Friday, 19 September 2014

The KETs Manifesto

With a new intake of MEPs at the European Parliament and Team Junckers in the process of confirmation as the new European Commission, the High Level Expert Group on Key Enabling Technologies (HLG KETs) has launched a new manifesto. The document underlines the vital role of KETs as the cornerstone of a European industrial renaissance.

The members of the HLG, including SusChem representatives, see an integrated KETs-based industrial policy as an essential element to enable the re-industrialisation of Europe.

The KETs Manifesto calls on politicians and policy-makers to support KETs and give a high priority to an integrated KETs innovation and manufacturing policy that can stimulate jobs and growth in the European Union. The document states that a market pull can be created by ensuring a systematic use of EU KETs to meet Europe’s societal challenges including the use of public procurement to accelerate market uptake.

Policies are needed that increase the confidence of both the public and investors in new technologies and that address barriers to investment and implementation. Similarly policies must support the reduction of the skills gap in KETs-related industrial sectors in Europe.

Policy-makers are also called upon to support large-scale manufacturing initiatives undertaken in strategic European industrial domains.

Call for success
“We are calling on MEPs and all European policy-makers to give their full support to ensure the success of Europe’s industry, today and tomorrow,” said Dr. Gernot Klotz, SusChem board member and a member of the HLG.

KETs support the drive for jobs and growth in Europe. The global market volume for KETs-based products will be € 1000 billion by 2015 and could grow between 10 and 20% in the following decade.

Europe’s target of manufacturing achieving a 20% share of the EU’s total GDP by 2020 can only be achieved through a comprehensive development and deployment of KETs.

What are KETs?
Six KETs have been defined:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Advanced Materials
  • Industrial Biotechnology
  • Micro-Nanoelectronics
  • Nanotechnology
  • Photonics

These are all areas where SusChem has an active research and innovation agenda and a contribution to make and the chemicals sector enjoys a unique position in European industry able to deploy KETs into the products society needs and uses on a daily basis.

The selected KETs are areas where Europe has a strong knowledge base but needs to accelerate the translation of this world-beating knowledge into innovative products and service.

This means that Europe must continue the process of rebalancing policies towards enhanced technological research and innovation and must invest in KETs to boost Europe’s competitiveness and accelerate our industrial manufacturing renaissance.

The HLG KETs was initiated by the European Commission and includes representatives from key actors along strategic European value chains. You can find more information here.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Register for the EIP Water Conference

Registration for the EIP Water Conference 2014 is now open. The event takes place on Wednesday 5 November in Europe’s "iCapital" Barcelona. The programme includes numerous high-level speakers and thought-provoking sessions at this major water innovation conference. The EIP on Water’s annual conference has grown into Europe’s flagship event on water innovation within just a year!

The conference organisers are looking forward to the active involvement of delegates at the conference including participating in Q&A sessions, voting on innovative water solutions, and making the most of some excellent networking opportunities.

The programme also includes the launch of the CDP water programme's Global Water Report 2014, which analyses business understanding of water risk in the world’s largest listed corporations on behalf of 573 institutional investors representing in excess of US$60 trillion.

Places are limited at the EIP Water Conference 2014, so please register soon to avoid disappointment!

Full programme and visits
The EIP Water Conference 2014 is organised by the European Commission, with the support of the Municipality of Barcelona, the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Spanish Ministry for Economy and Competitiveness, and CETaqua / Agbar. As well as a full conference programme on 5 November there are also free-of-charge site visits in and around Barcelona on Thursday 6 November to innovative and state-of-the-art water facilities.

In addition, delegates will be able to interact with the 25 EIP Water Action Groups, WssTP, Water JPI and others significant water sector players in the conference exhibition area. And several organisations, including ZINNAE, the European Water Partnership (EWP) and the Portuguese Water Partnership, have scheduled back-to-back meetings which are open to Conference participants before or after the Conference.

Please do not hesitate to contact the EIP Water Secretariat for more information about the Conference or other activities of the platform.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Shaping the Future of Europe’s Materials Research & Innovation through a Value Chain Approach

To celebrate the end of a very successful FP7 project, the MatVal team will present its final findings and recommendations at its closing conference on September 30, 2014 in Bologna, Italy. The event will take place during the LETS (Leading Enabling Technologies for Societal Challenges) 2014 Conference organized by the European Commission and the Italian Presidency of the European Union

The LETS 2014 conference addresses how Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) can address the Societal Challenges facing Europe and bring about a new European Renaissance. The conference will focus on the potential use of nanotechnologies, advanced materials, advanced manufacturing, processing and biotechnology.

Closure and continuity
The Bologna MatVal workshop will be the public closure event of the MatVal project and a critical moment to discuss the achievements and the future actions Europe should take to ensure the continuity of the groundwork laid for the construction of a unified policy on Materials R&D. Specifically, Materials R&D as a real enabler of the European industrial renaissance through its promotion of jobs, growth and competitiveness. We believe this message is particularly relevant in the current transition from the old to new European legislature (EP and EU Commission). It is essential to ensure the continuity of dialogue between institutional representatives and the Materials community.

