Friday, 29 August 2014

Fifth EuCheMS Chemistry Congress in Istanbul

The Fifth EuCheMS Chemistry Congress kicks off in Istanbul at the WOW Convention Centre on 31 August and will present leading research in chemistry as well as the infinite number of applications of chemistry in our everyday lives. The Congress, which runs from 31 August to 4 September and is hosted by the Turkish Chemical Society, will feature more than 1100 contributions and gather together more than 1500 chemists from almost 70 countries, not only from Europe but from all over the world.

The immense possibilities of chemistry being presented at the Congress are of great relevance not only for the research community but also for wider society.

Hot topics 
Topics that will grab scientific attention at the Congress include nanometre-scale structures and their possible applications in electronics, in sensing and in biomedical applications that will be presented by EuCheMS 2013 Lecturer, Prof. Maurizio Prato. New carbon nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes and graphene, might open new doors for gas storage, pharmaceuticals, inter-neuron communication, spinal cord repairs and production of hydrogen from splitting water: creating new possibilities for a greener society.

The congress will also host a session with the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) on nanomaterials safety and training and education regarding quality assurance for analytical measurements as well as a session on the European Research Council's (ERC) activities, presented by its President, Prof. Bourguignon.

With their eyes set on the future of chemistry, the European Young Chemists´ Network (EYCN) are presenting a wide range of activities over the course of the Congress focussing on chemical careers  and employability of young chemists including several workshops, talks and meetings with possible employers.

SusChem board member and Cefic's Executive Director of Research and Innovation Gernot Klotz will talk about sustainable chemistry and innovation during the EYCN career sesson on Monday (1 September).

You can access and download the full programme for the Congress here. To follow the Congress on twitter search on the hashtag #5ECC.

The Congress will also be the place for acknowledging excellence in research and in promoting chemistry. Some of the awards delivered will be the Young European Chemist Award; the European Sustainable Chemistry Award, which will be given to Prof. Walter Leitner and Prof. Jürgen Klankermeyer; and the EuCheMS Award for Service, which will honour EuCheMS past president Prof. Luis Oro.

EuCheMS aims to promote co-operation in Europe between non-profit-making scientific and technical societies in the field of chemistry and molecular sciences. EuCheMS has 42 member societies across 32 European countries and represents more than 150,000 chemists. EuCheMS brings together world class expertise to provide a single voice on key science and policy issues, based on expert scientific knowledge.

The EuCheMS Chemistry Congress is a biannual event that was first organised in 2006 in Budapest. Since then it continued to promote European Chemistry all around Europe. Previous venues include Turin, Nuremberg and Prague. Future venues include Seville and Liverpool.

For more information on EuCheMS activities, please contact EuCheMS Secretary General Dr. Nineta H. Majcen.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

CRM Workshop at SEMICON Europa

The CRM_InnoNet project will be holding a workshop at Europe’s biggest industrial event for the semiconductor and microelectronics sector: SEMICON. The workshop entitled ‘Critical Raw Materials – Importance for European Electronics Industry’ is being held on 6 October at the beginning of SEMICON Europa 2014 in Grenoble, France.

The electronics sector is an area that is vulnerable to supply issues for a number of critical raw materials (CRM) that are essential for the manufacture of the electronic products that are now characteristic of modern society. In early 2014 CRM-InnoNet published a draft study that sought to identify applications in the ICT and electronics sector which are CRM dependent and are important to the European economy. The report can be downloaded from the project website.

The objectives of the CRM_InnoNet workshop in Grenoble are to:

  • Highlight threats and opportunities related to availability of raw materials in the ICT and electronics sector
  • Present a value chain analysis for key applications or the ICT and electronics sectors to identify critical raw material bottlenecks
  • Discuss development of a European roadmap for substitution of critical raw materials in electronic components, and 
  • Develop policy recommendations relating to substitution of critical raw materials for the sector

At the workshop Antonia Morales of Cefic will first define what makes a material critical, before the CRM_InnoNet project is described. Then David Peck of TU Delft and David Gardner of C-Tech Innovation will lead an interactive exercise on ‘Critical materials in the ICT sector’.

After coffee John Bachér of VTT will outline our current analysis of the supply chain in the ICT sector before the draft European Roadmaps for Substitution of Critical Raw Materials in the electronics and photonics sectors is described. This will be followed by a discussion on policy recommendations and a wrap up and closing session.

