Friday, 18 May 2018

Why Horizon Europe?

On 2 May 2018, the European Commission announced the proposed budget of EUR 100 billion and the name of the next EU Research & Innovation Framework Programme for 2021-2027: Horizon Europe. But why the name? European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, explained the rationale behind the new name in a recent blog.

Names are important and the name of the next Research and Innovation Framework Programme, provisionally titled FP9, will be Horizon Europe. Carlos Moedas explains the thinking behind the new brand:
Horizon, because our brand means excellence. Over the past few years, the name "Horizon 2020" has sent a clear message across the globe: excellence. We have built a global reputation as a world leader in research and innovation programming, and it is for this reason that we believe the successor to Horizon 2020 should capitalise on this strong brand name. With Horizon Europe, we are enacting an evolution not a revolution. Building on the success of the past is putting our best foot forward for the future."
"Europe, because we are proud of our collective strength. In Europe, as we face a period of poly-crises – economic, political and social – EU added value is important, now more than ever. Individually as Member States we are strong, but together as 27 our research and innovation potential is untold. The name "Horizon Europe" also speaks to our pride, because our Union is something we should be infinitely proud of. Too often we focus on the negative at a time when we should be celebrating our achievements. But with this new name we usher in an era of shouting about the EU as a success story.”
Above all, by bestowing the name Horizon Europe on the next framework programme, we are bridging the past and the future of research and innovation in Europe.

Next steps
What are the next steps? The Commission is due to publish an official proposal for Horizon Europe, containing a full budget breakdown, on June 7. When this proposal has been adopted by the Commission, several months of tough negotiations with the Council and the European Parliament will commence before the adoption and launch of Horizon Europe on 1 January 2021.

SusChem will continue to contribute positively to the Horizon Europe process and discussion that has been a very collaborative and co-creative exercise so far.

That discussion will continue at the SusChem 2018 Stakeholder event on 20 June. Register now to make your voice heard!

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Spotlight on Advanced Process Technologies at #SusChem2018

Join us at the 2018 SusChem Stakeholder Event - #SusChem2018 - your number one destination for innovation policy dialogue and debate this summer. The 2018 Stakeholder event takes place at the Thon Hotel City Centre in Brussels on 20 June 2018 and will give you the opportunity to voice your priorities and help define SusChem’s input into the next EU Framework Funding Programme: Horizon Europe.

This year’s theme is "The Future of Research & Innovation in Europe: Defining Technology Priorities for Sustainable Growth" and will bring together global audiences, senior players from the chemical industry, academia, research technology organisations (RTOs) and EU institutions to address common innovation challenges and debate priorities crucial to the sustainability of the European chemical and biotechnology sectors.

At the event Stakeholder input will be collected through two carefully designed parallel breakout sessions: one on Advanced Materials and the other on Advanced Process Technologies. Input from both sessions will contribute to our future strategic research and innovation agenda beyond 2020.

Spotlight on Advanced Process Technologies
Advanced Process Technology developments are crucial to the transition to a more circular, energy efficient, and carbon neutral industry and feature at #SusChem2018. Watch our social spotlight video 'MAKE' on Advanced Processes with Sophie Wilmet from the SusChem Management Team:

Watch out for future Social Spotlights on Advanced Materials (CREATE) and Digital Technologies (LEVERAGE).

SusChem speakers
Our keynote speakers include; Jean-Eric Paquet, Director-General – Directorate Research and Innovation (RTD), EU Commission; Joanna Dupont-Inglis, Director of Industrial Biotechnology at EuropaBio, and SusChem Board Member; Markus Steilemann, Chief Commercial Officer & Member of Management Board, Covestro and Chair of the SusChem Board; and Marco Mensink, Director General of Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council.

Register today for a chance to define the technology priorities needed to shape Europe’s sustainable future. You can download a full list of speakers here.

See you at #SusChem2018!

