Monday, 16 July 2018

RECREATE launches Green Horizons Scoreboard

RECREATE (REsearch network for forward looking activities and assessment of research and innovation prospects in the fields of Climate, Resource Efficiency and raw mATErials) is a FP7 project led by the Joint Institute for Innovation Policy (JIIP) in which Cefic was a partner. RECREATE established and managed a large network of key stakeholders in the fields of Climate Action, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials. The project has just ended in June 2018.

One of the key elements of the RECREATE project was the development of the RECREATE Green Horizons Scoreboard. The scoreboard gives access to a unique combination of indicators on innovation systems for sustainability, covering EU28 and additional European countries. The scoreboard allows users to make comparative analyses on sustainability innovation across countries, years and innovation systems.

To show potential users the possibilities provided by the Scoreboard, RECREATE has produced an instructional video that takes users through a number of example analyses.



More about RECREATE
The overall objective of RECREATE was to support the development of the European Union’s research funding programme Horizon 2020, with a specific focus on “Societal Challenge 5: Climate Action, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials”, by providing a concrete evidence base.

To achieve this, RECREATE built on the following specific objectives:

  • Assessing the impact of potential break-through innovations in the relevant fields
  • Developing scenarios and analysing trends that help to define research and innovation priorities
  • Benchmarking Member States' performance in the relevant fields
  • Creating and maintaining a broad network of stakeholders that get involved in the above activities
  • Transmitting the knowledge produced by the project effectively to policy-makers and other target groups

RECREATE will provide evidence and intelligence concerning the future directions of these research fields. Watch the video below to find out more or go to the RECREATE project website.

Friday, 13 July 2018

SusChem and KETs in Horizon Europe

SusChem has updated and enlarged its position paper on the potential impact of Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) in the next EU Research and Innovation (R&I) Framework Programme: Horizon Europe. The paper, originally published in February, outlines SusChem’s views on KETs in relation to sustainable chemistry and now includes 11 case study examples derived from SusChem inspired FP7 and Horizon 2020 projects.

The paper 'Impact: Key Enabling Technologies in Horizon Europe' calls for strong support for EU future technology competitiveness and argues that sustainable chemistry is essential for the technological advance of many KETs from advanced materials to photonics and industrial biotechnology.

SusChem believes that that Horizon Europe should firmly embrace KETs as drivers of technology development for jobs and growth and the white paper focuses on their potential positive impact on society.

KETs of specific interest to SusChem, such as advanced materials, advanced process technologies and industrial biotechnology, are essential to address societal challenges and accelerate the development of a low-carbon economy, circular economy and enable the energy transition.

SusChem also recognises the need to integrate digital technologies into process technologies, materials development and new business models. SusChem believes that synergies between current KETs and new digital KETs can accelerate the creation of new markets, growth and jobs.

Create, develop, leverage
The SusChem White Paper details the major technology developments and initiatives needed to:
  • Create Advanced Materials for use in energy efficiency (e.g., light weight), renewable electricity production and energy storage (e.g., batteries elements), or smart functionalities responding to stimuli (e.g., self-repair).
  • Develop Advanced Process Technologies, including Industrial Biotechnology, for more sustainable production including through utilisation of alternative carbon feedstock (waste, biomass, CO2) and alternative energy sources.
  • Leverage Digital Technologies for use in advanced process control and materials modelling, to enable disruptive business models and to create new customer experiences.

Examples
All three areas give examples of how the KETs can make a difference to achieving societal policy goals and are illustrated by case study examples from completed SusChem projects.

The paper calls for on the European Commission to ensure strong support for KETs in Horizon Europe. You can download and read the report here.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Watch the #suschem2018 Highlights Video

A highlights video of the 2018 SusChem Stakeholder Event (#suschem2018) is now available. On June 20, at its 16th Annual Stakeholder event in Brussels, the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem) started the collaborative process to build a new Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) focusing on the forthcoming Horizon Europe framework programme.

The short video features interviews with Markus Steilemann, SusChem Chairman and CEO at Covestro AG; Signe Ratso, Deputy Director-General, Directorate Research and Innovation at the European Commission; Christine Maul, Head of Advanced Process Control Technology at Covestro; Martin Stephan, Deputy CEO at Carbios; and Bertrand Fillon, General director of research at Innovation Plastics Composites (IPC).


