Thursday, 14 November 2013

EcoMondo 2013 hosts European Platforms for Innovation and Sustainability

Last week (6 to 9 November), SusChem and SPIRE were presented as part of the new European initiatives to enable and facilitate sustainable growth at EcoMondo 2013. This is one of the largest events in Southern Europe for the exploitation and recycling of materials and for the development of the Green Economy in Europe.

EcoMondo is one of the largest trade fairs in the sector and the event took place in Rimini, Italy. It is one of the most accredited platforms in southern Europe and the Mediterranean basin with regard to innovation in sustainable development, with an equal focus on new technologies and best practice and on the uptake of new markets. The event’s ambition is to facilitate the key elements of a sustainable economy in Europe including  industrial research, more cooperation between the public and private sectors, funding, new quality standards and not only more, but also better, outreach to the European public.

The event traditionally prioritizes those areas where significant progress can be achieved at a pan-European level. This year’s conference focused, among others, on key areas of innovation for SusChem such as treatment of waste water, bio-based industries and smart cities. Nonetheless, EcoMondo 2013 also invited panellists and speakers to discuss a broader array of topics including waste management, clean-up of contaminated soil and air pollution.

SusChem: An EU and National approach 
SusChem’s brokerage activities and projects have already been gathering stakeholders and interested parties to deliver real innovation in areas of interest at EcoMondo. Antonia Morales Perez (right), CEFIC Innovation Manager and a member of the SusChem secretariat, introduced the EcoMondo audience to the many tools and opportunities available through SusChem.

Antonia’s presentation highlighted the importance of the SusChem network that was able to reach into many Member States. SusChem’s National Technology Platforms (NTPs), already present in 11 European countries and with Switzerland soon joining, offer a unique structure to support SusChem’s work for Europe 2020 with a joint European vision firmly rooted in national strategies through localized networks of industry and academia. Practically that translates into supporting the engagement of SusChem’s national members in transnational collaborations in EU collaborative projects and programmes like FP7 and the forthcoming Horizon 2020 calls.

During the meeting Antonia was interviewed in Spanish about SusChem activities. Her interview can be viewed below.

The key role of NTPs in the implementation of the SusChem strategy and action plans was highlighted, particularly in reference to developing Strategic Research and Innovation Agendas, including identification of skill requirements and regulatory barriers and encouraging industry participation in Horizon 2020 through active cooperation with partnerships in Member States.

Inspiration for SPIRE
EcoMondo was also the venue where the audience were able to appreciate the innovative approach of the SPIRE Public-Private Partnership. Loredana Ghinea (right), SPIRE’s Executive Director, explained how the value-chain of the process industry has come together to initiate a collaboration with the European Commission for a new systematic approach throughout the complete production cycle to ensure radical resource and energy efficiency.

Loredana explained how realizing the SPIRE vision means reducing the use of feedstock and emissions, re-use of energy and resources between different parties in the value chain, replacing current feedstock with renewable sources –including sources such as CO2. This can pave the way to re-inventing the whole interaction among all the technologies used in the value-chain of the process industry.

Find out more about SPIRE here.

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