Thursday, 3 May 2018

KETs 4.0 in Horizon Europe

On 24 April 2018, the Commission’s High Level Group on Industrial Technologies released its Re-finding industry – Defining Innovation report, which makes recommendations on EU research and innovation priorities for industry in the next funding programme (FP9, now named Horizon Europe). A preliminary version of the report was released to coincide with EU Industry Days event in February 2018.

The European Commission appointed the High-level Strategy Group on Industrial Technologies to assess, discuss, and recommend support for research and innovation in the area of Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) – and area of intense interest for SusChem.

The report proposes two new KETs: artificial intelligence, and security and connectivity. The group also advises that, while biotechnology should be broadened to “life sciences”, the EU has to continue to prioritise advanced manufacturing technologies, advanced materials and nanotechnologies, micro-/nano-electronics and photonics.

With the right level of ambition and investment, KETs will contribute to support growth and democracy through stronger citizens’ engagement, and prosperity through more equality and better jobs.

Industry innovation
Pierre Barthelemy, Cefic executive director for innovation said: “Cefic welcomes the recommendations of the HLG to have digitalisation integrated into the KETs, in order to advance processes technologies, materials development and new business model creation.”

In this report, the HLG acknowledges a strong EU economy requires a strong industry. Economic growth should be coupled with manufacturing and service. “If Europe wants to be strong in manufacturing, we will need innovation and a new industry policy that gives high priority to KETs,” concluded Barthelemy.

KETs enable cross-sectorial industrial application and are instrumental in addressing societal challenges. The HLG recommends – in view of the Digital transformation and upcoming Horizon Europe / FP9 Framework programme – the following changes for KETs:

KETs conference
KETs will be discussed at the upcoming conference on “The Role of Key Enabling Technologies for Europe’s Competitiveness” organised by , the Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the European Union, the German chemical industry association (VCI) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI) on Tuesday, 15 May 2018, from 15:30 to 18:30.

The event will take place at the Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the European Union, Rue Jacques de Lalaing 8-14, 1040 Brussels. Prior registration is compulsory for this event.

Commission proposes R&I Budget Boost for Horizon Europe (FP9)

On 2 May 2018 the European Commission published its proposal for the European Union’s next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) covering the period 2021-2027. You can find details of the proposed MFF here.

Despite the potential financial consequences of the departure of the UK from the EU, the Commission has proposed an increase in the budget for Research and Innovation activities to EUR 97.9 billion EUR for the next Research Framework Programme 2021-2027 provisionally named FP9 and now officially entitled ‘Horizon Europe’. Horizon Europe will be the EU’s biggest ever research and innovation funding programme.

The reasoning behind the naming of  'Horizon Europe' is explained by Commissioner Carlos Moedas here.

Funding for research and innovation and for the ERASMUS programme are the only budget lines being increased compared with the current MFF. This proposal will now be subject to extensive discussions within and between the Commission and the European Council and European Parliament.

Chemical Industry positive
The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) reacted positively to the proposal, commending the level of ambition and commitment for Research & Innovation in the European Commission’s proposal

Increasing the budget foreseen for Horizon Europe sends a clear message: Europe wants to continue to be one of the leading continents in a global innovation race.

Innovation is essential for the EU to grow a low carbon, circular and digital economy and to continue generating jobs and attracting investments. Cefic will be happy to work with the EU institutions to ensure that funding will be used to further strengthen Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) to develop high value-added products and processes.

Marco Mensink, Cefic Director General said: “This ambitious funding for research and innovation under the MFF is a good start. It shows that the European Commission is serious about making the EU a global innovation hub – a vision that we hope the Council and the European Parliament can only support”.

Sustainable KETs
In preparation for Horizon Europe, SusChem has outlined its position on what can be achieved by Key Enabling Technologies (KETs). In a White paper on KETs and FP9/ Horizon Europe published earlier this year the technology platform outlined 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, and
  • Leverage Digital Technologies for use in advanced process control and materials modelling, to enable disruptive business models and to create new customer experiences.

