Characterisation is a central pillar across the spectrum from research development via engineering and upscaling to production and product quality control. A survey of 100 FP7 projects carried out in 2014 under the umbrella of the Engineering & Upscaling Cluster clearly demonstrated the central role of characterisation. Over 90% of projects apply characterisation methods and 50% of projects include characterisation developments. Characterisation was ranked by far the highest in terms of importance of engineering and upscaling with an average across all projects of 9/10, compared to averages of below 7/10 for modelling and standardisation for example. A lot of these projects, however, have a weak link to the impact required by the EC, with little tangible output in relation to commercial exploitation or reliable recommendations to regulation.