News|

Professor Roberto Frassine, President of EuCIA, discusses the association’s mission to support the sustainable growth of the European composites industry.

What is the European Composites Industry Association?

EuCIA is a non-profit organisation headquartered in Brussels. We represent European national composites associations and industry-specific sector groups at EU level. Last year, we also opened up our membership to Sectorial Alliances and we welcome alliances of companies united by a common interest to join us. Today, we represent approximately 70% of the European composites industry – that’s more than 10,000 companies and an estimated 150,000 employees.

The origins of EuCIA go back to November 1960, when the Groupement européen des Plastiques Renforcés – Matériaux Composites (European Organisation of Reinforced Plastic Associations – Composite Materials), or GPRMC, was founded. In 2003, to facilitate work at the European level, it was decided to transform the organisation into an international non-profit association and EuCIA was officially launched as a new legal entity in 2004. This means that next year we will be celebrating 65 years of supporting the composites industry in Europe.

EU Dialogue on EOL Recreational Craft 2 modifiee 002 - EuCIA

Roberto Frassine and Raphaël Pleynet, EuCIA managing director, in Brussels for the EU Dialogue on End-of-Life Recreational Craft in March 2024.

Over the years our membership has grown to cover more than 70% of the European composites market, reflecting the development of the composites sector but also the need for a unified industry voice. Now, more than ever, we believe that the composites industry must work together to solve the challenges we face today. And in the complex arena of EU policy and regulation a united voice is essential. We must continue to demonstrate that composites are key enablers for Europe’s net-zero targets and that they are circular materials well suited to the circular economy model.

What is EuCIA’s strategy?

EuCIA’s mission is to support the sustainable growth of the European composites industry and promote the development of a flourishing business environment, taking advantage of the combined expertise of our members.

SUS GROUP MEETING - EuCIA

EuCIA’s Sustainability Working Group meets regularly.

Our strategy is based around five goals:

  • Position: Explain and promote the contribution of composites and the composites industry to European society;
  • Advocate: Provide expertise to decision-makers in defining EU standards and legislation;
  • Facilitate: Support the growth of the composites industry and the creation of a sustainable business environment in Europe;
  • Educate: Support education of designers, engineers and students to advance understanding of composite materials;
  • Network: Provide a platform for EuCIA members to network and share knowledge and experience.


Sustainability has always been a key theme running through all of EuCIA’s activities, and today our Sustainability Working Group is busier than ever.

What are some of your main initiatives related to sustainability?

From the very beginning, communicating the many benefits of composite materials over established materials in contributing to the net-zero goal has been a major focus. We must continue to emphasise that lightweight, high performance, durable and energy-efficient composite products make a substantial contribution to decarbonisation over their long service lives, fully supporting the European Green Deal’s goal of climate neutrality by 2050.

Demonstrating the circularity of composite materials is also becoming increasingly important. We must demonstrate to regulators, industry stakeholders and end-users that after their long service life there are numerous ways for continuing to use composite parts through the many options that are sometimes called the 9 Rs (repair, reuse, repurpose, etc.). When these options are finally exhausted, composites are recyclable through both open loop and closed loop recycling. For this, we are currently building our knowledge base on composites sustainability and circularity.

JEC WORLD 2024 3 - EuCIA

Roberto Frassine discussing the benefits of composites for low carbon construction at the JEC Summit on Building & Infrastructure in March 2024.

We are actively working to overcome the current barriers to composites recycling and build the recycling supply chain. This will only be achieved with the collaboration of all stakeholders and we are promoting a cross-sector approach. The first steps in this direction have already been taken through strong partnerships with industry associations WindEurope, European Boating Industry (EBI), and Cembureau.

Improved life cycle assessment (LCA) data for composites is also essential. Our Eco Impact Calculator enables companies to calculate the cradle-to-gate environmental impact of their composite products and we are continuing to develop and expand this resource.

Last but not least, we recognise that innovation is an essential driver for the composites industry. The EU’s research and innovation programmes provide a framework for developing the materials and technologies of the future and EuCIA is currently a partner in three EU-funded projects developing sustainable composites solutions for the renewable energy sector.

What are the benefits of joining EuCIA?

With composite materials, the only limit is your imagination! By joining EuCIA you join a network of composites experts and organisations from all around Europe who are dedicated to making this increasingly a reality.

Vincent BASUYAU ROBERTO RAPHAEL - EuCIA

With Vincent Basuyau, Policy Officer – Energy Intensive Industries and Raw Materials, European Commission DG GROW, at JEC World 2024.

You gain a unique opportunity to debate and identify our industry’s challenges and opportunities, and to collaborate and develop actions around common goals. You benefit from EuCIA’s insights into evolving EU regulation and policy and our interaction with policymakers and key stakeholders to promote the interests of the composites industry at EU level.

EuCIA offers a platform where we can work together to build a strong and sustainable future for the European composites industry.

Where do you see EuCIA in 10 years from now?

In 10 years, our industry should have not only achieved the goals of the European Green Deal for 2030, but should also have already outlined the industrial scenarios for 2050. This is certainly a major challenge that we want to address together with all stakeholders by developing our association in an increasingly professional and modern way.

In 2034, the European Composites Industry Association will be dynamic, robust, and will be able to make its voice heard to the benefit of our society, our environment and our market. In short, a veritable reference point for all those who believe in responsible innovation and sustainable growth on our continent.

 

Professor Roberto Frassine is researcher and teacher at the Politecnico di Milano. With a background in materials engineering, today he specialises in polymer and composites science and technology. He has been the President of the Italian composites industry association Assocompositi for 19 years and President of EuCIA for 11 years.

Comments are closed.

Close Search Window