Thursday, 20 December 2012

EIP on Water: more action!

Following the second meeting of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Water on 18 December that adopted the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) the partnership is now entering its operational phase and further details of implementation actions have been published by the European Commission.

At the steering group meeting on 18 December (see delegate picture below) stakeholders were invited to form Action Groups, which will be at the core of implementing the EIP on Water. Action Groups are invited to commit to work on one, or more, actions as described under the EIP Water priorities in the SIP. More information on the Action Groups is available on the EIP on Water website including the Call for Expression of Commitment.

The deadline for the Call for Expression of Commitment is April 4 2013, but the Commission has already announced that a first Action Group has come forward: a Dutch - Romanian cooperation on Modular Sustainable Waste Water Treatment Plants.

Web-based market
One of the tools that EIP Water will start developing in 2013 is a “web-based marketplace”. Its objective is to create and establish a community on and a place for “matchmaking” in innovation topics in the field of water in Europe and worldwide, connecting problem owners with solution providers, regardless of their geographical position. The market place will offer numerous features driven by the stakeholder interests.

A Stakeholder Survey to provide input for marketplace is now online. The survey is open until 18 January 2013 and the Commission is looking for feedback to support the specification and development of the EIP on Water marketplace that will start in mid-2013.

In addition the Information Day to be held on January 15 2013 for the Call for Proposals “FP7-ENV-2013-WATER-INNO-DEMO” in Brussels is now at maximum capacity and no further registrations can be taken, however the whole event will be web-streamed.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Sustainable Chemistry at Forefront of Water EIP Implementation

Today (18 December) the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Water published its Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) at a meeting of the High Level Steering Group in Brussels. The chemical industry underlined its commitment to the EIP’s objectives to develop and deploy innovative solutions to the water challenges facing Europe and the world.

This second meeting of the Steering Group of the EIP on Water was led by European Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik. The chemical industry’s commitment to the work and implementation of the SIP was voiced by Anton Valero, CEO of Dow Iberica, who is a member of the high-level steering group.

“The chemical industry fully supports the aims of the water innovation partnership,” said Valero. “We are ready to provide high-impact, cutting-edge solutions to one of Europe’s and the world’s most pressing problems”.

Janez Potočnik commented: "We need innovation to solve our water challenges, and to help deliver on the objectives of the Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources that we recently adopted. The Water Innovation Partnership brings together the private and public actors who can take ideas to the market. Implementing the Strategic Implementation Plan will not only ensure that enough good quality water is available to meet the needs of people, the economy and the environment, it will also strengthen the European water industry on the global market which is expected to double by 2030."

Intense cooperation
“Water issues go well beyond the boundaries of the water sector,” said Gernot Klotz, Cefic R&I Executive Director. “Our engagement in the partnership is a natural fit: the chemical sector is significantly innovating in its process to be more water efficient and is one of the biggest solutions providers addressing water challenges through new materials and technologies.”

To achieve implementation of the SIP will require intense cooperation between the EIP on Water and other knowledge-driven activities at the European, national and regional level. The platform intends to work directly with existing initiatives, such as FP7 and Horizon 2020, as well as other European and national activities such as Technology Platforms, including of course SusChem, and other EIPs of interest for the chemical sector: Critical Raw Materials and Smart Cities.

The candidate Public Private Partnership SPIRE (Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency), proposed by the chemical industry together with seven other industrial sectors, will also make a considerable contribution to many of the priorities highlighted by the EIP on Water including water recycling and reuse, and the water-energy nexus.

€40 million of FP7 research funding will be made available in 2013 to support projects that contribute to the aims of the EIP Water. A call for proposals is now open with a closing date of 4 April 2013 and an information day for potential applicants is being organised in Brussels on 15 January 2013 by DG Research and Innovation. Registration for this event is open until 10 January 2013 but there is limit on participation on-site of 250 delegates. The event will also be web-streamed.

A call for expressions of commitment to the EIP Water Action Groups is also open to stakeholders.

About the SIP
The SIP looks at nine previously identified priority areas and briefly analyses challenges, bottlenecks, market opportunities and objectives for each. From this analysis 27 Actions have been identified around which Action Groups will be formed. The Action Groups will be at the core of the implementation strategy and will be reviewed twice a year.

In addition to the action groups a number of Commission-led EIP initiatives are proposed including an annual EIP on Water stakeholder meeting, a web-based market place for water innovations plus other tools such as trade missions.

