Friday, 5 May 2017

Are you the Most Innovative European Biotech SME?

SusChem founding partner EuropaBio is inviting small and medium sized biotech companies (SMEs) across Europe to apply for the 8th edition of its Most Innovative European Biotech SME Award: a unique annual initiative recognising biotech innovation and its contribution to society. SMEs interested in entering the competition are invited to apply by 26 June 2017 via the awards dedicated website.

Three categories are available for entry: healthcare, agricultural or industrial biotechnology. Applications must be submitted online at biotechSMEawards.eu by close of business on 26 June and two companies will be shortlisted in each category by a jury of biotech experts.

The winners will be celebrated during a landmark event for SMEs to held in early October. Each winner will also receive a €10 000 prize and two years free membership of EuropaBio.

In order to be considered for the EuropaBio SME awards a company must qualify as an SME under the standard EU SME definition: the company's primary location of operations must be within Europe, it must employ 250 or less staff, and its annual turnover must be €50 million or less.

Why SMEs?
According to the European Commission, “small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Europe's economy. They represent 90% of all businesses in the EU. In the past five years, they have created around 85% of new jobs and provided two-thirds of the total private sector employment in the EU.” 

In other words, SMEs matter and their leaders in innovation should be recognised and rewarded.

Biotech exemplifies the way in which science and scientific breakthroughs can be applied to respond to society’s current challenges. From new therapies that can address unmet medical needs and fight epidemics and rare diseases, to industrial processes that use renewable feedstocks instead of crude oil, to drought-resistant crops that allow farmers around the world to feed more people under unpredictable climatic conditions, biotechnology pays significant economic, social and environmental dividends.

The awards have become one of the main initiatives in the European biotech calendar, with almost 200 SMEs competing over the years. The success stories from previous winners can be read online at biotechSMEawards.eu.

The jury
The expert jury are all involved in biotech and understand the science, the funding realities and the regulatory and political frameworks in which European biotech SMEs operate. They appreciate the potential of innovation and SMEs for Europe’s future, and they will carefully analyse each application to select the nominees. The jury includes:
  • Peter Heinrich, Chairman of German national biotech association BIO Deutschland and Managing Director of Sinfonie Life Science Management GmbH, Planegg.
  • Frank Bulens, member of the Management Committee and Board of Directors of Capricorn Venture Partners. He is active in diagnostics, therapeutics and medical devices as well as digital health-tech for the various Capricorn funds that are investing in these areas.
  • John Brennan, the new Secretary General of EuropaBio, who takes up his post from 19 June 2017, with over 25 years’ experience both on the regulatory and the industrial sides of the healthcare industry.
Further jury members will be announced before the summer.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Water in the Circular Economy: Innovations for Urban Water Treatment

The FP7 project R3Water (Reuse, Recovery and Resource Efficiency: Innovations in Urban wastewater treatment) will be holding its final conference on 30 May 2017 in Brussels. The conference will provide participants with detailed information on the innovations for urban water treatment developed in the project.

The final R3Water project conference entitled ‘Water in the circular economy – innovations for urban water treatment’ will take place from 10:00 on 30 May 2017 at the Representation of the State of Hessen to the EU, 21 Rue Montoyer, 1000 Brussels.

As well as presentations related to the developments made during R3Water, several keynote speakers will give insights on the reuse of water, resource recovery and resource efficiency in urban waste water treatment.



More about R3Water
The R3Water project was funded under the European Commission’s FP7 programme and started in January 2014 for 42 months with a budget of EUR 7.8 million.

Wastewater treatment plants are usually regarded as facilities to avoid emissions from wastewater. Current research and development shows that these plants can be converted and upgraded into production units to provide energy, nutrients, water for re-use and possibly other valuable outputs. This is achieved by improved resource efficiency in the plant as well as through the use of new technologies and business models that allow the re-use of resources from the incoming water.

The main objective of the R3Water project is to demonstrate solutions that support this transition from a treatment plant for urban wastewater to a production unit for different valuable products.

The project consortium, coordinated by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, brings together 12 technological partners from seven European countries.

More information about the R3Water project can be found on the project website and in its brochure.

