Friday, 22 May 2015

#SusChem2015, Open Innovation SME Workshop and Brokerage Event

Places are going fast for the 2015 SusChem Stakeholder event #SusChem2015. The event takes place on 8 and 9 June at the Sheraton Rogier Hotel in Brussels. Immediately after the Stakeholder event there is a special Open Innovation SME workshop and Brokerage Event on the afternoon of 9 June that is also open to all SusChem Stakeholders.

One of SusChem's goals is to foster greater collaboration between larger chemical players and SMEs in the sector. The Open Innovation Workshop is part of our work in this area and participants will learn about the EU funding instruments available to SMEs and experience first-hand the creation of new partnerships as innovative SMEs from across Europe pitch their bright ideas and novel technologies to big chemical companies.

Entrepreneurial SMEs
During the event more than 20 leading SMEs, from across Europe with ambitions to connect to new industrial partners and investors will present their elevator pitches in three fields of interest to sustainable chemistry:

  • ICT for chemical and bio-tech processes
  • Eco-innovation technologies
  • Advanced materials and nano-technologies

Listening to them will be representatives from leading Multinational Chemical Companies, including BASF, Bayer AG, Solvay, Dow, DuPont, Arkema, Repsol, DSM, EVONIK Akzo Nobel and Clariant, that are keen to connect to innovative SMEs.

In addition there will be a dedicated SME poster session where SMEs will be able to present their innovative technologies and expertise to potential partners and collaborators.

Finally, a Speed Dating Brokerage Session will give the opportunity to network and set up one-on-one meetings with the 150+ participants from industry, academia, RTOs, leading experts and policymakers who have already registered to attend the SusChem Stakeholder event.

Who Should Attend?
The aim of the SME workshop is to facilitate the development of new partnerships and to start building the bridges required to foster successful collaborations between SMEs and big chemical companies. Anyone interested in innovation and SMEs in Europe can attend, including:

  • SMEs
  • Industry
  • Academia
  • NGOs
  • Policymakers
  • Venture Capitalists

Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity! Spaces are filling up quickly, so reserve your place HERE!

Stakeholder event
Registration for this event is in conjunction with the main 2015 SusChem Stakeholder event. The main focus of the Stakeholder event will be the recent SusChem Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) and how it is being implemented. The overall theme of this year's event is 'Propelling Sustainable Chemistry to exciting new frontiers - Implementing the New Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda'.

The packed programme includes many exciting activities over two days including:

  • Presentation of the key highlights addressed in the SIRA by SusChem Board members, followed by a stakeholder breakout discussion on how to translate the SIRA into tangible action
  • Conclusions from breakout session discussions to be addressed in a lively panel debate on day two, and
  • The latest news and activities from our SusChem National Technology Platforms (NTPs)

Confirmed speakers over the two days include:

  • Rudolf Strohmeier, Deputy Director General, DG Research and Innovation 
  • Klaus H. Sommer, Senior VP Bayer Technology Services and Chairman of the SusChem Board
  • Christos Tokamanis, Head of Unit Nano and Converging Sciences and Technologies, DG Research and Innovation
  • Dirk Carrez, Executive Director, Biobased Industry Consortium
  • Loredana Ghinea, Executive Director, A.SPIRE

For a complete list of confirmed speakers please refer to our updated agenda. Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity! Register now to avoid disappointment!

Book your accommodation before 29 May!
Accommodation for delegates is also available at the Sheraton Rogier Hotel in Brussels for the days of the event. SusChem has managed to extend the deadline for booking rooms a fixed discount rate until 29 May. You can book via this link. Don't delay!

See you in Brussels on 8 and 9 June!

BBI – JU launches €100 million Call

The Bio-based Industries (BBI) Joint Undertaking (JU) PPP has just launched a €100 million Call for Proposals. This second call from the BBI JU is dedicated to Innovation Actions (aka ‘Flagship projects’) and focuses on lignocellulosic feedstock (BBI Value Chain 1), valorisation of cellulose (BBI Value Chain 2) and innovative processes for sugar recovery and conversion from Municipal Solid Waste (BBI Value Chain 4). See the BBI JU value chains below.

The Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking will be holding an Info Day session in Brussels on the morning of 26 June on this call followed by a networking and brokerage session in the afternoon. 


All three sub-calls will be subject to a single stage selection process and proposals must be submitted by the closing deadline of 15 September 2015. The call documentation estimates that proposals with total eligible budgets up to €35 million should allow the specified challenges to be addressed appropriately.

In addition any proposals should look to include industrial symbiosis and integration of actors along the whole value chain in their proposed projects and, wherever possible, make use of existing facilities.

The topics chosen in this call reflect elements of the section on 'A Sustainable and Inclusive Bioeconomy' in SusChem's recently published Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA). The three sub-calls are summarised below with links to their specific Horizon 2020 call page (click on the header).

Lignocellulosic biomass is one of the most abundant resources of fixed renewable carbon on earth present in woody crops, agricultural and forest and other process residues. While bio-based chemicals, materials and ethanol produced from food crops are already on the market production from lignocellulosic feedstock would open up large opportunities in terms of enhanced sustainability, avoiding land conflicts and expanding resource potential.

Research and innovation activities in this area are on-going, but the challenge lies in establishing at industrial scale a first-of-a-kind, cost-effective biorefinery concept leading to the conversion of lignocellulosic feedstock into biobased chemicals, materials and ethanol. Therefore the principal objective of this call is the demonstration of the techno-economic viability of transformation of one or multiple lignocellulosic feedstock into a bio-based product such as bioethanol (targeting a production capacity of at least 50 000 ton/year); and/or diols and/or diacids (targeting a production capacity of at least 5 000 ton/year). Proposals should address their further conversion into sustainable biomaterials within an integrated biorefinery concept applying a cascading approach.

Cellulose is a well-known and widely exploited material, but recent technological developments are opening up opportunities for its use in new and higher added value applications. This enhances competitiveness and also significantly improves environmental performance. As for lignocellulosic feedstock, while demonstration activities are being pursued, the challenge in this call lies in demonstrating at industrial scale first-of-a-kind cost-effective biorefinery concepts leading to the production of economically competitive cellulose-based products for bulk materials and volume applications.

Proposals should aim to demonstrate the techno-economic viability of biorefinery concepts leading to new cellulose-based products with tailored functionalities for either microfibrillar cellulose (MFC) based additives (at a scale of at least 1 000 ton/year) or lightweight structural composites based on (bio-based and/or conventional) polymers reinforced with cellulose pulp fibres (demonstrated at 25 000 ton/year of composite materials).

The biodegradable fraction of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is an abundant feedstock rich in sugars and suitable for conversion into biobased chemicals and fuels through biotechnological processes. However, its quality is highly variable and contains other components, such as proteins, fats, ashes and other inhibitor compounds which affect the overall yield of fermentation and enzymatic conversion processes. This call again looks to demonstrating at industrial scale a first-of-a-kind, cost effective new value chain for the recovery and conversion of MSW-based sugars into biobased products for the whole value chain: from sourcing and management of MSW to its conversion. 

What is the BBI JU?
The Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking is a €3.7 billion Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC). It is dedicated to realising the European bioeconomy potential, turning biological residues and wastes into greener everyday products through innovative technologies and biorefineries, which are at the heart of the bioeconomy. The BBI is about connecting key sectors, creating new value chains and producing a range of innovative bio-based products to ultimately form a new bio-based community and economy.

For more information on the BBI JU visit the BBI JU website or contact the BIC secretariat.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Chemistry for the Future: Solvay Prize 2015

Solvay has announced the start of the search for its Chemistry of the Future prize for 2015. The prize is intended to endorse basic research and underline the essential role of chemistry, both as a science and an industry, in helping solve some of the most pressing issues the world is facing today. The Chemistry for the Future Solvay Prize rewards a major scientific discovery that could shape tomorrow’s chemistry and help human progress and celebrates the strong support for scientific research given by the founder of the Solvay Group, Ernest Solvay.

