Consultancy, Committee and Academic Activities
The staff at BFI are involved in many different ways as consultants in specialist fields that are of relevance to the Institute. In this capacity they make important contributions to the preparation and implementation of decisions on a variety of research policies, at both national and international level. Through its employees, the BFI is also represented in various committees where it joins forces with others to actively promote the goals of these bodies. The following examples illustrate our work in this area:
As ever, the most important source of funding for the European steel industry is the Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS). Established in 2002 as the successor of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), this research fund largely follows the rules of the EU’s Framework Programme. The BFI has been actively involved in shaping future activities through its work in different committees. Many of the Institute’s employees are registered in the EU’s databases as experts on different topics and are regularly asked to give their opinion on specific matters.
Within the scope of Horizon Europe (the EU Commission’s eighth Framework Programme for Research & Innovation), and especially the public-private partnership SPIRE (in the meantime also named “P4Planet”), the process industry has found a platform for initiating research themes that take special account of the interests and requirements of the associated industrial sectors. SPIRE is the acronym for Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency. The BFI is not only a founding member of A.SPIRE, but is also involved in advising the European Commission through Prof. Peters in his capacity as deputy leader of the Working Group IT and as a member of IRIAG.
In 2011 the BFI and three other European research institutes (CRM in Belgium, CSM in Italy and SWEREA MEFOS in Sweden) set up the Research Initiative for European Steel (RIES). This is a virtual network of highly competent steel research establishments which pools the complementary research skills of these organisations.
The European Steel Technology Platform (ESTEP) brings together all the important actors in European steel research. Members include not only the major steel producers but also many universities and research establishments engaged in research on aspects of steel. The BFI is represented in the nearly all working groups where it plays an active role in shaping the work of ESTEP.
German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AIF)
Within the scope of the AIF, and especially in the field of industrial cooperative research, BFI employees have been appointed as experts to various consultative groups.
BFI is a founding member of the Zuse-Gemeinschaft, a Germany-wide association representing independent non-profit industrial research institutes, which play an indispensable role in the German research landscape.
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
In the Research & Innovation platform of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in Germany, Dr. Bernhart Stranzinger is involved in the research network “Energy Industry and Trades“ where he coordinates the research area “Iron and Steel”.
International Federation for Automatic Control (IFAC)
In this organisation, the BFI has been represented for 19 years by Prof. Peters as a member of Technical Committee 6.2 “Automation in Mining, Mineral and Metal Processing” where he acts as a consultant on publications submitted for the annual conferences as well as a co-organiser of these conferences.
Over the years, BFI staff members have been appointed as lecturers colleges and universities. Currently, Prof. Peters held lectures on “Data Mining in industrial environments” as part of the degree course in automation technology at RWTH Aachen. These teaching activities also create opportunities for students to work on their bachelor’s or master’s dissertation as part of national or international research projects being conducted at the BFI. Possibilities to supervise doctoral theses also exist.