Gathering policymakers, R&D experts, material manufacturers and end users, the Bologna workshop will be an ideal place to hear about the key learnings from the MatVal project and an excellent forum to exchange and discuss ideas on how materials R&D in Europe can:

  • shift from a heavy research focus to a more innovation focus, 
  • be better clustered along the value chain, and  
  • create strong partnerships in the overall European materials community.

There will also be an open floor interactive panel discussion, gathering experts from different industry sectors and leading materials experts, where participants can make suggestions on what needs to be done to shape a more successful path to innovating in the field of materials.

For a complete overview of the workshop, you can download the draft agenda here.

To register for the workshop or to get more information about this event, please email Jacques Komornicki, Cefic Innovation Manager.

What is MatVal?
MatVal (a value chain approach to materials research & innovation) is an EU-funded FP7 project which was started in 2012 by the Alliance for Materials (A4M). A4M connects the main European materials community organizations and is developing a common strategy to speed-up the implementation of innovation in materials. SusChem is a member of A4M.

We look forward to seeing you on 30 September in Bologna!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

KARIM: Boosting EU SMEs' Competitiveness

The success of every small and medium sized enterprise (SME) is built on this premise: ‘Manage for today, lead for tomorrow’. Yet today’s economic context coupled with growing global competition has made it all the more challenging for Europe’s SMEs to survive let alone thrive. That’s why the support network developed by KARIM, an EU initiative set up in North West Europe, has been so instrumental.

On 2 October KARIM is organising its final conference that will provide innovation enthusiasts and practitioners fresh insights into ‘Responsible Innovation’, a new philosophy for sustainable growth and competitiveness that the EU is firmly supporting. This free event takes place in the Palais des Académies in central Brussels from 9h00 to 19h00.

Perspectives on Responsible Innovation
Set up to assist SMEs in North West Europe, KARIM has made a significant breakthrough in the innovation landscape by considering ‘responsibility’ from the perspective of those behind the project: entrepreneurs and researchers.

KARIM has just published a new guidance book, ‘Responsible Innovation in the context of the KARIM project’, which proves there is competitive advantage by innovating using new technology from universities in a way that considers the impact of innovation on society, groups within it and the environment. Such is the evidence that the EU has invested in KARIM to encourage wider adoption of responsible innovation. And it is a philosophy that SusChem fully supports.

Organised as a part of the European SME Week, that is taking place from 29 September to 5 October, this one-day event will showcase and evaluate the project’s achievements across three areas of activity:

  1. Knowledge base: Complementing the guidance on Responsible Innovation, the project has conducted transnational research to answer a series of questions related to SME and research laboratories international cooperation: How do SMEs build cooperation in KARIM regions, how do they prepare to go international, what is the available support in their jurisdictions? What is the role of spin-off in technology transfer in the several KARIM regions and their experiences in the technology transfer from academia to industry?
  2. Capacity building: In just over two years, KARIM has proven the value of transnational cooperation between academia and innovation support organisations to foster cross border partnerships between laboratories and SMEs. 
  3. SME support: KARIM provides transnational support to SMEs in order to enhance their involvement in European cooperation. This support builds on tools dedicated to business development managers, students with a collaborative placement scheme, SMEs responsible innovation diagnostic etc.

If you are interested in finding out more about responsible innovation and how it can shape the EU economic agenda, register online and join the debate!

KARIM is the Knowledge Acceleration and Responsible Innovation Meta-network. It aims to facilitate knowledge transfer across North West Europe (NWE), in six main fields:

  • ICT (Information & Communication Technologies)
  • Smart Energy Systems
  • Environmental Technologies
  • Eco-toxicology
  • Nano-bio Science & engineering
  • Bio-medical Technologies

KARIM is helping Europe to boost its future economic growth through innovation in products, services and business models: Europe needs to be better at turning research into new and better services and products if it is to remain competitive in the global marketplace and improve our quality of life.

KARIM is committed to sharing innovation and improving small and medium sized enterprises’ access to high value innovation support and technology in order to make NWE more competitive.

The KARIM project involves a consortium of universities, innovation support agencies, regional and national agencies and, crucially, business representative organisations. The project has created a strategic network of more than 500 innovation actors and provides a range of innovative yet practical offerings for all who share the vision of creating a more competitive Europe.

Actions under the KARIM programme are creating transnational support for innovation and technology transfer; providing SMEs access to a wider range of high quality technologies and innovation support than available locally; increasing the capacity of SMEs and universities to access and provide support transnationally; and reducing regional disparities in SME access to innovation support and technology.

The project is funded under the European Commission’s INTERREG IV B programme.

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.