Water chemistry
The European chemical industry fully supports the objective of the EIP on Water as water is an increasingly valuable resource for the industry and a crucial element in the sector’s competitiveness.

Significant investments in water innovations will address societal and environmental issues in order to develop recycling processes and wastewater treatment that will deliver highest impact and provide opportunities. The EIP Water will also be the driver for future investments decisions that will create jobs and growth.

Innovations from the chemical sector could lead to a 20% reduction in water and water-related energy usage, as well as in industrial waste water production (reduction of 20-40% in water use, 30-70% in waste production, 15-40% in energy use).

For more information on the chemical industry’s commitment and input to the EIP on Water and other water-related innovation activities, please contact Antonia Morales-Perez, Innovation Manager at Cefic.

Stakeholder event on BIO-PPP

On 9 January the European Commission will report back on the results of the stakeholder consultation on the Bio-based industries PPP (BIO-PPP). The event will take place in Brussels and be opened by Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General of the Commission’s DG RTD.

Following the launch of an online public consultation on 21 September on "Bio-based industries, towards a public-private partnership under Horizon 2020", DG RTD is organising a one-day stakeholder meeting on 9 January 2013 in Brussels. The aim of the meeting will be to present industry's vision and objectives for this partnership together with the strategic innovation and research agenda and the results of the online public consultation, which is now closed.

The meeting will be opened by DG RTD Director-General Robert-Jan Smits, followed by speakers from industry and research organisations. The meeting will provide ample opportunities for discussion of the proposals.

All those directly or indirectly connected with the bio-based industries, including representatives of public authorities, farmers and foresters, businesses and associations, academics and technical experts, civil society organisations and individual citizens are encouraged to attend the meeting and to provide their views and feedback on the planned partnership.

A final report on the outcome of the online public consultation will be published later in 2013, taking into account the conclusions from this stakeholder meeting.

Registration
Meeting will take place in the Gaspari meeting room in the Charlemagne Building at Rue de la Loi 170, Brussels. Registration for the meeting is open until 4 January 2013. To register you need to send an email to RTD-KBBE-Experts@ec.europa.eu including your first and last name, date of birth, country of origin and professional occupation.

For more information on the BIO-PPP proposal and the consultation process, please contact the consortium secretariat at CEPI.

BIO-PPP is a proposed Public Private Partnership (PPP) on the Bio-Based Industries which aims to lead the transition in Europe towards sustainable alternatives to our current petroleum/ fossil fuel-based society. The aim of the initiative is to help establish a new European bioeconomy encompassing all stages in the value chain from biomass harvesting and logistics via efficient conversion processes to the manufacture of bio-based products. The industry group behind the initiative comprises major companies from a cross-section of sectors including forest, agricultural, paper, chemical, energy, fuels and biotechnology.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

BIO-TIC Video

BIO-TIC, the SusChem supported FP7 project examining how to overcome barriers to the optimum exploitation of industrial biotechnology to address major global challenges such as climate change and the need to develop a more sustainable and resource-efficient economy, has just released a new public video. The video can be viewed below - please share the link with your colleagues.

The video features project coordinator Jasmiina Laurmaa of EuropaBio explaining the aims of BIO-TIC and the major hurdles that it aims to address. These hurdles include technological bottlenecks, market entry and institutional barriers as well as funding challenges. An integrated approach is needed to overcome these hurdles, with a clear perception of their nature and the way they interrelate.

BIO-TIC was launched in September 2012 and is a three-year project offering “a solutions approach” centered on a solid roadmapping exercise that will involve a broad stakeholder base from industry, knowledge organisations, governments and civil society. Three intermediary roadmaps will focus on market assessments and projections, research and innovation as well as non-technological barriers such as feedstock.

A series of stakeholder workshops will take place at national and European level to reach a comprehensive view on solutions BIO-TIC can offer to accelerate market uptake of industrial biotechnology.

The final aim of the project will be to draw up a blueprint document with a comprehensive set of policy recommendations for overcoming the identified innovation hurdles within a selection of European business and societal opportunities.

In addition, the project will develop and market test a methodology to measure the growth of biomass use and industrial biotechnology in the market as metric to evaluate the impact of the project.