You can download a flyer for the workshop. The event is open to stakeholders from all parts of the electronics value chain with an interest in critical raw materials. To register today click here!

Once you have registered for this workshop, you must also register on the SEMICON Europa website as a visitor in order to gain access to the venue on the day.

Registration is free and funding may be available to support travel costs for SME participants. For more information contact the CRM_InnoNet secretariat.

If you are also interested in the latest advances in semiconductors and microelectronics then you may wish to extend your stay in Grenoble to attend the SEMICON meeting on 7 to 9 October.

The SEMICON Europa technology and business programme addresses the critical issues and challenges facing the microelectronics industries today and provides information, education, and guidance to boost innovation in the sector and speed products to market. In 2013 over 4000 industry experts, professionals and executives attended the event making SEMICON the biggest microelectronics industry event in Europe.

What is CRM_InnoNet?
The project is a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) funded under the European Commission’s FP7 programme that is creating an integrated community to drive innovation in the field of critical raw material substitution for the benefit of EU industry by:

  • Mapping critical raw material substitution options and policy initiatives
  • Developing a methodology for the prioritisation of applications which are under ‘threat’ and identifying opportunities
  • Elaborating a roadmap for the substitution of critical raw materials
  • Creating an Innovation Network as a dynamic, open and proactive platform for the entire stakeholder community
  • Preparing recommendations on future initiative ideas and suggested actions for policy makers

The European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials aims to play a major role in securing a sustainable supply of raw materials for Europe and has set itself an ambitious list of targets to achieve by 2020. CRM_InnoNet’s goals complement those of the EIP on Raw Materials and the project will seek to align its outputs with those of the EIP.

The CRM_InnoNet consortium is comprised of recognised and experienced key actors across the value chain of substitution of CRM representing academic, research and industry bodies of relevant sectors that will ensure a wide European coverage and high potential to engage other necessary players across the European Research Area (ERA).

Monday, 4 August 2014

BIO-TIC: Register now for ‘Bio Business’ Workshops

Registration for five 'bio-Business case' workshops organised by SusChem’s FP7 BIO-TIC project is now open. By participating in these workshops you can help shape the strategic agenda to boost the uptake of industrial biotechnology (IB) in Europe. In addition BIO-TIC has just released a series of videos that describe the project’s rationale and objectives and the IB business roadmaps that it is developing.

The BIO-TIC project is organising five 'bio-Business case' workshops during the Autumn of 2014. These events will look into five major product segments and applications of Industrial Biotechnology (IB) in Europe that promise significant potential for Europe’s industry and society by 2030.

The workshops are organised around the following topics:

Registration for all of the workshops is now open and can be accessed here via a dedicated website.

Knowledge exchange
With these workshops, the BIO-TIC project consortium aims to bring together industrial biotechnology end users (downstream) with technology providers (upstream), innovation agencies and decision makers to stimulate interconnected discussion and knowledge exchange platforms and processes.

The objective of the workshops is to:

  • Identify technological, non-technological and market hurdles for the uptake of industrial biotechnology in these sectors
  • Develop recommendations and solutions to overcome the identified hurdles
  • Contribute to the development, testing and fine-tuning of the BIO-TIC roadmaps
  • Bring together industrial biotechnology end users (downstream) with technology providers (upstream), innovation agencies and decision makers to stimulate interconnected discussion and knowledge exchange platforms and processes
  • Collect data to develop draft indicators to measure the socio-economic and environmental impact of IB and the use of renewables-based products in the European Union

BIO-TIC videos
Funded by the European Commission, BIO-TIC was launched in 2012, as an FP7 project, with the aim to establish an overview of the barriers to biotechnology innovation and propose solutions to overcome them.

BIO-TIC has now published a series of videos that explain the rationale and objectives of the project and the three roadmaps that it is developing.

In the first video Antoine Peeters, Manager for Industrial Biotechnology at EuropaBio, gives an overview of the BIO-TIC project; its main activities and current status; the business cases, the project’s anticipated impact and future actions. This video is embedded at the end of this blog

Pádraig Naughton, Cefic innovation manager, features in a video explaining Cefic's role in the BIO-TIC project and outlining how wider use of industrial biotechnology (IB) can help the chemical industry grow.

A major milestone in the BIO-TIC project is the development of three roadmaps: market, technological, and non-technological. The project has recently released the second draft versions of the roadmaps which can be downloaded from the project website.