The SusChem stakeholder event was a great opportunity to underline SusChem’s role and vision under Horizon Europe. The keynote speech given by the European Commission presented the novel elements and opportunities in the new framework programme (2021-2027). Focusing on priorities for advanced materials, advanced processes and associated digital technologies, the initial task of identifying technology priorities was initiated. The SusChem innovation ecosystem was also boosted by the addition of three new National Technology Platforms (Bulgaria, Finland and Sweden). The day was completed with a lively and provocative panel discussion on how to leverage the strength of the innovation ecosystem as a whole to boost the competitive position of Europe in Research and Innovation.

Save the Date: SusChem #Brokerage2018 will take place on 23 October

SusChem has confirmed that the SusChem 2018 Brokerage Event will be held on Tuesday 23 October 2018 at Hotel Le Plaza in Brussels. SusChem #Brokerage2018 will cover published calls relevant to the sustainable chemistry community in the remaining two years of the Horizon 2020 programme.


Save the date – 23 October 2018 now! More information on the Brokerage event will be available via the SusChem website – www.suschem.org – soon and relayed via our social media channels.

Horizon 2020 programme 2018-2020
An outline of the last phases of Horizon 2020 programme was published by the European Commission in October 2017.

Focus area of high interest for sustainable chemistry include:

  • 'Building a low Carbon, Climate-resilient Future' (EUR 3.3 billion budget), will aims to align research and innovation investments with the climate change objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement as well as with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).The focus area will support the development of solutions to achieve carbon neutrality and climate resilience by the second half of the century. Over EUR two billion will be invested in the four strategic priorities identified in the Accelerating Clean Energy Innovation Communication, namely renewables, energy efficiency in buildings, electro-mobility and energy storage solutions – with an emphasis on the next generation of batter technologies. SusChem has recently published its views on the innovations required in this area – link to battery paper.
  • 'Connecting economic and environmental gains – the Circular Economy' (EUR 941 million budget) will support the Commission's ambitious Circular Economy package and make a strong contribution to sustainable development goals, climate action, resource efficiency, jobs and growth, and industrial competitiveness.
  • 'Digitising and transforming European industry and services' (EUR 1.7 billion budget) will address the combination of digital technologies with innovations in other technological areas, as emphasised in the Digital Single Market strategy. This field offers huge opportunities for increasing industrial competitiveness, to create growth and jobs and to address a range of societal challenges.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Register now for final CarbonNext event!

The final event for the SPIRE project CarbonNext will be held on Tuesday 17 July at the Commission’s Covent Garden Building in Brussels. This is the perfect opportunity to learn about the potential of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide as alternative carbon feedstocks for the European industry, but be quick as registration officially closes today – 6 July 2018.

The two-year SPIRE/ Horizon 2020 CSA project CarbonNext addresses alternative carbon feedstocks for the process industry with a specific focus on the use of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

The final event will discuss the potential of these alternative feedstocks for the European industry. It will present the project’s findings and current relevant initiatives at European and Member states level.

The final conference will have speakers from industry, academia as well as policy makers from the European Commission. The main results from CarbonNext will be accompanied by presentations from industrial representatives to show the relevance and transfer of scientific results and industrial needs and to discuss ecological challenges and the economic potential behind the identified opportunities. 

Presentations include the SusChem inspired PHOENIX initiative and ‘CO2 as an alternative feedstock for sustainable chemistry’ from SusChem board member Pierre Barthelemy of Cefic.

Learn more about the whole carbon value chain – from mapping of CO/CO2 all over Europe, identified processes and products where alternative carbon sources can be used – and get in touch with an interdisciplinary network of CCU stakeholders.

The event will also provide the perfect opportunity to debate gaps and research needs in this domain, as well as timelines and roadmaps, with an eye on potential relevant activities in the framework of the upcoming Research and Innovation framework programme Horizon Europe.

If you are interested to join, please register as soon as possible!

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

#suschem2018 starts defining technology priorities for Horizon Europe

On 20 June, at its 16th Annual Stakeholder event (#suschem2018) in Brussels, the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem) started the collaborative process to build a new Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) for Horizon Europe.