The €300,000 prize is awarded every two years. In 2013, the inaugural Chemistry for the Future Solvay Prize was presented to Professor Peter G. Schultz. The next Chemistry for the Future Solvay Prize will be awarded on 18 November, 2015 at Le Palais des Académies in Brussels, Belgium.

Professor Peter G. Schultz (left), a professor at the Scripps Research Institute in California, and director of the California Institute for Biomedical Research, was awarded the first Chemistry for the Future Solvay Prize in 2013 for his multiple scientific contributions at the interface between chemistry and biology. In particular the exploitation of molecular diversity and the rational expansion of the genetic code of living organisms.


His ground-breaking work has made an impact in many scientific fields, including biotechnology and medicine. It also has important implications for regenerative medicine, and the treatment of infectious disease, autoimmune disease and cancer.

Selection process
The selection process for the 2015 prize is two-stage process. First, independent nominators propose candidates whose achievements in the field of chemistry, including biochemistry, material sciences, soft matter, biophysics and chemical engineering, will shape the chemistry of the future. Then the international jury selects the winner of the Chemistry for the Future Solvay Prize from amongst the list of candidates.

The jury for 2015 will be led by Håkan Wennerström, Professor of theoretical and physical chemistry at the University of Lund, Sweden. He is a former chairman of the jury for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He is joined by the first winner Professor Peter Schultz, Paul Chaikin, Professor of Physics at the New York University, USA, specializing in solid state physics, in particular soft matter, and Christopher Dobson, John Humphrey Plummer Professor of Chemical and Structural Biology at the University of Cambridge.

Also on the jury is Gerhard Ertl, Professor emeritus at the Department of Physical Chemistry, Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-PlanckGesellschaft in Berlin, Germany, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies of chemical processes on solid surface, together with Jean-Marie Lehn, Professor at the Institut d’Etudes Avancées de l’Université de Strasbourg and Professor emeritus at the Collège de France in Paris. Lehn was an early innovator in the field of supramolecular chemistry and is a fellow winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Completing the jury are Patrick Maestro, member of the Académie des Technologies in France, Scientific Director of Solvay, and Paul Baekelmans, Science Adviser to the Solvay Group and Professor emeritus at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. He chairs the Conseil National de Chimie of the Académie des Sciences de Belgique.

Find out more at the Solvay website and a flyer for the prize can be downloaded here.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Register now for BIO-TIC webinars: Biosurfactants on 22 May

The Cefic and SusChem supported FP7 BIO-TIC project is organising a series of webinars to present the main findings from the project. SusChem and Cefic invite you to participate in the next webinar on the biosurfactants product group that will take place on Friday 22 May 2015 from 3-4 pm CET. The webinars are free but you will need to register beforehand

The agenda for the first BIO-TIC webinar on 22 May on biosurfactants includes:
  • Introduction to BIO-TIC from Pierre Barthélemy, Cefic Executive Director for Research & Innovation
  • Industrial Biotechnology (IB) market roadmap by Anna Saarentaus, Principal in Pöyry
  • Overview on Biosurfactants by Prof. Wim Soetaert, Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant
  • Future of Biosurfactants according to BIO-TIC by Pierre Barthélemy
  • Q&A session
Biosurfactants are one of five business cases which the project has identified to have significant potential to enhance the European economic competitiveness and introduce cross-cutting technology ideas. Europe has already an established biosurfactants market and is currently the global leader in terms of both biosurfactant production and consumption. Still, the market share could be higher if the various innovation hurdles to biosurfactants are addressed.

The BIO-TIC project has extensively examined the market, R&D and technological hurdles for biosurfactants and with this webinar is now presenting its findings to the public. Later this year, an integrated roadmap with the main findings of the project including examples on all the five business cases will be publicly available on the project website and will be presented at the project final conference 'From bugs to business: Unlocking the Bioeconomy in Europe' on 23 June.

Webinar schedule
The project’s dissemination activity will continue over the summer with more webinars scheduled on the other BIO-TIC business cases and on the uptake of IB in general. Note the webinar schedule is your agenda now!

