant externals from public, industry and academia/research to gather feedback to the project plans and/or results and to promote them.
  • Targeted dissemination: EU-VRi plans targeted dissemination activities in close alignment with the project goals. Dissemination activities include the creation and maintenance of a dedicated project website, distribution of newsletters, organization of international conferences, workshops or summer schools etc.
  • Exploitation & Implementation: EU-VRi develops exploitation strategies tailored to the project results and project consortium by carefully considering Intellectual Property Rights. This includes drafting of business plan in close collaboration with all partners interested in using the results to ensure take-up of the members’ results.
  • Standardization: EU-VRi acts as “standardization help desk” in your projects to increase impact and visibility of the research results. This includes identification of standardization opportunities, mapping of standards on specific topics, liaison with relevant Technical Committees, clustering of initiatives to reach critical masses necessary for developing new standards, development of CWA business plans as well as informing the project partners about standardization procedures.
  • Education & Training: EU-VRi organizes the development of education and training programs based on the partners’ project results and possibly link them to existing and already successful programs or schemes.

The following table consists selected number of common projects among the members including:

Name of the projects

Members who participated

Description

SmartResilience (http://www.smartresilience.eu-vri.eu/)

R-Tech, VTT, SINTEF, BZN, Steinbeis

Aims to provide an innovative “holistic” methodology for assessing resitience that is based on resilience indicators.

ResiStand (http://www.resistand.eu/)

R-Tech, TNO, DIN, VTT

Aims to identify new ways to improve the crisis management and disaster resilience capabilities of the European Union and individual Member States through standardization.

EC4SafeNano (http://www.ec4safenano.eu/)

INERIS, TNO, BAM, TECNALIA

Understand the risks for environment, health and safety associated with this technology and resulting materials and products (engineered nanomaterials), and to identify and implement practical strategies to minimise these risks.

InfraStress (https://www.infrastress.eu/)

DIN, R-Tech, RINA

Addresses cyber-physical (C/P) security of Sensitive Industrial Plants and Sites (SIPS) Critical Infrastructures (CI) and improves resilience and protection capabilities of SIPS exposed to large scale, combined, C/P threats and hazards, and guarantee continuity of operations, while minimizing cascading effects in the infrastructure itself, the environment, other CIs, and citizens in vicinity, at reasonable cost.

NanoReg2 (http://www.nanoreg2.eu/)

INERIS, TNO

Identify and define regulatory requirements, build safe-orientated grouping approaches linked with Intelligent Testing and non-testing strategies (ITS).


Member composition in EU-VRi include industry, research/universities and public bodies and are quantitatively distributed among diverse sectors
  • Industry: 13 members
  • Research/Universities: 21 members
  • Public bodies: 8 members

All the members signed the contract of commitment as they joined since the establishment of the cluster in 2006.

The main focus is to improve the business opportunities of the cluster members through integration of the available resources in the areas of;
  • integrated risk und Resilience management,
  • “emerging risks” and
  • related activities.

The specific services of EU-VRi include, but not limited to:
  • Facilitation of cross-sectorial collaboration and coordination of the research activities of its members and other parties.
  • Promote a strategic vision between the companies in the cluster.
  • Disseminate and promote the innovative capabilities of cluster companies worldwide. 
  • Support of technology transfer.
  • Establishing and operation of the European Risk & Resilience Assessment Rating Agency (ERRA) initiative[1].
  • Developing of products and services in the main area of activities, such as
  • e-services: e-learning, on-line modeling, data bases, software development.
  • consulting & other Members’ services: e.g. risk assessment and resilience, education and training, analyses of risks for and impacts on health, safety and environment, analyses according to EU directives (e.g. ATEX, SEVESO, machinery, critical infrastructure directive).
  • methodologies and tools in the areas like chronic risks, accidental risks, risk of new technologies, resilience of critical infrastructures, etc.
  • embedded/applied AI in the above area.

  • Industrial projects: Further setting-up industrial projects (e.g. refineries, power plants and other industrial plants, involving more members of EU-VRi in one team) and PPP (public-private-partnership) projects
  • Products & Services (ERRA): Increased use of products for particular services based on them, e.g. “risk-assessment-as-a-service” or “resilience-assessment-as-a-service”, e.g. those based on the SmartResilience “Resilience Tool” or the PSMS safety evaluation system, using the experience from the EU-VRi projects and activities. The ERRA initiative is expected to play a special role in this process.
  • Standardization: The work in the EU research projects led to the standardization actions and documents such as ISO 31050 (“Guidance for management of emerging risks for enhanced resilience”) and the EN standard in the area of RBI (Risk-Based Inspection Framework – EN 16991:2018). This work will be pursued further in 2020-21. Consolidate and further develop international collaboration and presence: China, India, South Africa, USA, Japan, Canada… EU-VRi has members or partners in all the parts of the world. Some of them have specific opportunities where risks have to be tackled, such as the initiative leading to the “Road & Belt” Risk and Resilience Radar.
  • Education and training: Continuous collaboration with universities and educational institutions in the area of risk management/engineering education, both those within EU-VRi and those outside of EU-VRi (e.g. Uni Torino, SUPSI,…).
  • Mobility: Development of a coordinated mobility program for young scientists within EU-VRi grouping and the partnerships in projects (e.g. in the new Marie-Currie project DECODE).
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