Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Spotlight on Digital 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.These two technology areas are complimented by Digital Technologies and will also feature at #SusChem 2018.

Spotlight on Digital Technologies
The chemical industry is an enabler for the continuous development of smarter and more sustainable electronic devices and equipment in other industries. The chemical industry is itself being transformed and disrupted through digitalisation. We have a real opportunity to leverage the immense capabilities of information and communication technologies (ICT) to optimise our processes and improve our production efficiency. Watch our social spotlight video ‘LEVERAGE’ with Martin Winter from the SusChem Management Team.



Watch out for our other Social Media Spotlights on Advanced Materials (CREATE) and Advanced Processes (MAKE).

All three of these SusChem Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) featured in SusChem’s recent white paper on the potential for KETs in Horizon Europe. The white paper outlined the major technology developments and initiatives needed to ‘create’ advanced materials, ‘develop’ advanced process technologies and ‘leverage’ digital technologies.

Debate at #SusChem2018
All three SusChem KETs will be debated and discussed at #SusChem2018. Our keynote speakers include: Signe Ratso, Deputy 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.

Spotlight on Advanced Materials 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.
http://www.suschem.org/events/suschem-stakeholder-event-2018/breakout-sessions-52

Spotlight on Advanced Materials Technologies
Advanced material technologies enable breakthrough application development across a wide range of value chains. Innovative products can improve your quality of life and offer solutions to many societal and environmental challenges and will feature at #2018. Watch our social spotlight video ‘CREATE’ with Anne Chloé Devic from the SusChem Management Team.


Watch out for our other Social Media Spotlights on Advanced Processes (MAKE) and Digital Technologies (LEVERAGE).

All three of these SusChem Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) featured in SusChem’s recent white paper on the potential for KETs in Horizon Europe. The white paper outlined the major technology developments and initiatives needed to ‘create’ advanced materials, ‘develop’ advanced process technologies and ‘leverage’ digital technologies.

Debate at #SusChem2018
All three SusChem KETs will be debated and discussed at #SusChem2018. Our keynote speakers include: Signe Ratso, Deputy 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.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Horizon Europe detailed proposal for next EU R&I programme published

On 7 June 2018 the European Commission published the proposed structure of the European Union’s next Framework Research and Innovation Programme: Horizon Europe. The proposal makes it the largest European Union Research and Innovation programme to date with an estimated budget of approximately €100 billion for the period 2021 – 2027.

Horizon Europe is set to be the EU’s biggest ever research and innovation funding programme and is designed for greater impact. 


The proposed budget allocation of €100 billion for 2021-2027 includes €97.6 billion under Horizon Europe (€3.5 billion of which will be allocated under the InvestEU Fund) and €2.4 billion for the Euratom Research and Training Programme. The innovation window of InvestEU will allow the use of loans, guarantees, equity and other market-based instruments to mobilise further public and private investment in research and innovation.

The Commission says, and SusChem agrees, that investing in research and innovation is investing in Europe’s future: helping Europe to compete globally while preserving the region’s unique social model. It improves the daily lives of millions of European and global citizens and helps to solve some of our biggest societal challenges.

Horizon Europe aims to strengthen EU science and technology through increased investment in highly skilled people and cutting-edge research. It will foster the EU’s industrial competitiveness and its innovation performance, notably supporting market-creating innovation via the new European Innovation Council (EIC) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). And it will deliver on the EU’s strategic priorities, such as the Paris Agreement on climate change, and tackle global challenges that affect the quality of our daily lives.

What’s new?
There are several new elements in Horizon Europe. There will be increased support for breakthrough innovation through the EIC funding, mission-orientated research and innovation will deliver more and faster impact from project results and openness will be reinforced – an open science approach will be the norm. The programme will review and shape a new generation of European Partnerships in research and innovation and also look to simplify the rules for participation to reduce the administrative burden.

The structure of Horizon Europe will be based around three ‘pillars’: Open Science, Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness and Open Innovation.


The Open Science pillar, with €25.8 billion funding proposed, supports frontier research projects defined and driven by researchers themselves through the European Research Council (ERC) which will receive funding of €16.6 billion, funds fellowships and exchanges for researchers through Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions.

The Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness pillar with funding of €52.7 billion directly supports research relating to societal challenges, reinforces technological and industrial capacities, and sets EU-wide missions with ambitious goals tackling some of our biggest problems.

The Open Innovation pillar with €13.5 billion funding aims to make Europe a front runner
in market-creating innovation via the European Innovation Council (€10 billion of funding). It will help develop the overall European innovation landscape, including through further strengthening the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) to foster the integration of business, research, higher education and entrepreneurship (€3 billion).

Sustainable Chemistry ready to respond
The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) reacted positively to the Horizon Europe announcement commending the level of ambition and commitment for Research & Innovation in the European Commission’s proposal and applauding the anticipated budget allocation for 2021-2027.

Marco Mensink, Cefic Director General said: “When the EU unravels the next financial framework, the Horizon Europe proposal should remain untouched, or even be increased in size. Sharing innovation efforts is one of the true values of Europe. We call upon member states and European Parliament to reflect this in the final negotiations and decisions.”

Cefic praised the European Commission for clearly recognising the innovative and enabling role of the industry by placing the pillar of the Global Challenges & Industrial Competitiveness at the heart of the Horizon Europe programme. The Commission’s ambition of making Europe an unparalleled global innovation hub is essential for global competitiveness.

The chemical industry also welcomed the Digital technologies and Industry cluster in Horizon Europe. A structural combination with industrial processes, materials development and new business model creation is key for investment and growth of the European chemical industry. SusChem will be well placed to contribute to this area (see below).

SusChem and KETs
Cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral partnerships through open innovation are essential in the new R&D programme to align the entire innovation ecosystem, including start-ups, and to bring innovation faster to market. This reflects the current approach of the SusChem innovation ecosystem.

In preparation for Horizon Europe, SusChem outlined its position on what can be achieved by Key Enabling Technologies (KETs). In a White paper on KETs and 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.

Innovation in these areas is essential for the EU to grow a low carbon, circular and digital economy and to continue generating jobs and attracting investments and will be at the heart of the Horizon Europe programme in the Digital technologies and Industry cluster and other areas.

Help shape the SusChem contribution in these three areas at our Annual Stakeholder event in Brussels on 20 June and celebrate a fruitful future in Horizon Europe!

The European Commission press release announcing the Horizon Europe structure is available here and a detailed annex giving much more information on the proposal is available here.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Two Carbon Valorisation Events in July

Carbon valorisation is clearly a hot topic with a number of reports published this month and two events on CO2 valorisation/ #useCO2/ CCU events are scheduled for July.

Club CO2
The first event is an International CO2 Utilisation Symposium organised by the Club CO2 in France on Monday 2 July 2018 in Paris. Entitled An “International overview of CO2 Utilisation”, the symposium will break out into two events. The first one will be a Forum on the “International status of CCU”, which has the objective to have a wide overview of CCU developments.  The second event will be a workshop tackling the question: “Which tools to enhance CCU?”

Club CO2 is pursuing its involvement in the promotion of CO2 utilisation (CCU) as a means of reducing the carbon footprint of the economy. Recycled CO2 can be used as a raw material in the manufacture of high added value products, materials or energy.

For the Symposium agenda, click here. And you can register here. For more information contact the Club CO2 secretariat.

CarbonNext
The second meeting is the final event of the SPIRE project CarbonNext that will be held on 17 July 2018 in Brussels.

CarbonNext has been evaluating the potential use of CO2/CO as carbon-feedstock for the process industry in Europe. After two years of intensive work, the project consortium will share the major outcomes and results of the project. The CarbonNext final conference will feature speakers from industry, academia as well as policy makers from the European Commission. The main results from CarbonNext will be accompanied by presentations from industrial representatives to show the relevance and transfer of scientific results and industrial needs and to discuss ecological challenges and the economic potential behind the identified opportunities.

Learn more about the whole carbon value chain – from mapping of CO/CO2 all over Europe, identified processes and products where alternative carbon sources can be used – and get in touch with an interdisciplinary network of CCU / #useCO2 stakeholders.

A link for registration can be found on the conference webpage and registration closes on 6 July 2018.

New Reports on Carbon Capture and Utilisation Technologies published

Can carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) technologies contribute to mitigating climate change? And if so, how can we choose between the various competing technologies for investment? These are some of the issues explored in the fourth scientific opinion of the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisers. The Scientific Opinion of the Scientific Advice Mechanism High Level Group (SAM HLG) on Novel Carbon Capture and Utilisation Technologies was published on 23 May.