Anna Saarentaus, Principal at Pöyry, talks about the market drivers related to the various product segments and gives an overview of the projected use of IB in Europe by 2030. This video gives a comprehensive overview of the market potential for industrial biotechnology and of the value chain composition and stakeholders in various product segments and is an excellent introduction to the market roadmap.

The technological roadmap aims to gain insight into the R&D related hurdles that are impeding the full realisation of Europe’s IB market potential in 2030. In addition, the roadmap seeks to set priorities in terms of R&D and other actions to overcome the R&D barriers. In the video introducing the technological roadmap Elsbeth Roelofs, Senior Business Consultant at TNO, gives an overview of the R&D hurdles in Industrial Biotechnology in Europe and explains how the BIO-TIC roadmaps can help to overcome them.

The non-technological roadmap aims to identify regulatory and non-technological hurdles that may inhibit innovation and prevent the realisation of the market and technological potential of IB. Furthermore, the non-technological roadmap seeks to propose solutions to these hurdles by confronting theory and practice. The non-technological roadmap is introduced in a video with Antoine Peeters of EuropaBio who gives an overview of the non-technological hurdles of IB and explains how the BIO-TIC roadmaps will contribute to further develop the non-technological opportunities for IB applications in Europe.

More information
Input from the market and experts in industry and research are critical to build a basis for the roadmaps and to ensure that actions are developed which best fit the needs of this sector.  SusChem, Cefic and the BIO-TIC partners welcome any comments on the current draft documents. You can submit comments via email.

For more information on the BIO-TIC project and the business-case workshops visit the project website or contact Pierre Barthélemy, Innovation Manager at Cefic.

Friday, 25 July 2014

SusChem Stakeholder Interviews from #SusChem10

A new video of interviews from the 2014 SusChem Stakeholder event in mid June has just been published (see below). The video outlines SusChem’s rationale, vision, achievements and future goals.

Since it launch in 2004, SusChem has made many significant achievements - including the initiation of projects worth more than € 1.5 billion in FP7, its visionary flagship projects such as the Smart Energy Home, the F3 Factory and Integrated Biorefinery, and more recently the launch of two large Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) under Horizon 2020 : SPIRE and the BBI JTI.

The video features interviews with Clara de la Torre of the European Commission, Gernot Klotz of Cefic, Peter Nagler from Evonik and Louis Neltner of Solvay. The short video covers topics such as SusChem’s role in tackling societal challenges, the role of PPPs, and how Horizon 2020 will help accelerate innovation in Europe.

SusChem’s vision is for a competitive and innovative Europe where sustainable chemistry and biotechnology together provide solutions for future generations.

For more information on SusChem activities and the new SusChem SIRA contact Jacques Komornicki, SusChem Coordinator at Cefic. The SusChem website is at

EFIB2014 hosts BIO-TIC Building Block Workshop

The Seventh European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology (IB) and the Biobased Economy (EFIB2014) takes place in Reims, France from 30 September to 2 October and will be one of the events of the year on the exciting and rapidly developing European sustainable biobased economy scene. And SusChem FP7 project BIO-TIC will be contributing with a special workshop on biobased chemical building blocks.

The agenda for EFIB2014 is now confirmed with over 15 countries represented on the conference programme and plenary highlights including debate on the policy agenda for the European bioeconomy, sessions on future feedstocks including what the shale gas boom might mean for Europe's transition to a biobased economy, and opportunities to help define the value chain for a selection of biobased materials. A closing panel session will define opportunities for improving the sustainability profile of industrial production.

EFIB2014 takes place in association with IAR, EuropaBio and Smithers Rapra and will build on the success of EFIB2013.

Chemical Building Blocks
BIO-TIC’s workshop will debate what we need to do to build the foundations for the biobased chemicals industry in Europe. In 2013, the demand for biobased chemical building blocks in the EU was estimated at € 1 billion. By 2030 this is estimated to grow to between € 4.8 and 10.4 billion.

Despite the significant societal, environmental and economic advantages associated with using biobased chemical building blocks, many hurdles exist to their full implementation. These hurdles must be addressed to realise the full market potential for biobased chemical building blocks in the EU and include:

  • Securing a large enough supply of feedstock and at a price which is economically attractive compared to elsewhere in the world.
  • Uncertain definitions, for example for waste, hinder the exploitation of novel and cheap waste streams.
  • Lack of political support for chemical building blocks production, resulting in a lack of confidence from investors and users.
  • Uncertainty surrounding the potential impact of the increasing appetite for shale gas.

