SusChem will discuss four proposals for potential European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs) at its SusChem Stakeholder event in Amsterdam tomorrow (17 May). EIPs are major instruments developed under the Innovation Union and EU 2020 Agenda to accelerate innovation and promote growth in the EU.
EIPs are large-scale multi-year programmes that involve the EU, Member States, industry and academia that could involve multiple funding structures from public funds to venture capital. All EIPs will aim to show proof of concept and demonstrate innovation on the large–scale and all should address one or more of the significant social challenges facing the EU today.
The SusChem approach to EIPs is based on the acknowledged leadership of chemistry and the molecular sciences in driving innovation along many value chains in Europe. SusChem believes that simultaneous innovation along defined value chains can accelerate innovation and competitiveness. SusChem knows that the close working relationship between industry and academia that it has developed and its established collaborative work with other technology platforms and other transnational organizations can stimulate and lead the successful value chain initiatives.
Improving the resource efficiency of the process industry is an EIP proposal developed ‘bottom-up’ by SusChem to address a perceived need / opportunity identified within the industry. The chemical industry has a central role along many value chains in the process industry from feedstock to finished consumer products and then in enabling and managing recycling/ reuse.
SusChem is establishing a Resource and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REP) to pursue a cross-sectorial approach that can improve the use and reuse of scarce resources and maximize resource efficiency along the value chain. The aim is to “do much more with a lot less”.
A smarter city
The Smart Cities EIP proposal from the Commission aims to support a number of larger European cities to achieve a 20% reduction in carbon emissions, a 20% increase in the use of renewable energy, and a 20% increase in energy efficiency by 2020. The idea is to demonstrate tangible progress towards the EU’s energy and climate objectives at a local level, to improve urban quality of life and boost local economies. Many of the concepts involved in the SusChem Smart Energy Home and related initiatives are applicable here to address urban construction and mobility needs.
Within this EIP area there is an already-existing public-private partnership – the Energy Efficient Building (EeB) initiative launched as part of the EU Recovery Plan. SusChem has a bilateral relationship with the European Construction Technology Platform (ECTP) on a proposed joint EC project: Building Up. And a working group on the Smart Cities proposal was formed in early 2011 with work on an initial positioning paper already completed.
Water efficient Europe
Making the best use of water resources is a significant social challenge. There is a need to reduce competition between water users, make better use of waste water and reduce leakage in supply systems amongst many other issues. A cascade usage vision is a key part of the strategy with a need for research and innovation in sustainable separation technologies, re-use processing and new materials.
There are already joint programming initiatives between Spain and the Netherlands in this area as well as the formal collaborative agreement between SusChem and the Water sanitation and supply Technology Platform (WssTP) which is working on a number of potential EC projects. An EIP working group was established in early 2011. SusChem is featuring water issues at the 17 May Amsterdam event, but will hold a second event exclusively focused on water issues in the second half of 2011 as part of the International Year of Chemistry (IYC 2011).
The EIP on Raw Materials for a Modern Society has been proposed by the European Commission and supports an integrated EU strategy to ensure access to raw materials from international markets, boost resource efficiency and the rate of recycling, and set the right framework conditions within the EU. Two of the proposed work packages are of particular interest to SusChem: the development of new innovative technologies and solutions for sustainable raw materials supply and the development substitute materials to replace critical materials.
Within the scope of this EIP SusChem is already working with a number of other European Technology Platforms on a joint approach. These ETPs are Eumat, Manufuture, the Textile Technology Platform, the Sustainable Mineral Resources (SMR) platform and the European Steel Technology Platform (ESTEP).
The workshops on May 17 will discuss the opportunities that these potential EIPs bring and start to make concrete plans. To find out more about getting involved email the SusChem secretariat.