The SusChem stakeholder event was a great opportunity to underline SusChem’s role and vision under Horizon Europe. The keynote speech given by the European Commission presented the novel elements and opportunities in the new framework programme (2021-2027). Focusing on priorities for advanced materials, advanced processes and associated digital technologies, the initial task of identifying technology priorities was initiated. The SusChem innovation ecosystem was also boosted by the addition of three new National Technology Platforms (Bulgaria, Finland and Sweden). The day was completed with a lively and provocative panel discussion on how to leverage the strength of the innovation ecosystem as a whole to boost the competitive position of Europe in Research and Innovation.


An opening keynote speech by Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro and SusChem chairman (pictured above), described the role of SusChem as: “responding to global challenges and EU priorities” by providing “innovation solutions based on sustainable chemistry.”

He also emphasised SusChem’s significant role in enabling a highly collaborative research and innovation environment by bringing together industry including small and medium-sized enterprises, academia and Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) at a European level whilst connecting with regional and national programmes through its expanding network of National Technology Platforms (NTPs).

Steilemann called on all SusChem stakeholders to voice their priorities and help define the technology priorities for the next SusChem SIRA. The next SIRA will be a solid base for advising the European Commission on high-impact missions and priorities for Horizon Europe. SusChem will remain an active and engaged partner of the European Commission.

“We have demonstrated that SusChem enables the development of sustainable technologies that lead to sustainable products,” he concluded.

Horizon Europe
A second keynote speech was given by Ms. Signe Ratso, Deputy Director General at the Commission’s DG Research & Innovation (pictured below), focusing on the proposal for the next Research Framework programme: Horizon Europe.


Ratso sees Horizon Europe as our chance to shape the future: “Europe has world-class research and strong industries – our knowledge and skills are our main resources – but Europe fails to transform leadership into leadership in innovation and entrepreneurship.” Horizon Europe – although an “evolution rather than revolution” aimed to address that.

Key novelties in the programme proposal were the increased support for breakthrough innovation (via mission-oriented research), the ambition to create more impact, and a more strengthened international cooperation. Horizon Europe also aims to reinforce openness.

In terms of the ‘missions’ concept, Ratso underlined the need for missions to connect with citizens and be “bold and inspirational” while having measurable goals that could be achievable in around a ten-year time frame. Activities in missions should be across-sectors, involve actors from different disciplines and work along value chains. She invited all partners to work together on further shaping Horizon’s Europe missions and looked forward to SusChem’s input to the programme.

Defining technology priorities
One of the main focus points of the event was to start the consultation process to build the new SusChem Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA). Two parallel breakout sessions covered advanced materials and advanced process technologies. Both sessions considered the role of Digital Technologies as an enabler for designing better performing materials and processes. More specifically, the sessions initiated the debate on technology priorities and looked to identify experts who could contribute to the development of the next SIRA.

The materials session focused on three thematic clusters: circularity for materials; energy storage, production and efficiency; and functionality and performance. The advanced process technology themes were: digital technologies for process design and control, waste as feedstock, fossil-based feedstock, biobased feedstock, and CO2 as feedstock. The sessions identified technology clusters that require further attention as well as the following broad issue areas: sustainability assessment; skills, consumer awareness, and education and training.


All the input gathered at #suschem2018 will be assessed and processed further to form the basis of the new SIRA together with additional expert input from SusChem working groups that are currently being set-up.

Expanding ecosystem
The SusChem National Technology Platforms discussed how they approached stakeholder engagement in their countries and gave examples of the successful formation of consortia and transnational collaborations. Moreover, they reflected on how to enhance their role even further together with the SusChem ETP. Representatives from nine of SusChem’s 17 NTPs were involved in the debate moderated by Susanne Coles (SusChem UK).

The session was also a great opportunity to present the three new national platforms – Bulgaria, Finland and Sweden - that were approved for membership by the SusChem board the day before the event. SusChem also welcomed Andreas Falk (SusChem Austria) as the new Chair of the NTPs network for the following year.


#suschem2018 concluded with a wide-ranging debate, led by Marco Mensink Director General of Cefic, which explored the priorities required to maintain Europe’s leading role in global innovation and how the structure of Horizon Europe can mobilise our innovation ecosystems. The panel included Peter Dröll, Director Industrial Technologies at Commission’s DG Research & Innovation, Prof. Ferdi Schüth, Vice-President of the Max-Planck-Society, Kateřina Šebková, Director of the Stockholm Regional Centre for Central and Eastern Europe, Martin Stephan, Deputy CEO of CARBIOS, and Olaf Wachsen, Head of Group Process Technology, Clariant.