  • Tuesday 26 May 2015, 10-11 am CET:  Chemical Building Blocks organised by TNO
  • Monday 8 June 2015, 10-11 am CET: CO2-based Chemicals organised by Nova Institute
  • Wednesday 10 June 2015, 10-11 am CET: European Bioeconomy revisited organised by DECHEMA
  • Tuesday 7 July, 1-2 pm CET: Where next: Industrial Biotechnology? – A review of the results of the BIO-TIC project organised by EuropaBio
  • TBD, Webinar on Biofuels organised by DECHEMA

You can register for all the webinars for free via: https://dechema.ilinc.com.

BIO-TIC Final Conference
As mentioned above the SusChem inspired FP7 BIO-TIC project will be holding its final conference entitled ‘From bugs to business! Unlocking the Bioeconomy in Europe’ on the afternoon of 23 June 2015 in central Brussels.


The conference will provide all you need to know about industrial biotechnology (IB) in Europe in one compact and easily digestible event. It will be the place for you to embark on the bioeconomy journey! Registration for the event is now open and is free of charge.

What is BIO-TIC? 
Funded by the European Commission, BIO-TIC is an FP7 project launched in 2012 with with the vision to investigate hurdles and critical success factors to deploy industrial biotechnology in Europe.

Modern use of industrial biotechnology is critical in a bio-based economy. Deploying the full potential of biotech innovation will enable European industry to deliver high-value products to consumers and create new commercial opportunities. New feedstock demands will lead to synergies amongst SMEs and large industrial partners. New technological developments will boost European export of technology and facilities by bringing some of Europe’s top sectors together: chemical industry, engineering and renewables.

For more information about BIO-TIC visit the project website or contact Pierre Barthélemy, Cefic Executive Director for research and innovation.

Friday, 15 May 2015

E4Water on Euronews

The SusChem inspired FP7 project E4Water is featured in the latest Euronews video on its science and technology channel ‘Futuris’. The new video (see below) features one of E4Water’s successful case study demonstration plants in the Netherlands. And keeping with news on water innovation the latest EIP Water newsletter has just been published – more details below.

Producing chemicals and plastics requires a lot of fresh water to cool down industrial processes, and this water is not always readily available. Euronews reporter Denis Loctier visited a Dow Benelux plastics plant on the southern coast of the Netherlands. This seaside plant cannot pump water from the ground: it must buy it from a supplier located dozens of kilometres away, uses it once and then pours it out into the sea.

Salty or dirty water can damage installations, and for now it is cheaper for companies to buy fresh water than to recycle it. But a European research project - "E4Water (Economically and Ecologically Efficient Water Management in the European Chemical Industry)" - wants to change all that.



About E4Water
With the chemical industry providing the highest potential to demonstrate increased eco-efficiency in industrial water management, the FP7 project ‘Economically and Ecologically Efficient Water Management in the European Chemical Industry’ (E4Water) addresses a range of crucial process needs to overcome bottlenecks and barriers to a fully integrated and energy efficient water management system.

The project’s main objective is to develop and test integrated approaches, methodologies and process technologies. There are six industrial case study sites at the core of E4Water that are expected to achieve a reduction of 20-40% in water use, 30-70% in waste water production, 15-40% in energy use and up to 60% in direct economic benefits. In addition to the chemical industry, the project is actively seeking opportunities for cross-fertilisation with other industrial sectors.

The project consortium brings together large chemical companies, leading European water sector companies and innovative research and technology development centres and universities. The partners are also involved in the Water supply and sanitation Platform (WssTP) and SusChem, the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry, and actively collaborate with water authorities in different European countries.

For more information about SusChem involvement with water issues, please contact Antonia Morales-Perez at Cefic, or visit the water priority page on the SusChem website.

Latest EIP Water newsletter out
The May 2015 edition of the EIP Water newsletter is out. The e-publication reports on the World Water Forum 7 in South Korea during which new analyses and perspectives on global water challenges and markets were published. In Europe, the Horizon 2020 water call closed on 21 April having received 915 applications showing increasing interest in innovation in the water sector.