You can read the full paper here.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

VERAM Final Conference showcases 2050 Roadmap for Raw Materials

The Final Conference of the VERAM Horizon2020 project took place in Brussels on 17 April 2018. This project brought together diverse stakeholders – including five European Technology Platforms (ETPs): Sustainable Minerals Resources, Forest, Construction, Sustainable Chemistry and Advanced Materials – to produce a medium-term (2030) Vision and a longer-term (2050) Strategic Research and Innovation Roadmap for raw materials. The conference discussed the work of the project, its methodologies and its results including the report ‘Research and Innovation Roadmap: A Sustainable and Competitive Future for European Raw Materials’.

The VERAM approach covered all raw materials: both the biotic (for example forestry & natural rubber) value chain and the metal, minerals and aggregates value chain. It looked to reinforce and underpin greater sustainability, economic resilience and technology leadership in the EU. The Vision 2030-2050 sees increased EU production to ensure a base load supply of materials, development of globally competitive sustainable technologies, investment both in and outside Europe to ensure access to resources, the creation of new jobs across the raw materials sector, and contributing to the replacement of jobs lost in other parts of the economy and through automation. It was clear that there will remain a need for primary material resources despite the expected transition to a more circular economy.
Four priorities, 178 action areas
Four priority areas were identified and form the core of the Roadmap considerations:
  1. Fostering a sustainable supply of raw materials to feed new and existing value chains
  2. Resource-efficient processing for raw materials
  3. Raw materials in new products and applications, and
  4. Closing material loops by maximising the recycling of products, buildings and infrastructure.
The VERAM roadmap includes analysis of the five ETPs’ Strategic Innovation and Research Agendas (SIRAs), the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials SIRA, public consultations and workshops.

The project also had established an inventory of current Member State, EU and global raw materials policies and R&D funding calls and had surveyed EU Member State funding bodies with 13 Member States providing insights. The inventory database is available on the VERAM web portal.

This highly inclusive process resulted in the formulation of some 178 Research & Innovation Areas (RIAs) across the four identified priorities. Remarkably within the RIAs over 50% overlapped between the two categories of raw materials: biotic on one side and metals, minerals and aggregates on the other side.

Multiple speakers at the final conference applauded the work of the project; not least the integration of diverse input from such a wide range of major stakeholder highlighting the importance of raw materials issues to European competitiveness, jobs and growth. However, it was also noted that the sectors needed to do more to integrate societal interests.

This JRC video shows how lack of raw materials could inhibit the low carbon economy.

Wide dissemination
It is now vital that the results of the project are disseminated as widely as possible to ensure the recommendations and ideas are brought to fruition as soon as possible. The report will be presented to funding authorities at European, national and regional levels, including initiatives such as the BioBased Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) and the Sustainable Process Industries for Resource and Energy efficiency (SPIRE) PPP, to ensure inclusion of VERAM ideas in forthcoming research and innovation calls.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

BBI JU announces € 115 million of funding boost for the EU Biobased Industries

The BioBased Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) has just announced its fifth Call under Horizon 2020: H2020-BBI-JTI-2018. With a total budget of € 115 million, the 2018 Call is built around four strategic orientations: Feedstock, Process, Products, and Market uptake. This new Call moves away from a strict biomass feedstock ‘push’ approach based on historic value chains, towards a demand for biomass that enables processing in order to respond adequately to a ‘pull’ from end markets.

A total of 21 topics are included in the 2018 Call with 11 Research and Innovation Action (RIA) topics, 3 Coordination and Support Actions (CSA) and 7 Innovation Actions (5 DEMOs and 2 Flagships) while novel eligibility criteria have also been introduced.

BBI JU’s current project portfolio is well-balanced across the types of actions deployed, relevant value chains and has achieved an excellent SME participation of 38%. Like previous BBI JU Calls, the 2018 Call respects the Horizon 2020 principles of openness, transparency and excellence.

