ELCA (European Lightweight Cluster Alliance) is a collaborative initiative that aims to accelerate the adoption of lightweight materials in strategic industries. It is the largest pan-European network working on lightweight materials and technologies. Mobility is the primary focus of the alliance, but applications in other light-weighting-related sectors are also targeted, including energy, health care, defense, and construction. The alliance is creating a unique inclusive business framework for exploring lightweight-driven market opportunities. The main players from established industries and research institutions can collaborate and facilitate activities to put lightweight technologies into practice. The ELCA network is currently formed by 13 nodes from 9 countries, which altogether cover about 875 SMEs, 258 large corporates, and 190 RTOs. Since 2020, the ELCA network counts with an exclusive online platform.
The ELCA Platformis an open innovation virtual space that facilitates the exchange of information and opportunities in the lightweight field of materials and technologies. The ELCA Platform includes the community management, ensuring the quality of content, identifying innovation needs and challenges, support for finding solutions, and, in general, continuous monitoring of the Open Innovation platform, development of tailor funding strategy, and fostering cooperation. It is an online-based innovation platform that works as a match-making environment, targeting exclusively clusters, companies, and research centers working on lightweight-related activities. All ELCA partners and their members (e.g., staff of RTOs, members of the clusters) can register for free as well as those participating in EU initiatives linked to ELCA. There are more than 200 platform users at the moment.
All registered users are categorized based on their lightweight interests using dedicated tags that refer to materials (fiber-reinforced polymers, light metal alloys, ceramic matrix composites, and multi-material), sectors of application (mobility, energy, building, packaging, and industry), and value chain stages (material supply & development, characterization & modeling, design & smart functions, manufacturing, assembly & joining, and circular economy). This “lightweight tags” system helps to find new connections and matchmaking opportunities based on common research and innovation interests. All users have the opportunity to post innovation calls, technology offers, funding opportunities, articles & training materials for a repository, upcoming events, and webinars related to the lightweight domain. Furthermore, a dedicated coaching service is now available in the framework of the AMULET project. Several experts of lightweight materials in the sectors as automotive, aerospace & aeronautics, building, and energy are available to give strategic coaching and guidance upon request to all users registered into the platform.
Join the ELCA Platform and become a part of our lightweight community: https://elca.innogetcloud.com/login