Social Value of Materials SAM-9
Free Access
Matériaux & Techniques
Volume 104, Number 1, 2016
Social Value of Materials SAM-9
Article Number 101
Number of page(s) 3
Published online 18 March 2016

Papers from the Society & Materials conference, SAM-9, held in Luxembourg, 11 & 12 May, 2015

This is the 10th anniversary of the Society and Materials series of conferences, or SAM, launched in 2004, at a time when it was felt that the 7th European Research Framework Program was mature enough to support and foster interdisciplinary programs emerging from the grassroots communities in need of original and new results.

However, the program, which we were proposing at the time under the name of SOVAMAT (SOcial VAlue of MATerials), did not lead to any call for proposals not to any project financially supported by the Commission. Research officials had their own vision of what should become of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and framed research calls according to their own priorities. Ten years later, the projects that were selected at the time have not really redefined and reshaped the domain but the Commission has carried out its perceived duty of financing research and letting it move forward, on the premise that it would lead to GDP growth.

The SOVAMAT Community self-organized in a different way: it gave up looking for subsidies in the Framework Programs and focused on the roadmap that it had defined on its own. The Community organized annual conferences, called SAM, on a series of pluri- and interdisciplinary themes, where speakers present their methodological advances and compare their approaches, most of which are experimental and pragmatic. They come from various communities, some organized around methodological tools, like LCA, MFA or SAT and their evolution, but also engineering sciences, natural sciences, soft sciences, sometimes called subtle sciences, or human sciences. Their interest is both focused on methods and on emergent and open issues that the tools should help tackle.

The outcome has reached far beyond our initial intuitions and expectations, as we have now reached all the targets of the initial roadmap. It should be acknowledged that the research effort has been an order of magnitude larger than what was imagined ab initio for the never-born FP project [1]. How issues are raised now has changed with time and the initial, somewhat bureaucratic vision of a single and universal methodology has changed into a more impressionistic approach, where successive brush strokes create a holistic painting, full of lightness and subtlety. The SAM seminars and conferences take place in a different location in Europe each year and attract about 100 aficionados coming from the whole world: the next conference, SAM-10, will thus take place in Rome on 9 and 10 May 2016. There is much to say in favor of research progressing bottom up, apart from the constraints of strict top-down programs and letting players and creators from the community follow their curiosity, with the focus and determination that are its drivers.

I would also like to thank EDP Science and its editors, who opened up their pages to this adventure [2, 3, 4, 5], which is definitely different from the traditional way of doing metallurgy or materials science. To accept playing the game of pluridisciplinarity, especially when it is as open as in the SOVAMAT agenda, calls for courage and vision from a scientific publishing organization and this is paid, sometimes, by a delay in the international recognition of a journal in impact factor and citation metrics. When will indicators be invented that measure the interdisciplinarity of a paper that does not operate in a silo? At a time when drones hover to look at the physical world from above, scientific and technical publications should also take off to ”reach for the sky” above disciplinary boundaries and encourage researchers who are not afraid of heights!

Program of the 9th conference on Society and Materials (SAM-9), Luxembourg, 11–12 May 2015

Introduction by Jean-Pierre Birat, ESTEP

Welcome address by Paul Schosseler, LIST, host of the conference

Session 1: The Circular Economy

The limits of sustainable metal resource availability, keynote lecture by Eric Pirard, University of Liège

Development of a circular economy approach for construction materials in Luxembourg, Alina Beloussova, LIST

A review of methodologies to assess the value of waste management & the circular economy: a case study of Flanders (Belgium), Maarten Dubois, KU Leuven

Closing the loop for aluminium cans, Monia Niero, DTU

Session 2: LCA applications and new developments

The Social Value of Materials, keynote lecture by Julian Allwood, University of Cambridge

Global algorithms for LCA-based multi-goal constrained optimization of potable water plants, Florin Capitanescu, LIST

Approach to put local environmental impacts in context to local added value - the example of ship scrapping within the lifecycle, Nathanael Ko, University of Stuttgart

Ready-to-use and advanced methodologies to prioritise the regionalisation effort in LCA, Laure Patouillard, CIRAIG

Integration of Life Cycle Assessment in the conceptual design of renewable energy conversion systems, keynote lecture by François Maréchal, EPFL

Characterization of urban building stocks in a life cycle assessment framework: a case study in Luxembourg, Alessio Mastrucci, LIST

A simplified tool to evaluate the sustainability of buildings in steel in early stages of design, Paulo Santos, University of Coimbra

Reducing burdens in LCA : Overriding Life Cycle Assessment in Small-Medium Enterprises for the Wood Product Industry, Heather M. Davidson, FCBA

