Why should my company that develops techniques be interested in the IED and the BREFs?

The BREF documents are reviewed by numerous industrial stakeholders. These documents describe the emerging techniques that will reduce environmental impacts in each sector. Technologies captured here are recognised as mature (Technology Readiness Level: TRL 7) and efficient (generating similar or lower impacts than sector’s BATs).

What are emerging techniques and Best Available Techniques (BAT) and how are they selected?

A group of experts for each industrial sector (‘Technical Working Group members’), including industrial operators, environmental NGOs and Member States representatives, identify and select the techniques that minimise the environmental impacts of each industrial sector’.

In this context of the IED (Industrial Emissions Directive) the emerging techniques (ET) are those techniques that are close to commercialisation (TRL 7) but are still being developed. These ET may be either related to the industrial process itself or abatement measures to minimise the impact of the installations on the environment. The Innovation Observatory is focused on mature manufacturing technologies (TRL 7) that have been commercialised or are close to that stage. The Observatory will not pursue monitoring basic research activities (TRL<6).

The technologies that have been used commercially (TRL>8) are described as techniques to consider as candidates for Best Available Techniques (BATs). Industrial installation’s environmental permits should be updated and based on BAT according to the IED.

What is the purpose of the Innovation Observatory?

This Observatory will identify sustainable novel technologies that minimise environmental impacts of industrial processes. The Observatory will provide updated information and descriptions on these technologies as well as accurate maturity level characterisation. The observatory will forest networking on sustainable technology development.

What is the benefit of me participating in the Innovation Observatory?

  • Recognition/acknowledgement: The Innovation Observatory will assign a TRL>7 which will indicate to operators/customers that such technique is close to commercialisation.
  • Visibility/Advertisement: since BREF documents are reviewed by a large audience, those technologies included in the document will be known by more sector experts.
  • Access to resources and funding: The European Union operates a number of (innovation or sustainability) funding schemes that will have higher chances of being awarded to a technology recognised in the BREF documents. E.g. LIFE or ETV (EU environmental technology verification).

What input is expected from me if I decide to participate?

Innovation Observatory expects that sector experts provide information on Novel Techniques. Sector experts will be also requested to suggest a maturity score (TRL) to novel techniques.