The 2019 EFFRA General Assembly was held in BluePoint Brussels, on the 19th of March.  EFFRA (European Factories of the Future research Association) is the largest PPP in the European Union.  This year’s General Assembly will discuss EFFRA activities, the Factories of the Future partnership, Horizon Europe, and will include contributions from high profile industry, research, and European Commission speakers. In the face of significant change within the Commission and general political environment, the role of EFFRA in positioning the significance of Manufacturing within the research program is even more important.  The General Assembly was opened by the EFFRA Chairman, Joaquim Menezes, who outlined the strategy being undertaken by the program into the next phase of EU funding.  Zeljko Palin (EFFRA CEO) outlined the budget and operational programs within EFFRA, as well as an update on the membership of the community.  EFFRA is a critical conduit for industry to engage with the research program at an EU level.  The research program is a significant investment on behalf of the EU taxpayer, and it’s important that this investment is focused on the grand challenges, in a manner that is relevant to industrial partners.  Later in the session, Peter Droll (Director DG Research & Innovation, of the European Commission), also addressed the assembly to update the EFFRA community from the Commission’s perspective.  Andrew Lynch, Chief Innovation Officer with IMR continues to work with the EFFRA team to position the interests of manufacturing companies in Ireland.

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Joaquim Menezes, Chairman of EFFRA, Andrew Lynch, Chief Innovation Officer, IMR and Zeljko Palin, CEO of EFFRA, pictured at the EFFRA General Assembly

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