ILLIANCE agenda promotes sustainability and comfort in buildings
17 Mar 2023

The first formal meeting of the partners of the PRR ILLIANCE Agenda, an initiative launched by Bosch Termotecnologia SA thinking about current and future challenges, especially in the sector of energy applied to buildings, and involving dozens of entities, was held on March 17th, at 2:00 pm, at the premises of Bosch Thermotechnology, SA. 

Bosch Thermotechnology challenged other well-known companies of the national scene, startups academies, clusters and associations related to the sector to join this initiative. Together they built a vision with the commitment to invest heavily in R&D applied to product innovation for the industry, and in new industrial processes and more sustainable equipment, culminating in new technologically advanced products and services to conquer world markets.

The PRR ILLIANCE Agenda is a dynamic ecosystem of integrated projects aimed at addressing the goal of carbon neutrality associated with the buildings sector, which accounts for about 40% of global CO2 emissions (source: Eurostat 2021). The approach adopted is based on the development of complementary technologies associated with three core pillars: health, comfort, and sustainability. The functional structure of the ILLIANCE Agenda, developed in an integrated logic of specialization, focuses on the design, development and industrialization of new technologies, in the field of electrification of the economy and exploitation of sustainable and/or renewable electric energy (e.g. heat pumps), exploitation of green hydrogen as an energy source (e.g. hybrid H2 combustion equipment), exploitation of new models and intelligent solutions for energy management, efficiency, functionalization and performance of buildings.

Bosch Thermotechnology, leader of this consortium and co-producer with UAveiro of the Smart Green Homes project, already completed, is carrying out a 46 million euro investment in a new heat pump factory in Aveiro-Cacia, among other new products and industrial processes, relying on strong collaboration from academia, in research and development of new processes. The implementation period ends on December 2025.

Nelson Ferreira, international responsible for the Industry 4.0 area and director of the ILLIANCE project, says that 85 new products are expected as a result of this partnership. "Besides the development of an area already addressed in the Smart Green Homes project, the case of intelligent control in buildings and associated comfort, the work of the ILLIANCE Agenda extends to other areas, namely, energy efficiency of buildings - construction and renovation with new materials - and others, such as occupant health, in which parameters that characterize the health of the occupants are monitored, and the area of intelligent industrialization - automated and robotic production processes, Industry 4.0 technologies and sustainable industrial processes".

"Bosch became, in 2020, the first carbon-neutral industrial entity, as such, we brought this issue to the agenda, so that all industrial partners can benefit from this principle and contribute to the decarbonization of society", adds Nelson Ferreira.

From Bosch Thermotechnology's point of view, the project "means a very big transformation and growth in the company" considers Jónio Reis, Vice-President for Bosch Residential Water Business Unit. It is, he explains, about preparing the company, about directing development and production towards even greater decarbonization and sustainability. "The work done so far already makes it possible to go ahead with the expansion of the industrial area, making Cacia the main production site for Bosch heat pumps, which will mean an increase of hundreds of jobs dedicated to development and production. The goal is to expand the heat pump market - without gas consumption - making them more attractive to the southern European markets, making them more efficient products and with lower purchase values for the end consumer", he says.

The ILLIANCE project has four thematic areas:
WP 1 - Electric heating appliances or renewable energy users;
WP 2 - Combustion appliances incorporating hydrogen;
WP 3 - "Internet of Things" solutions and platform for energy management;
WP 4 - Solutions for passive, sustainable, comfortable, and healthy homes.

The ILLIANCE Agenda, ref. C644919832-00000035, Project #46, is a Mobilizing Agenda for Business Innovation, funded by component C5 of the RRP - Recovery and Resilience Program, under the European Union's Next Generation EU. The total investment exceeds 136 million euros, of which 57 million will be invested in R&D.
The consortium is made up of:

  • Eighteen companies: Bosch Termotecnologia S.A. (Leader); Amorim Cork Composites, S.A.; António Meireles S.A.; Bandora Systems, Lda.; Bosch Security Systems – Sistemas de Segurança, SA;  Cleanwatts Digital, S.A.; CS Plastic, LDA; EDP Comercial – Comercialização de Energia, SA; Extrusal – Companhia Portuguesa de Extrusão, S.A.; Infogene, LDA; Maxoplás - Plásticos & Engenharia, LDA; Microplásticos, S.A.; OLI – Sistemas Sanitários, S.A.; Petibol – Embalagens de Plástico S.A.; Revigrés – Indústria de Revestimentos de Grés, LDA; Saint-Gobain Portugal, S.A.; Tankpor - Reservatórios, LDA; Têxteis Penedo, S.A..
  • Nine non-business entities from the Research and Innovation System (ENESII): CENTITVC - Center for Nanotechnology and Technical , Functional and Intelligent Materials; CITEVE - Technological Center of Textile and Clothing Industries of Portugal; I3S - Institute for Research and Innovation in Health of the University of Porto - Association; Instituto de Soldadura e Qualidade; Instituto Pedro Nunes - Association for Innovation and Development in Science and Technology; International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (LIN); Smart Energy Lab - Association; University of Aveiro, University of Coimbra.
  • Two clusters: Cluster Habitat - Association Platform for Sustainable Construction; ICTe Cluster
  • An association: Inovadomus - Association for the Development of the House of the Future.

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