The BIO-TIC workshop takes place on the afternoon of 1 October at EFIB2014 and will verify that the hurdles already identified within the project are relevant and will develop concrete and actionable solutions to overcome them. The project focuses on the following chemical building blocks: 3HPA, succinic acid, PDO, furfural, and isoprene as the chemical building blocks that have the highest potential for deployment in the EU.

The workshop will seek to answer the key questions surrounding the production and use of chemical building blocks in Europe, including:

  • Should the EU focus on a broad chemical building block portfolio or should it reap the benefits from its strong R&D base and the current developments in favour of shale gas to develop a competitive advantage in biomass derived aromatics and C3/C4 chemicals?
  • Should the EU focus on improving existing technologies, fine and speciality chemicals where quality is crucial or focus on developing completely new technologies? 
  • Is it feasible or desirable to develop an internationally harmonised framework to allow international trade in biobased chemical building blocks?
  • How do we improve the cost-competitiveness of EU chemical building blocks production?
  • Should we introduce a specific mandate for bio-based chemicals in the EU or would tax incentives or infrastructure grants be more effective?
For more information on EFIB2014, including how to register, visit the conference website.

What is BIO-TIC?
BIO-TIC is a three year project, funded by the European Commission, which aims to identify the hurdles to IB and to develop solutions to overcome them, thereby unlocking the massive potential for this key technology in Europe. The project focuses on five product groups which have significant potential for Europe and which have the potential to introduce cross-cutting technology ideas. These product groups are:

  • Biobased chemical building blocks 
  • Bioplastics (PHA and PLA)
  • Biosurfactants
  • Advanced biofuels
  • CO2 based chemicals

Based on these business cases, the project is developing three in-depth “bio-roadmaps”. These will focus on the market potential, R&D priorities and non-technological hurdles of IB innovation. In particular, the market roadmap will provide market projections up to 2030. The technology roadmap will focus on setting R&D priorities and identifying needs for pilot and demonstration of plant activities. Last but not least, the non-technological barriers roadmap will identify regulatory and non-technological hurdles that may inhibit industrial biotech innovation reaching new market opportunities. The second draft versions of the roadmaps are already online while the final version will be released in July 2015.

All the BIO-TIC roadmaps, can be downloaded from the BIO-TIC Partnering Platform and for more information about the BIO-TIC FP7 project website.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Who is Europe’s Most Innovative CTO?

Who is the most innovative European technology leader you know? Spinverse Ltd. and EIRMA, the European Industrial Research Management Association, have launched this year's quest for Europe's Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Year. And they are looking for your nominations.

The CTO of the Year award is designed to highlight the role of the most prominent leaders of technology-based growth, promoting innovations to renew European industry and boosting Europe’s competitive advantage. The winner does not have to be CTO by title, however, he or she must be responsible for technology and its development in their company. The competition is based on an open call for nominations, across industry sectors and across Europe.
The award will be given to the most innovative technology leader, bringing significant value to their company’s growth through technology. An inspiring team-builder and a leader, he or she must be a passionate communicator of the benefit of technology to all stakeholders in an understandable way. The company represented by him or her will have an innovative and competitive - or an exciting, emerging - technology-enabled offering in Europe and globally.

As Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission says: "Europe needs to celebrate those who advance technology and innovate. Initiatives like the ‘CTO of the Year award’ are very welcome as they lead to role models and further strengthen innovation in Europe."

More information
For more information, visit Nominations are open until August 24th. You can also follow the award on Twitter at @CTO_Europe.

Friday, 11 July 2014

SusChem: The Story So Far

As part of our 10 year anniversary celebrations an extended video on the how, what and why of SusChem has been produced. Featuring a host of SusChem personalities that have been involved in SusChem over its first 10 years, the video covers the launch of the platform, its challenges, how we work together and its key achievements so far. The video then goes to look at the new Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA), our PPPS (SPIRE and the BBI JTI), the platform's future aspirations and, most importantly, how you can get involved with our activities now. Enjoy! 

Happy Birthday SusChem!

You can download an executive summary of the draft SusChem SIRA here.

To find our more about SusChem and its activities visit our website or contact Jacques Kormonicki, the SusChem coordinator at Cefic. Join us today!