Within the partnerships, EIP Water has been appointed to the Water JPI Stakeholder’s Advisory Group (SAG) and the Water JPI is currently holding a consultation on its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, which will provide valuable input for the SAG’s next meeting in early June. If you want to participate in the consultation the deadline for input is 24 May.

Finally the next EIP Water Conference will be held in February 2016 and five hosting proposals have been received from across Europe. A decision on the venue will be made by mid-June at the latest.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Bio-based Industries Info day 2015

The Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) will be holding an Info Day session on the morning of 26 June followed by a networking and brokerage session in the afternoon. The Info Day will take place from 09:00 to 12:30 at the Charlemagne Building, Rue de la Loi 170, B-1000 Brussels.

The Info day session will address the following questions:

  • What benefits does the Bio based Joint Undertaking offer you?
  • What is included in the new Call?
  • How can you apply for funding? 

The BBI Info Day 2015 in Brussels on 26 June will give you first-hand information on this new EU funding instrument. The Info Day is organised by the BBI JU to provide full information on the 2015 Call for Proposals. Participation is free of charge but registration is compulsory.

Registration is open until 19 June 2015 via the BBI website on the "Events" section or via the link below. To attend the conference please fill in the on-line registration form as soon as possible. When registering please specify the organisation you belong to. All applications will be considered on a “first come, first served” basis.

To register for the BBI Partnering Platform visit http://www.bbi-europe.eu/participate/bbi-partnering-platform.

What is the BBI JU?
The Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking is a €3.7 billion Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC). It is dedicated to realising the European bioeconomy potential, turning biological residues and wastes into greener everyday products through innovative technologies and biorefineries, which are at the heart of the bioeconomy. The BBI is about connecting key sectors, creating new value chains and producing a range of innovative bio-based products to ultimately form a new bio-based community and economy.

Monday, 11 May 2015

SusChem 2015 - Register now!

It is now less than one month until the 2015 SusChem Stakeholder event that is taking place on 8 and 9 June at the Sheraton Rogier Hotel in Brussels. Registration is now open and places are going fast! The main focus of the event will be the recent SusChem Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) and how it will be implemented. And there will be a brand new feature: an Open Innovation SME workshop!

The theme of this year's event is 'Propelling Sustainable Chemistry to exciting new frontiers - Implementing the New Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda'.

As part of SusChem's goal to foster collaboration between larger chemical players and SMEs, the event will see an Open Innovation SME workshop on the afternoon of 9 June. This special event will be followed by a poster session and our always popular speed-dating brokerage session.

Participants will experience first-hand the creation of new partnerships as innovative SMEs from across Europe pitch their brilliant ideas and technologies to big chemical companies in three technical fields:
  • ICT for chemical and biotechnology processes
  • Eco-innovation technologies
  • Advanced materials and nanotechnologies

Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity! Register now to avoid disappointment!

Packed programme
Other exciting activities planned over the course of the two-day Stakeholder event include:
  • The presentation of the key highlights addressed in the SIRA by SusChem Board members, followed by a stakeholder breakout discussion on how to translate the SIRA into tangible action
  • Conclusions from breakout session discussions to be addressed in a lively panel debate on day two, and
  • The latest news and activities from our SusChem National Technology Platforms (NTPs)
Confirmed speakers over the two days include:
  • Jose-Lorenzo Valles, Head of Unit Advanced Manufacturing Systems and Biotechnologies – Directorate Key Enabling Technologies - DG Research and Innovation 
  • Klaus H. Sommer, Senior VP Bayer Technology Services and Chairman of the SusChem Board
  • Christos Tokamanis, Head of Unit Nano and Converging Sciences and Technologies, DG Research and Innovation
  • Dirk Carrez, Executive Director, Biobased Industry Consortium
  • Loredana Ghinea, Executive Director, A.SPIRE

For a complete list of confirmed speakers please refer to our updated agenda.
Book your accommodation before 15 May!
Accommodation for delegates is also available at the Sheraton Rogier Hotel in Brussels for the days of the event. SusChem has arranged for rooms to be blocked at a fixed rate until 15 May. You can book via this link. Don't be late!
See you in Brussels on 8 and 9 June!