Monday, 28 March 2011

What is in a name?

The competition to find a new name for the next EU Research and Innovation Programme was launched today (28 March). You have until 10 May to suggest a relevant, appealing and catchy name for the new EU research and innovation programme which will be introduced after 2013.

The competition is linked to the ongoing stakeholder consultation on the Commission's Green Paper on the programme that was launched on 9 February.

The programme currently labours under the working title of the 'Common Strategic Framework' (CSF) and aims to be at the core of the Innovation Union initiative and the Europe 2020 Strategy.

The Commission's Green Paper also provides the basis for far-reaching
simplification of procedures and rules. Stakeholders have until 20 May 2011 to respond to this main consultation.

Introducing the competition European Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn (below),said: "The Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development have served Europe well and are still creating growth and jobs and improving quality of life. But our new programme for research and innovation will be a new departure and a new adventure, so we need a new name. We need to connect with stakeholders and the public and to raise the political and media profile of our work, which in turn can boost participation and improve results."

This new "identity" must be easily associated with research and innovation, while also being original, memorable, easy to pronounce and spell and be meaningful in a wide range of European languages.

You name it!
Your proposal for the name of the new programme should be submitted via where rules and conditions can also be found. The competition is open until 10 May to everyone except employees of the European institutions and their direct family members.

An international jury will select three proposals to be put to a public online vote in the late spring/ early summer. The jury members will include academics, entrepreneurs, and branding and communication experts.

The winning name will be announced by Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn at the conference concluding the current consultation on the CSF that is taking place on 10 June in Brussels. The winner will get an expenses paid trip to the European Innovation Convention in Brussels at the end of this year, and he or she will meet the Commissioner and other leading political, scientific and business figures.

Please feel free to share you suggestions for the new programmes name with SusChem News. We will publish our favourites before the 10 June conference!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

ICIS named media partner for SusChem Amsterdam Stakeholder event

ICIS, the chemicals and energy news and information provider, will be SusChem's media partner for the Amsterdam Stakeholder event taking place on 17 May.

The news on the ICIS partnership gives us an excuse to highlight one of our favourite fellow bloggers: John Baker, ICIS Global editor, previously editor of the long-lamented European Chemical News (now part of ICIS Chemical Business) and long-term friend of SusChem.

John's blog 'Chemicals and Innovation' covers exactly what it says on the tin with an emphasis on chemical company innovation strategies, RD&I investments, financing, people and awards. Take a look today.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

SusChem animates for WWD2011

To further mark World Water Day 2011 (WWD2011) SusChem has launched a new animated feature on its website.

The SusChem World Water Day page features a graphic that vividly demonstrates how precious and scarce fresh water is as a resource for the world.

A powerpoint presentation outlining details of the collaboration between SusChem and the European Technology Platform on Water and Sanitation (WSSTP) can also be obtained on the SusChem website.

SusChem: innovating on water in Europe

SusChem is making water a major priority during 2011 and ‘Water’ is one of the main topics at SusChem’s Annual Stakeholder Conference that takes place in Amsterdam on 16 and 17 May.

SusChem marks World Water Day with a focus on value chain cooperation to achieve better water management systems and introduce new sustainable technologies. As the chemical industry is the critical basis for smart and sustainable growth across all sectors, it is uniquely positioned to contribute to European Innovation Partnerships (EIP) – including the proposed ‘Water Efficient Europe’ EIP.

SusChem's approach reflects the objective of World Water Day 2011 (WWD2011) with its focus on the impact of rapid urban population growth, industrialisation and uncertainties caused by climate change, conflicts and natural disasters on urban water systems. WWD2011's main theme is "Water for cities: responding to the urban challenge".

Responding to the challenge
For a number of years SusChem has been working closely with the European Water Sanitation and Supply Technology Platform (WSSTP) to develop breakthrough technologies and new water management systems. Both platforms have taken the initiative to revalue water as a precious raw material rather than a utility product.

Providing more efficient and ecologically sound water management systems is a prominent theme for the European Union’s 2020 Agenda for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. SusChem is determined to show leadership and make a significant contribution in this area by pursuing large-scale projects that can demonstrate a real impact for society.

SusChem is also planning to organise a dedicated event on Water and Sustainable Chemistry later in 2011 in Amsterdam. This event will examine the main challenges relating to water at both the European and global level and discuss possible solutions. The proposed conference will support both the International Year of Chemistry 2011 (IYC 2011) – a global UNESCO sponsored initiative that also has water as a major theme – and the European Union’s EU2020 Agenda for growth. SusChem thinking in action!