CCU (aka #useCO2) technologies remove CO2 from the atmosphere and use sustainable chemistry and energy to convert it into various useful products such as fuel, building materials or plastics. The area is of intense interest to SusChem and in the subject of numerous initiatives including the recently launched Pheonix Initiative (see below). However, at present, there are no accurate, reliable methods to determine the climate mitigation potential of these technologies and this has hindered investment in and deployment of these technologies.

The opinion draws on the best available scientific and technical evidence from across Europe. The separate related Evidence Review Report prepared by SAPEA (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies) was also published on 23 May.

The Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) Group of Chief Scientific Advisers was established on 16 October 2015 to support the Commission with high quality, timely and independent scientific advice for its policy-making activities.

Low carbon, LCA
The advisers observe that for CCU technologies to contribute to climate change mitigation, the energy used in CO2 conversion must be of low carbon origin. In addition, and because the converted carbon may be held in the product for a variable amount of time and not always permanently, the assessment of the climate mitigation potential of the technologies also depends on a life cycle assessment (LCA) approach that takes into account the fate of carbon once released from the product.

Commenting on the opinion Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “We need to be ready to take advantage of all possible proven innovative opportunities in the fight against climate change. The opinion will help policy-makers, in the EU and around the globe, to know if and how to make best use of these technologies.”

The opinion was drafted at the request of Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy. He said: “We are determined to meet our commitments to curb climate change, and for that we have to explore every possible avenue. This scientific opinion provides a roadmap for specifying how carbon capture and utilisation can be part of this effort.”

Recommendations
The Scientific Advisers recommend:

  • The development of a rigorous cross-sectorial and systemic methodology that includes a simplified Life Cycle Assessment to enable the calculation of the climate mitigation potential of various CCU technologies. This should be rolled out beyond the EU, for example through the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • The development and agreement of funding criteria for candidate CCU projects, requiring them to be feasible and green, to be superior to existing alternatives, to demonstrate additional benefits beyond climate mitigation, and to be ready to integrate with existing systems.
  • That the EC develops a regulatory and investment framework to enable CCU deployment.
  • As well as the SAPEA Evidence Review Report, the opinion drew on a comprehensive review of scientific literature, a wide-ranging consultation with relevant scientific experts and policy, industry and civil society stakeholders.

Mission Innovation
The opinion was published in the week of the third ministerial meeting of Mission Innovation in Malmö, Sweden. Countries and organisations participating in Mission Innovation, including the European Commission on behalf of the EU, have joined forces to accelerate the clean energy revolution.

The week of the meeting also saw the publication of a summary of the Mission Innovation Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS) Expert’s Workshop held in late September 2017 in Houston, Texas. The Workshop brought together 260 of the world’s leading CCUS experts from academia and industry to evaluate the most promising R&D avenues for enhancing CCUS processes.
The goals of the Workshop were to assess current gaps in CCUS technologies and to identify the most promising directions for basic research (Priority Research Directions, or PRDs) that are needed to achieve long-term global carbon management.

The report, ‘Accelerating Breakthrough Innovation in Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage’ includes the 30 PRDs established by experts at the Workshop. These PRDs encompass opportunities for understanding and improving materials, chemical processes, and other scientific and technical areas required to develop the next-generation technologies needed for efficient, cost-effective management of carbon emissions. The PRDs were created from panel discussions covering four subcategories: Carbon Capture; Carbon Utilisation; Carbon Storage; and Cross-Cutting CCUS Topics.

Phoenix report
Finally, at the beginning of May a summary report on the first PHOENIX European Stakeholder workshop that took place on 22 March was published.

At the workshop, that was held in Frankfurt, participants discussed the future of CO2 valorisation in the European context with a strong focus on demonstration and subsequent implementation of technologies. The summary as well as the guiding questions for the workshop are now available to download from the Pheonix website.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Registration open for second RoadToBio Stakeholder Workshop

Registration is now open for the second RoadToBio stakeholder workshop on biobased opportunities for the chemical industry. The workshop is organised by the RoadToBio consortium and will take place on Tuesday 19 June 2018 - the day before the SusChem Annual Stakeholder event - in Brussels. The workshop will introduce and discuss the biobased opportunities identified within the project for the chemical industry to increase its biobased portfolio.

