The European Commission has launched the European Remanufacturing Network (ERN), a €1.5 million project that will boost remanufacturing activities throughout Europe.
The impact of the network’s efforts on the European economy is expected to be significant as the value of remanufacturing is calculated to be between £2.4 billion and 5.6 billion in the UK alone, not considering the thousands of jobs created.
ERN intends to achieve its goals through encouraging new businesses to take up remanufacturing, helping existing remanufacturers improve their operations, improving competitiveness of remanufacturers domestically and internationally, and increasing public awareness of remanufacturing and with policy makers to increase demand and address barriers.
Europe in danger of falling behind
"For the past two years, we have argued that the Chinese state, the US Department for Commerce and the South Korean Government have each been investing in their remanufacturing industries - and that Europe was in danger of falling behind," said Ben Walsh from Oakdene Hollins, which manages the Centre for Remanufacturing and Reuse. "This project will provide a springboard to ensure that European remanufacturers remain competitive in the global market, safeguarding European jobs, limiting our exposure to critical raw materials and improving the European trade balance."
The project will add value for (aspiring) remanufacturers by mapping the challenges of remanufacturing business models, innovative product design and processing approaches. The initial stage involves investigating the current size and structure of the European remanufacturing industry in key market sectors, such as the automotive industry.
"We are interested in both the current as well as the future potential social, economic and environmental benefits of remanufacturing in Europe," says David Parker who is leading this stage of the project. "Currently we are requesting remanufacturers throughout Europe to complete our market study survey to become part of the network."
A key outcome of the project is the development of a European Remanufacturing Council. The industry-led ERC will provide support for remanufacturers from across the manufacturing landscape. Its aim is to provide a unified voice for remanufacturers to European policy makers. Its shape and scope will be defined throughout the project with the aim to launch in 2016.
Join the European Remanufacturing Network
Central to the success of the project is the engagement with the remanufacturing industry. Participation of remanufacturers in relevant parts of the project will ensure that the outcomes are industry focused and provide the best available information. Complete the market study survey if you would like to become part of the network as a remanufacturer or visit the ERN website for more information.
ERN is funded by the Horizon 2020 framework programme of the European Union and managed by an international consortium of remanufacturing experts including the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, Fraunhofer in Germany, Linköping University in Sweden, VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland, Grenoble INP in France and Delft University of Technology and Circle Economy in the Netherlands. Oakdene Hollins from the UK leads the project.