Friday, 11 March 2011

SusChem France Roadmap

SusChem France has just published its national roadmap in English. The aim of the “SusChem France Roadmap” is to provide an overview of France’s situation with respect to sustainable chemistry needs and to outline the main lines of action followed by SusChem players to meet these needs as effectively as possible.

The document is addressed mainly to research teams in the public or private sector and to innovation managers and resource agencies that can help to build the chemical industry and produce the sustainable products of tomorrow.

Collective thinking
In the introduction to the report SusChem Europe Chairman Dr. Paul-Joel Derian says: "The SusChem France roadmap, a product of high-quality collective thinking, comes at the right time to contribute to the updating of SusChem Europe’s strategic agenda and [to] plan for its implementation over the next few years."

"[We must] actively propose solutions to the European Commission to guide the structuring of the 8th framework programme which will begin in 2013 and ensure that the innovation needs of the chemical industry are taken into account," he continues. "[We must] switch from a research culture to an innovation culture, using the whole value chain of our industry by heading at least one of the new Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programmes to be launched by Europe between now and the end of 2011."

"SusChem has announced its ambition to head a PPP on the theme of chemistry, industry and technology as a source of more resource-efficient industrial processes.
To achieve these ambitious objectives, we will have to bring together our customers and suppliers, continue to develop cooperation between public and private research, and pool our forces with other European platforms."

"This requires stronger involvement of SusChem’s national platforms and a strong effort from French manufacturers and academics to bring new human resources into SusChem."

Eight themes
The 40-page report describes eight themes that summarise the French position on sustainable chemistry. The themes are:
  • Renewable raw materials and biosourced economy
  • Chemistry and recycling
  • Advanced materials
  • Chemistry for energy
  • Eco-efficient processes
  • Analysis, methods and performance
  • Eco-design
  • Innovation network

The Roadmap was launched in France at the 2ème Rencontres de SusChem France (Second stakeholder meeting for the French national platform) that took place at the end of November 2010.

The original French version of the roadmap (Feuille de route de SusChem France (Ed. 2010)) is available to download here. For more information on SusChem France activities visit the website or contact SusChem France coordinator Valerie Lucas at UIC.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Register for Amsterdam Stakeholder Event

SusChem’s 9th Stakeholder Event takes place in the heart of Amsterdam on May 17th 2011. This year the focus for discussion will be on sustainable chemistry’s role in ensuring the EU 2020 Agenda boosts prosperity in Europe and specifically how SusChem stakeholders can get involved in European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs).

As previously announced the 2011 SusChem Stakeholder event will be held in the historic Beurs van Berlage conference facility (below) in central Amsterdam. The venue situated between the city's Central Station and de Dam square. The event's working title is 'Partners for Sustainable Growth - Chemistry at the roots of the EU 2020 Strategy'.

EIPs are the new large-scale Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) - part of the EU's 2020 Agenda and Innovation Union - designed to accelerate the pace of innovation and make sure that Europe’s world-class research and commercial strengths are employed effectively to bring sustainable products and services rapidly (and profitably) to market.

EIPs are designed to deliver the sustainable business development promise of benefits for people, planet and profit. Clearly the chemical sciences and industry has a pivotal role in boosting innovation and competitiveness across Europe and can play leading roles in a number of EIPs.

Morning session
During the morning of the Stakeholder event delegates will learn how the EIP concept was developed and will be deployed from Commission officials and government representatives. SusChem chairman Paul-Joel Derian (below) will outline the platform’s role and aspirations for EU 2020. A panel discussion will cover the interface between EIPs and Members State authorities with interventions from the Commission, academia, industry and stakeholders.

After lunch there will be three parallel workshops on EIPs that are of particular interest to the chemical community:

• Resource Efficiency
• Water Efficient Europe
• Smart Cities

The workshops will provide stakeholders with information on the proposed programmes in these areas and seek input on their draft Roadmaps and Work Programmes. These EIPs represent real opportunities for collaborative partners along their respective value chains to be at the forefront of the Innovation Union.

Innovation agenda
The European innovation agenda – the EU2020 agenda – has been decisively shaped to encourage European enterprise to invent and adopt sustainable solutions to address the major challenges facing society. SusChem is determined to take a leading role in EU2020 initiatives dedicated to innovation, resource efficiency and industrial policy, and to bring strong support to achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe.

The proposals for the successor to FP7, currently under consultation, will be designed to support and implement EU2020 policies.

As a multi-stakeholder platform, with a structure that covers both pan-European and national entities, SusChem is ideally suited to engage in broad dialogue on innovation topics and to strengthen cross-sectoral and transnational cooperation covering the full value chain.