Over the past year, RoadToBio has identified opportunities to switch fossil process chains in the chemical industry to biobased alternative methods. For this purpose, the technical side was analysed and complemented with studies on public perception and regulatory barriers. In this way nine 'sweet spots' were identified, which are to be worked out in detail in a roadmap to show the possibilities for how biobased alternatives can be included in the portfolio of the European chemical industry.

The aim of the workshop is to invite participants to take a closer look at these sweet spots, the methods the project has used for their identification and to discuss what is important to develop a new process.

The workshop will take place on 19 June 2018 from 12h30 to 16h15 at Factory forty, Rue des anciens étangs, 40, 1190 Brussels, Belgium.

Register for this event before 08 June by sending an email to Lea Koening at Dechema.

More on RoadToBio
How can the chemical industry in Europe meet the challenges in global markets while becoming more sustainable at the same time? RoadToBio is a Horizon2020 project and funded via the Biobased Industries JU that aims to pave the way for the European chemical industry towards a higher biobased portfolio and competitive success based on the benefits offered by the bioeconomy. The Project will deliver a roadmap for the chemical industry that will specify benefits as well as barriers towards a biobased economy to meet societal needs in 2030.

Recently, many successful production and subsequent uses of biobased building blocks have started up. However, their production and applications are limited. Aside from technical and operational challenges, there is a plethora of hurdles in the fields of regulation and acceptance hindering the chemical industry to increase its biobased portfolio.

The roadmap developed in RoadToBio will contain two main components: first, an analysis of the most promising opportunities (‘sweet spots’) for the chemical industry to increase its biobased portfolio as well as the technological and commercial barriers and the hurdles in regulations and acceptance by society, governing bodies and the industry itself, and second, a strategy, action plan and engagement guide to overcome the existing and anticipated barriers and hurdles as mentioned above.

The roadmap for the chemicals industry to a bioeconomy will describe the actions that need to be done by all stakeholders to achieve the overarching objectives, set out over time, showing inter-dependencies between them. The overarching objectives are to achieve the full exploitation of the bioeconomy within the EU, specifically aiming for a 30% share of biobased products in the chemical industry by 2030.

Friday, 25 May 2018

First Open Call for ‘CloudiFacturing’ announced

The first open call for involvement with the 'CloudiFacturing' project in the European Commission’s I4MS Funding Programme has been announced. This great funding opportunity, especially focused on SME participation, is for: Testing and implementation of the latest high-performance computing and modelling technologies.

The European Union's initiative ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs (I4MS) connects SMEs, startups and mid-cap companies with European Digital Innovation Hubs, who can help companies to test and adopt the latest digital technologies.

CloudiFacturing - Cloudification of Production Engineering for Predictive Digital Manufacturing - is a European Innovation Action (IA) in the framework of Factories of the Future (FoF) PPP with the mission of optimising production processes and producibility, using Cloud/HPC-based modelling and simulation, and leveraging online factory data with advanced data analytics; thus, contributing to the competitiveness and resource efficiency of manufacturing companies, especially SMEs.

To pursue this mission, computationally demanding production engineering and simulation, as well as data analytics tools, are to be provided as Cloud services to ease accessibility and make their use more affordable. With the Open Call, I4MS is seeking innovative use cases in the context of the project’s mission.

Use case impact
The use cases should clearly state their industrial impact for the involved manufacturing companies, based on their expected benefit from exploiting computational engineering and production services and workflows powered by the CloudiFacturing technology.  

The call comprises:

  1. simulations of manufacturing processes or manufacturing tools,
  2. leveraging factory data to learn from it, and
  3. optimising manufacturing processes and/or the manufacturability of goods
The use cases need to be driven by the ultimate end user, preferably SMEs. Seven or more Application Experiments are planned to be funded in this call which has an overall European Commission contribution of roughly EUR 700 000.

The call opening date is 1 July 2018 and the closing date will be 30 September 2018. The duration of the successful funded experiments will be 12 months from 1 January to 31 December 2019.

More information including how to access the call through regional Digital Innovation Hubs can be found in this download document and/ or via this web link.