Monday, 7 June 2010

SusChem Brokerage 2010 – First Phase

For the 2010 FP7 calls SusChem is taking a multi-step brokerage process. The first stage was undertaken on 4 June in Brussels with an Information Day highlighting SusChem-relevant parts in the current FP7 draft calls and a briefing on collaboration building and other non-FP7 opportunities for funding.

Ron Weerdmeester of PNO (left) outlined the new Grant-it service that is available for Cefic member companies to help them navigate the maze of EU funding opportunities and facilitate consortium building.

A second full brokerage event will be staged in Brussels on September 20 after the final calls have been published but well before the deadlines for proposal submission.

Ger Spork (below) outlined SusChem strategy in the short to medium term. Innovation and a full ‘value chain approach’ were key elements – but Ger emphasized that SusChem was still very much committed to research.

The primary aim is to address societal challenges by creating sustainable chemistry solutions that use the value chain to connect new (and existing) technology with innovation to ensure societal implementation. One aspect of this approach is a drive towards programmes, via public private partnerships (PPPs), that connect value chain related industry partners with academia, centres of expertise and also include regions to ensure actual proof of concept or demonstration in real-life conditions. This would require efective use of the SusChem network of national platforms and concret linkage between all elements in the SusChem work plan.

He highlighted the Hybrid workshop undertaken in March 2010 that investigated the chemical materials needs for five value chain sectors. A formal report on the meeting will be published on the SusChem website soon. Engagement with other technology platforms in areas where chemistry plays an important role was also a key element of SusChem strategy.

A final element was the inclusion of training and education in the SusChem plan to fully address the knowledge triangle.

Draft calls
Frederic Gouarderes of DG Research outlined the draft proposals for the forthcoming FP7 call in the NMP area. The focus was on smart, sustainable, inclusive growth as described in the EU Recovery package otherwise known as the ‘2020 Strategy’.

He noted that there were calls across 46 topics for 2010 and that the total annual budget for NMP for the 2010 calls was increased compared to that for 2009. The total for NMP is €450 million including topics in the recovery package PPPs (Factory of the Future, Green Cars and Energy Efficient Buildings). The budget would continue to increase towards the end of FP7.

Frederic described the individual topics in detail and SusChem-relevant topics across all the calls described at the Information Day have been collated in an Excel spreadsheet that can be downloaded at the SusChem website.

The final calls should be published at the end of July. The selection for NMP will be two-stage with a first stage submission deadline of (probably) 4 November and probable second stage deadline of 19 April 2011.

Maria Fernandez Gutierrez described the 2010 calls for KBBE. In the main industrial biotechnology area the indicative budget for the 2010 call was just over € 70 million and Maria outlined some 17 call topics of general interest to SusChem stakeholders. The selection process for the calls would be single stage with the deadline for submission probably 25 January 2011.

Finally Alexis Bazzanella of Dechema outlined the relevant topic calls in the environment and energy calls. All presenters emphasised the need for delegates to check carefully the final texts of the call as they are published at the end of July.

Life+ etc
Ron Weerdmeester gave a brief overview of other EU funding opportunities such as LIFE+ and eco-innovation that are part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP). Both these later programmes could be undertaken without the need for partners. He also described other aspects of FP7 such as the ICT calls and elements of the FP7 People programme.

Ron gave examples of successful case studies and encouraged delegates to think wider for funding opportunities. A particular example is the Marie Curie Actions funding that has a specific programme for industrial partners to work with academics often with only two or three partners: the Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP) scheme. The IAPP scheme was valuable in its own right as a research vehicle, but could also be used to build the basis for later, more extensive collaborative programmes.

After lunch a number of parallel workshops on the various specific calls were organised followed by a plenary feedback session.

Finally delegates were reminded of the SusChem Brokerage Day to be held on 20 September in Brussels.

All the presentations made during the SusChem Info Day 2010 are available and will be sent to participants. For more information contact the SusChem secretariat.

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