Panel members called for the continuation of enduring partnerships and collaborations created through programmes like Horizon 2020, which were considered more valuable than the funding per se. They suggested that Horizon Europe could be seen as a part of the EU’s vision to reindustrialise Europe.  The continuation of Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) and the need to bring together all of the bright minds of Europe, were other prominent points stressed by the panel, no country can bring about change alone.

Future path
#suschem2018 has successfully set the course to develop the next SusChem SIRA. It has continued the vibrant dialogue with our platform’s stakeholders and the European Commission on future orientations for sustainable chemistry research and innovation to enable the development of technologies and that will meet EU global challenges.


The process continues at the next major SusChem event: our 2018 Brokerage event that will be held on 23 October 2018 at Hotel Le Plaza, Brussels and will cover later sustainable chemistry relevant calls for Horizon 2020. Save the date!

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

#suschem2018: Defining technology priorities for sustainable growth in Europe

Today (20 June, 2018() the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem) holds its annual Stakeholder event (#suschem2018) in Brussels. The event brings together global audiences, senior players from the chemical and biotechnology industries, academia, research and technology organisations (RTOs) and EU institutions to address common challenges and discuss priorities crucial to the sustainability of the European chemical and biotechnology innovation sectors. 

The theme for #suschem2018 is ‘The Future of Research & Innovation in Europe: Defining Technology Priorities for Sustainable Growth’.

This year’s opening keynote speeches will be presented by SusChem Chairman Dr. Markus Steilemann, Chief Executive Officer of Covestro, and Signe Ratso, Deputy Director-General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission. 

The event will culminate with a high-level debate on how the SusChem community can leverage the strength of the innovation ecosystem to boost research and innovation in Europe and deliver real socio-economic impact through the next European Research Framework Programme (Horizon Europe)

SusChem Chairman Dr. Markus Steilemann said:
“SusChem welcomes the room given to industry in the first proposal of Horizon Europe and calls for continued support for Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) as drivers of innovation. Especially advanced materials and processes enhanced by digitalisation technologies and combined with new business models are considered key areas for investment and growth. SusChem can and will substantially contribute to this development. We believe that sustainable chemistry and its innovation ecosystem in Europe – consisting of businesses of all sizes, academia and associations – can  thrive well in the Open Science and Open Innovation Pillars of Horizon Europe.”
What’s happening?
In the morning, the event will kick off with the plenary presentations from Steilemann and Ratso, followed by two parallel breakout sessions on future research and innovation priorities for SusChem and Horizon Europe, including discussions on potential missions. The two sessions will cover:

  • Creating the future with advanced materials: What are your priorities?
  • Creating the future with advanced process technologies: What are your priorities?

Both sessions will also deal with the question of how emerging digital technologies can be integrated to enhance impact in these areas. 

In preparation for Horizon Europe, SusChem presented its position on the role of Key Enabling Technologies in a white paper outlining the major technology developments and initiatives needed to create advanced materials, develop advanced process technologies and leverage them by the implementation of digital technologies.

Innovation ecosystem
In the afternoon, the participants will hear from the SusChem National Technology Platform (NTP) network on their successful stakeholder engagement strategies and we will welcome three new NTPs (Bulgaria, Finland & Sweden). A high-level panel discussion will follow on how to leverage the strength of the innovation ecosystem to boost research and innovation in Europe, especially in the context of KETs and Horizon Europe.

The panel will be moderated by Cefic Director General Marco Mensink and will feature contributions from Peter Dröll, Director Industrial Technologies at DG RTD, Prof. Ferdi Schüth, Vice-President of the Max-Planck-Society, Kateřina Šebková, Director of the Stockholm Regional Centre for Central and Eastern Europe, Martin Stephan, Deputy CEO of CARBIOS, and Olaf Wachsen, Head of Group Process Technology, Clariant.

#suschem2018 takes place at the Thon Hotel City Centre, Brussels, Belgium on 20 June. A full programme for the event is available here.