Get involved with BIO-TIC
BIO-TIC aims to be a truly dynamic open innovation network and will engage with all relevant value-chain partners, promoting and facilitating active discussion groups across all industrial biotechnology sectors.

You can find out more about the project at the BIO-TIC website which also includes a project partnering platform. In addition there is an active BIO-TIC Linked In group with over 60 members that is open to anyone interested in the transformative potential of industrial biotechnology.

The BIO-TIC project is funded via the European Commission’s FP7 research programme and its full project title is ‘The Industrial Biotech Research and Innovation Platforms Centre – towards Technological Innovation and solid foundations for a growing industrial biotech sector in Europe’. The project is coordinated by EuropaBio.

Monday, 10 December 2012

2013 SusChem Stakeholder Event

The dates for the 2013 SusChem Stakeholder event have just been announced. The event entitled ‘The root of EU Growth and Jobs: Innovative Materials and Processes’ will take place on 14 – 15 May 2013 in Brussels. The meeting will primarily address the benefits of partnerships to boost EU growth and improve its competitiveness and how SusChem will play a part in this. Join us at our eleventh stakeholder event and get the latest insights!

SusChem has evolved into a Europe-wide platform that captures the full benefit of Europe’s strengths in research and provides a well-connected network for innovation in the chemical and biotechnology value chain. As a result, its strategy has evolved too.

The new SusChem 2020 strategy retains research, innovation and education actions at the heart of our activities. These three activities are important to engage with policy makers and partner organizations to shape research and innovation policies and deliver truly sustainable innovation that creates value in and for European society.

To achieve its ambitious objectives, the platform’s partnership activities will also need to expand strategically. This means a substantial increase in multidisciplinary and cross-sector working along value chains. The new strategy is also designed to strengthen cooperation between SusChem Europe and our network of National Technology Platforms.

With this new strategy and its broad and growing stakeholder base, SusChem aims to ensure that research is effectively turned into innovative products and services that will shape Europe’s future.

Where and when?
Join us at the SusChem Stakeholder Event next year in Brussels to see examples of the new strategy in action!

The event will take place at the Hotel Sofitel Europe on Place Jourdan in the heart of the European Quarter in Brussels.

More information on speakers and the programme will be available in the New Year. In the meantime reserve the dates in your diary!

For more information on SusChem activities, please contact the SusChem secretariat.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Leading Industrial Biotech in the UK

With the pace of development of the global bioeconomy growing almost daily, a two day event in the UK on 22-23 January 2013 will illustrate the progress made in exploiting industrial biotechnology (IB). The ‘Leading IB: A UK Showcase’ is hosted by the UK’s Industrial Biotechnology Leadership Forum (IBLF) and will also be the venue for a BIOCHEM Accelerator event.

The Leading IB event will showcase recent examples of commercial success in the bio-based sector and key speakers will describe UK industrial biotech success stories including exemplar projects, processes and products and give an overview on the national strategy for industrial biotech to 2015 and beyond. There will also be panel discussions to provide delegates with the opportunity to hear from senior industrialists and other stakeholders.

The event, which takes place at Church House in Westminster, central London, will be opened by Michael Fallon UK Government Minister of State for Business and Enterprise. The showcase is expected to attract business leaders, technology providers, investors, leading academics and policy makers from the UK and across Europe.

The event aims to:

  • Showcase UK success in Industrial Biotechnology and Bio-based Products
  • Inspire new manufacturers to explore the potential of IB
  • Build new collaborations within the UK and beyond
  • Demonstrate the impact of current government support and commitment for the future
  • Set out the IBLF strategy to 2015 and beyond

An exhibition will provide further information on funding, partnering, skills, facilities and capabilities for the bioeconomy. For more information on the UK showcase event visit the dedicated website or you can register direct here.

BIOCHEM accelerator
In parallel to the Showcase event the SusChem supported EU INNOVA project BIOCHEM will be running an Accelerator Forum. Previous fora have been successfully run in Bilbao, Milan and Frankfurt (at ACHEMA).

If you are a researcher, entrepreneur or SME keen to become part of the growing bioeconomy by changing to biobased products and processes, then this event is for you. The outline programme for the Forum can be found here.

To find out more on BIOCHEM take a look at the BIOCHEM video (below) or consult the BIOCHEM website. For specific information on the BIOCHEM Accelerator Forum in London contact Kate Nickson at the UK Chemistry Innovation Knowledge Transfer Network (CIKTN).