Friday, 28 April 2017

'Industry Water: From Single Use to Integrated Management' Workshop

On 20 April, the WssTP and SusChem European Technology Platforms jointly hosted a successful and well-attended workshop on ‘Industry water: from single use to integrated management’ in Brussels.


The workshop succeeded in gathering challenges and perspectives on the management of smart industrial water reuse and featured contributions from the European Commission and the sector made by both “problem owners” and “solution providers”, and with a final insight on the holistic and systemic structure (Smart Governance and Digital Water) which addressed the challenges for discovering and exploiting the true Value of Water as highlighted in the WssTP Vision document.

For WssTP the Value of Water highlights the crucial role of water for our economy, industry, society, nature and citizens and foresees a future digitally connected water-smart society that works with waters of different qualities that are appropriate to their use.

SusChem sees fresh water as a scarce resource and a critical element for sustainable development of society. Water is a priority area for SusChem and it is pursuing specific topics with the overall aim of decoupling economic growth from actual water use.

Outputs for action 
The workshop produced tangible outputs through a final parallel breakout session that developed and proposed content, gaps, strengths and needs of the four pillars of the Value of Water vision:

  • Modelling and Analysis
  • Big Data
  • Smart Governance, and 
  • Sensor Networks.

This final session built the basis for an action plan to bring the outcomes of the workshop to the European Innovation Partnership for Water (EIP Water) Conference, which will be held in the city of Porto in the week of 25 September 2017. A group of participants from the workshop will support the further development of the outputs for final presentation at the EIP Water Conference. A list of action derived from the joint workshop will drive the content of a follow-up workshop that will take place during the EIP Water Conference.


The outputs and challenges identified for each pillar of the Value of Water are briefly described below:

Sensor Networks
Sensor development provides a unique opportunity for enhancing the Value of Water. Advanced sensor development is required to ensure continuous understanding and control of water quality. Handling of dynamic water systems requires advanced sensors. Full implementation, reliable operation costs and maintenance are important.

Big Data
Identifying the value of the water system in generating and creating data is central to its economic value. The creation of a resilient basis for cyber security and privacy legislation is necessary, as no holistic overview currently exists. Links between data silos and pockets of data should be established and prioritized.

Modelling and Analysis
Many models for enhancing water management exist in academia or within RTOs. But these methodologies need to be brought into context before moving to the next pilot phase. It is necessary to identify models and tailor them to the requirements of users in order to develop more efficient  water systems, while observing the interactions and implications.
 
Smart Governance
Smart governance models vary from region to region. The selection process for an appropriate governance design requires extensive consideration. Education and communication is crucial for its successful understanding and implementation.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact the WssTP secretariat.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

SusChem 2017 Registration - Lets do it!

Our most influential annual event – the SusChem Stakeholder event – is now open for registration. The 2017 event takes place on 8 June at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Brussels and will bring together global audiences, senior players from the chemical industry, academia, research technology organisations (RTOs) and EU institutions to address common challenges and debate priorities crucial to the sustainability of the European chemical and biotechnology innovation sectors. This year’s theme is ‘Accelerating innovation and impact in Europe: Shaping expectations and priorities for the next EU Framework Programme’.

Registration is easy. Cefic Innovation manager and member of the SusChem secretariat show you how the registration launch happened - and how to sign up for the sustainable chemistry event of the year!


Thursday, 13 April 2017

Registration for SusChem Stakeholder event 2017 is open!

Our most influential annual event – the SusChem Stakeholder event – is now open for registration. The 2017 event takes place on 8 June at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Brussels and will bring together global audiences, senior players from the chemical industry, academia, research technology organisations (RTOs) and EU institutions to address common challenges and debate priorities crucial to the sustainability of the European chemical and biotechnology innovation sectors. This year’s theme is ‘Accelerating innovation and impact in Europe: Shaping expectations and priorities for the next EU Framework Programme’.


In the morning plenary presentations will be given by Peter Droell, Director at DG Research and Innovation for Industrial Technologies and Dr. Klaus Sommer, Chairman of the SusChem Board and the SusChem communications team will also present the SusChem rebranding project.

Breakout sessions
Participants will then split into three parallel breakout workshops. There will be two sessions held either side of the morning coffee break and delegates will be asked to select two of the three topics at registration.