Comparing upcycling vs downcycling for construction & demolition waste: the case of concrete aggregate, Andrea Di Maria, KU Leuven

Session 3a: Material Flow Analysis & Critical Raw Materials

Narratives and materials, Jean-Pierre Birat, ESTEP, Andrea Declich, Laboratory of Citizenship Sciences

Material System Analysis of Critical Raw Materials in Europe, Charlotte Petiot, BIO Intelligence Service

Conceptual Evaluation Model and Methodology for criticality of materials in a Product and Industrial Level, Yanya Jin, UT Troyes

Session 3b: Material Flow Analysis & Critical Raw Materials

Social innovation: a new paradigm for sustainable material development?, Keynote lecture by Antonius Schröder, University of Dortmund

Critical aspects of the application of material flow analysis on plant level, Verena Trinkel, TU Wien

Elaborating the history of our cementing societies: an in-use stock perspective, Gang Liu, University of Southern Denmark

The recycling rate of steel, Philippe Russo, ArcelorMittal

Dynamic MFA of steel in Europe, Daryna Panasiuk, IRT

Session 4: LCA and biomass

From trees to electricity, the physics beyond LCA, Olivier Mirgaux, University of Lorraine

Implementing industrial ecology: what the bio-based construction materials case can teach us?, Jérémie Joubert UT Troyes

Variability of the environmental impacts of raw cork, Dias, A. C., University of Aveiro

Life cycle assessment of wood construction products fabricated in the Walloon region (Belgium) - comparison of process and input-output LCA, Zeller, V.R., Université Libre Bruxelles

Session 5: Societal, economics and sustainability issues

Resource conservation and material recycling, keynote lecture by Ichiro Daigo, University of Tokyo

Overview of concrete experiences and exchange of best practices in the field of sustainability assessment, Isabelle Chaput, RDC Environnement,

Society and materials in the European policies for responsible research and innovation, Andrea Declich, Laboratory of Citizenship Sciences

The social value of a steel product: the launch of an action-research based on the theory of value in economics, Mélodie Caraty, Arcelor Mittal

Property-based structural value of steel, Daisuke Matsui, University of Tokyo

Monitoring the environmental and energy impacts of electric arc furnace steelmaking, Valentina Colla, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

Key sustainability performance indicators selection for the recycling carbon fibers sector, Baptiste Pillain, University of Bordeaux

SAM 9 Conclusions, Jean-Pierre Birat, ESTEP


Life Cycle Assessment and functional unit to assess product’s refurbishing and reuse within multiple scenarios as second applications use, J.L. Amaya, Escuela Superior Politecnica del Littoral

Testing and developing LCA tools and methodologies in a multi-industrial and -academic project, Gael Fick, IRT

Towards a midpoint indicator for including noise impacts from mobility in LCA, Rodolphe Meyer, LIST

Integrating agent-based models in life cycle assessment: a case study in Luxembourg, Tomás Navarrete Gutiérrez, LIST

Improving the life cycle impact assessment of ecosystem services through the use of an integrated model, Benoit Othoniel, LIST

Environmental impact assessment of rail freight intermodality, Angel L. Merchan, University of Liège

Taking into account the dynamics of electricity demand and supply of a school, Emil Popovici, LIST

Electrical and electronic equipment environmental product declarations: towards a harmonized system?, Axel Roy, Bureau Veritas

Resource optimized product design from a holistic lifecycle perspective, Roberta Graf, Fraunhofer IBP

LCA education: overview about the Belgian situation, Angélique Léonard, University of Liège

Life cycle assessment of anthropic water, Sylvie Groslambert, University of Liège

Prognostic evaluation of environmental and energy impacts in electric arc furnace steelmaking through process modelling and simuation, Ismael Matino, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

Life cycle assessment of four municipal solid waste management scenarios in Irkutsk, Russia, Olga Ulanova, National Research Irkutsk State Technical University


  1. J.-P. Birat, A. Declich, S. Belboom, G. Fick, J.-S. Thomas, M. Chiappini, Metall. Res. Technol. 112 (2015) 501 [Google Scholar]
  2. J.-P. Birat, Revue de Métallurgie 109 (2012) 271-272 [CrossRef] [EDP Sciences] [Google Scholar]
  3. J.-P. Birat, Revue de Métallurgie 110 (2013) 1 [CrossRef] [EDP Sciences] [Google Scholar]
  4. J.-P. Birat, Metall. Res. Technol. 111 (2014) 129-130 [CrossRef] [EDP Sciences] [Google Scholar]
  5. J.-P. Birat, Matériaux & Techniques 102 (2014) 501 [CrossRef] [EDP Sciences] [Google Scholar]

© EDP Sciences, 2016

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