Get involved - register today
The Amsterdam Stakeholder event is your opportunity to get involved with, and contribute to, innovation programmes that have the potential to drive new markets and make a major impact on the sector and the European economy as a whole.

You need to know about the challenges and opportunities involved in the EU2020 agenda. You need to ensure that your organisation’s perspective is part of the discussion.

For more details on the 9th Stakeholder event visit the SusChem website, consult the draft agenda for the event or go direct to the registration page.

SusChem News looks forward to seeing you at to the SusChem Stakeholder Event on May 17th and getting your input on SusChem’s plans to get the chemistry right for EU2020 success!

The SusChem Stakeholder Event in Amsterdam is part of the International Year of Chemistry 2011.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

EuCheMS Brussels Update

The latest EuCheMS (European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences) Brussels News Update (dated February 2011) is now available at the EuCheMS website.

This monthly compilation summarizes the latest news from the European Institutions and covers policy areas such chemicals, innovation, business, jobs, consultations, events and funding.

The briefing is compiled by Catherine Feore EuCheMS Policy Manager in Brussels.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Webcast of CSF Workshop available

The key presentations and discussions at the important stakeholder meeting on the consultation on the proposed Common Strategic Framework (CSF) for EU Research and Innovation held on 1 March is now available as a webcast.

The meeting in Brussels was organised to outline to stakeholders the reasoning behind the CSF approach, answer questions on the recent Green Paper "From Challenges to Opportunities:
Towards a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation funding"

and to explain fully the consultation process and the subsequent calendar for developing legislative proposals for EU funding of integrated research and innovation from 2014.

The aim of the CSF, as set out in the Green Paper, is to make participation in post FP7 programmes easier, increase scientific and economic impact and improve value for money. The overarching aim is to effectively support the EU 2020 Agenda. The consultation process is open until 20 May and all SusChem stakeholders are urged to participate.

Coupling R & I
Opening the conference Robert-Jan Smits (below), Director-General, Research & Innovation DG at the Commission said that the aim of a CSF was to “better couple research to innovation” and to do this required a comprehensive review of all the existing funding instruments including the FP programme, CIP, EIT, Cohesion Policy and others, to bring them together into a single Comprehensive Strategic Framework covering both research and innovation.

The concept had been presented in the Commission Budget Review paper and endorsed by the European Council meeting on 4 February. “The Heads of State adopted conclusions calling for adoption of a Comprehensive Strategic Framework to bring the community instruments for research and innovation together in an integrated way,” stated Smits.

But how to develop the CSF? “There is an enormous amount of questions to be answered before the Commission can start to draft the proposals,” continued Smits. “These include, for example, what is the balance between basic research and more top-down research based on the grand challenges? How should be deal with infrastructures – is there a role for the EU here – and what about addressing SMEs?”

Motivation for CSF
Brendan Hawdon, Head of Unit at DG Research and Innovation, expanded on the rationale behind the development of the CSF in his presentation. He talked about the “Innovation Gap” that was growing between the EU and innovation leaders such as the US and Japan – and the accelerating rate of innovation capability in countries such as China that threatened to overtake Europe in the near future.

Hawdon highlighted the three most important aspects of the EU 2020 Agenda from a research and development objective: the Innovation Union, the Digital Agenda, and the Resource Efficient Europe initiatives.

In terms of the Innovation Union two key messages were that “innovation is an overarching policy that must support other policy priorities” and there was a need to prioritise resources around the identified major societal challenges.

He also highlighted key messages for European Innovation Partnerships: they must tackle major societal challenges whilst creating new business opportunities for EU industry while joining up the key players along the value chain from research to end-users – removing bottlenecks that stop good ideas getting to be innovative products or services.

This is where the CSF can add value by providing a coherent set of funding instruments that works along the whole innovation cycle “from research to retail”.

Consultation process
Keith Sequeria of DG Research and Innovation completed the formal presentations by summarising the questions posed in the Green paper and outlining the consultation process. His presentation is available here.

Stakeholders have until 20 May 2011 to express their opinions. Sequeria described the various methods through which responses could be made. He emphasized that analysis of the responses would involve a collaborative approach with nine Commission DGs with an interest in the outcome. The analysis would be helped if stakeholder responses were related to the questions in the Green Paper.

A conference in Brussels on 10 June 2011 will wrap up the consultation. The input will be used for the development of the formal proposal for the Common Strategic Framework to be tabled by the Commission by the end of 2011.

The recorded webcast of the 1 March conference is available here together with copies of the presentations made and two Q&A sessions.