Commenting on the 2018 Call launch Philippe Mengal, BBI JU Executive Director said: "All of us in BBI JU, together with our founding partners the European Commission and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) are proud to see the development and the geographical spread of the projects covering all corners of our continent. Every Call is a step closer towards the creation of EU’s biobased sector and it is exciting to see sectors such as the primary one to start developing such a strong interest and presence on the field. This is a clear indication that more actors see the potential, the creation of a sustainable and competitive bio-based sector has for Europe and its citizens".

More information
Details of the BBI JU Call for proposals 2018 can be found here. The deadline for submission of proposals to the BBI JU 2018 Call is 6 September 2018 at 17:00 CET.

More information about the 2018 Call will be provided during the BBI JU Info Day on 17 April in Brussels. The morning sessions will provide information about the BBI JU initiative and all aspects of the Call process. While in the afternoon participants will have the opportunity to hold face-to-face meetings in a brokerage/ partnering session.

Registration for the Info Day is now closed, but the event will be web-streamed and the link will be made available online on 16 April via the BBI JU website.

The BioBased Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) is a €3.7 billion Public-Private Partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC). Operating under Horizon 2020, this EU body is driven by a Vision and Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) developed by the industry. The initiative is a direct result of SusChem activities.

The BBI JU is dedicated to realising the European bioeconomy potential and contributing to a sustainable circular economy, by turning biological residues and wastes (from agro-food, forestry and municipal) into greener everyday products, through innovative technologies and biorefineries, which are at the heart of the bioeconomy.

The BBI JU is the largest and most ambitious initiative in the EU to develop competitive and sustainable biobased industries. The ambition that drove its creation was to bring about the systemic change needed to develop a European biobased industry allowing investment to remain in Europe: creating new jobs and providing clear value for all EU citizens.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

UN Global Chemical Leasing Award

In January 2018, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) launched the Global Chemical Leasing Award 2018, which will take place on 6 November in Vienna, Austria.  The award will be part of the Green Chemistry Conference 2018 within the Trio Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) programme, “Smart and Sustainable Europe”, to be held during Austria’s EU Presidency.

Companies and individuals are invited to submit applications to the Global Chemical Leasing Award 2018 award under three categories:
  • Case studies (implementation in companies) that is open to users and suppliers of chemicals. To be eligible for application, the company must have already started to implement Chemical Leasing concepts.
  • Special innovation for case studies with technical solutions that have demonstrated the potential to define a new state of the art for a certain use of chemicals (i.e. Circular economy, non-tox-solution, etc.), and also including Start-ups, implemented business plans, etc.
  • Research and development activities including new products, new processes, patents, business concepts papers, lectures, curricula, etc. that drive adoption of Chemical Leasing forward. Possible topics are widespread and could address Green and Sustainable Chemistry, Sustainable Industrial Parks, Sustainable Cities, but also business management and legal issues, etc.
The 2018 award is jointly sponsored and supported by UNIDO, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism (BMNT), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), and the German Environment Agency (UBA).

The deadline for the applications is on 15 August 2018. You can find all the information in the awards webpage or download a leaflet on the award here.

What is Chemical Leasing?
Chemical Leasing is a service-oriented business model that shifts the focus from increasing sales volume of chemicals towards a value-added approach. The producer mainly sells the functions performed by the chemical and functional units are the main basis for payment.

Within Chemical Leasing business models, the responsibility of the producer and service provider is extended and may include management of the entire life cycle.

Chemical Leasing strives for a win-win situation. It aims at increasing the efficient use of chemicals while reducing the risks of chemicals and protecting human health. It improves the economic and environmental performance of participating companies and enhances their access to new markets.

Key elements of successful Chemical Leasing business models are appropriate benefit sharing, high quality standards and mutual trust between participating companies. See the UNIDO video below.

For more information about Chemical Leasing, please visit the UNIDO Chemical Leasing website and become part of the Chemical Leasing Community on Facebook  and on LinkedIn where you can read their latest article: ‘Chemical Leasing – The Solution to Managing Chemicals Sustainably: 12 Things You Need to Know'.