The three breakout session topics are:

  • Defining success factors for EU funded projects to optimise innovation impact and value for Europe How can we maximise the market uptake and impact of EU funded project results by examining success learnings from projects? Exemplary projects will share relevant success factors and critical learnings and all stakeholders will have an opportunity to share their views on collaborative projects and how they can be designed to optimise impact.
  • SME’s as a driver of the EU innovation ecosystems: How can we stimulate market-creating innovation through SME funding? Chemical and biotechnology SMEs are key enablers of innovation. This breakout session will try to identify the right mechanisms and ways to enhance their engagement in European public funding.  The session will examine current policies drivers, funding requirements and barriers to the commercialisation of SME innovation.
  • Shaping funding instruments to accelerate innovation and competitiveness in Europe Competitiveness relies on the capacity to create added value.  In this breakout session we will examine the strengths and weaknesses of the design and structure of EU innovation funding instruments by sharing experiences with Horizon 2020. Together, we will identify a short list of ideas and recommendations for the EU Commission in the evolution and design of the next EU Framework Programme.

FP9 debate
After lunch SusChem stakeholders will receive updates from our National Research Platform (NTP) network and feedback from the breakout sessions before a high-level panel discussion that will examine how to accelerate innovation and deliver impact in the upcoming Framework Funding Programme (FP9).

The panel will be moderated by Cefic Director General Marco Mensink and will feature contributions from Prof. Michael Matlosz, President and Chief Executive Officer of the French National Research Agency (ANR), Cosimo Franco, CEO of Endura, Angels Orduña, the SPIRE PPP Executive Director, Ulrich Kuesthardt, SusChem Board Member and CIO at Evonik, and Kurt Vandenberghe, Director for Policy Development and Coordination at DG Research and Innovation.

Following a summing up of the day’s activities and outcomes, the SusChem Stakeholder event 2017 will conclude – as ever – with a networking cocktail reception.

For more details, please visit the event website or register direct by clicking here. In the meantime why not catch up with the highlights of the 2016 SusChem Stakeholder event!



Tuesday, 11 April 2017

VERAM holds Expert Workshop on future of European raw materials research

On Tuesday 13 June 2017, the Horizon 2020 project VERAM (Visionand Roadmap for European Raw Materials) is holding a workshop to explore opportunities and develop solutions which will help shape the landscape of European raw materials research and innovation towards 2050. The event will take place in Brussels. SusChem is a partner in VERAM and you are invited to participate, but places are limited so don't miss this opportunity to have your say on the future of raw materials research and innovation!

VERAM is a unique coordination project that links two European Technology Platforms (ETPs) in minerals and forestry and two European Research Areas (ERA-NETs). And SusChem is involved too. With a total budget of €1.4 million to be implemented over a period of 30 months, the project kicked off in December 2015 and will complete its work by 31 May 2018.

The VERAM project is working to produce a Vision and Roadmap for European Raw Materials to 2050 based on the coordination of raw materials research and innovation. At the heart of this collaboration are two of our fellow ETPs: ETP SMR on Sustainable Minerals Resources and FTP (Forest Technology Platform). They are supported in their efforts by the ECTP (European Construction Technology Platform) represented by UniversitĂ  Politecnica dells Marche - UNIVPMEuMaT (Advanced Materials ETP) represented by Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek - VITO, and by SusChem represented by the European Chemical Industry Council - Cefic.

In addition the ERA-NETs WoodWisdomNet (represented in the project by Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe – FNR – from Germany) and ERA‐Min (represented by the French National Centre for Scientific Research – CNRS) will link to national research funding activities and four well-known research institutes - D’Appolonia SPA from Italy, Germany's Forschunszentrum Juelich - FZ Juelich, Fundacion Technalia Research and Innovation - Tecnalia from Spain, and Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy - VTT from Finland - complete the partnership.

The VERAM Experts' Workshop takes place on 13 June at the Orega - EU District, Rue du Commerce 123, 1000 Brussels from 10:00 to 16:00 and will gather information, ideas and opinions from expert stakeholders to develop a solid Research and Innovation Roadmap for European Raw Materials.