Minister Halligan congratulates ENBIO on €1.5m win from Horizon 2020
John Halligan, Minister of State for Training, Skills & Innovation has congratulated ENBIO, an Irish SME with facilities in Dublin and Clonmel, Tipperary on winning €1.52 million from the European Commission to develop a green alternative to the toxic chemicals necessary to coat metals.
Their work will be focused initially on the space sector but has wide-ranging applications in aerospace, automotive and general industry, as well as public infrastructure and civilian applications. The funding is provided under the EU’s Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2.
European environmental legislation (REACH) is reducing the use of hazardous chemical treatments widely used to prepare metal surfaces for bonding or coating in the space sector. However, it is not just the space sector that needs a replacement but any European industry using wet hazardous metal pre-treatments such as chromate conversion processes, which is important to the aerospace, automotive, and industries in general.
Congratulating ENBIO on its success, Minister Halligan stated, “ENBIO is an excellent example of the large numbers of SMEs successfully applying to Horizon 2020, giving Ireland the second highest success rate in Europe for the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument with a 13% success rate compared to a European average of 5.5%. Not only are Irish companies like ENBIO being successful, they are also targeting larger sums of money than comparable companies across Europe. To date, this represents an investment of €54.1 million in innovative Irish SMEs, enabling accelerated growth of these companies.”
ENBIO has developed a proven alternative coating process – their patented CoBlast process. The European Commission funding will enable ENBIO to accelerate their development and launch of a chemical replacement metal treatment. ENBIO’s alternative uses no hazardous chemicals and meets or exceeds existing industry standards and performance requirements.
ENBIO has already gained significant experience in the Space sector with the European Space Agency (ESA) – the company has provided two protective coatings for the ESA’s most advanced spacecraft, Solar Orbiter, one of which will become the closest man-made object to sun. ENBIO is supported in this work by Enterprise Ireland, who have been pivotal in helping ENBIO to position themselves in the space sector.
Once ENBIO has proven their process in the space sector, they plan to extend the technology to applications on earth and help clean up the coatings sector across numerous industries and the thousands of acres of metal requiring protection from the elements. The SME Instrument funding will enable ENBIO’s accelerated breakthrough into these global markets. This will place ENBIO at the forefront of green coating technology internationally and put CoBlast on the path to world-wide adoption.
“The SME Instrument is quite a different call to the traditional H2020 funding routes. At a launch event in Brussels, the key message was as much about backing the company as it was about backing the idea. The grant will have a massive impact in scaling the CoBlast process for the space sector and beyond and gives ENBIO the opportunity to invest in the capital equipment and team needed to do this work,” said Dr. Barry Twomey, CTO, ENBIO.
“We are thrilled to have been granted this funding to accelerate CoBlast for adhesive bonding for the space sector and beyond – the sunset dates are fast approaching and ENBIO are dedicated in offering a solution,”said Dr. Paolo Fiorini, Head of Operations, ENBIO.