Monday, 23 December 2013

SusChem looks forward to 2014

Dr Klaus Sommer (pictured below), Chairman of the SusChem Board, talked to SusChem News reflecting on another year of achievement for SusChem during 2013 and looking forward to the challenges for 2104.

SusChem News: "What have been your main highlights of the year for SusChem?"

Klaus Sommer: “Just before the holiday season, on December 11, the Commission published the Horizon 2020 calls, these were close to the drafts on which SusChem has worked since this summer and which were the subject of our pre-brokerage event on October 23. This pre-brokerage event was very successful with a great attendance and a number of interesting proposals generated.”

“Our analysis of the Horizon 2020 work programmes has shown that many of the SusChem proposals are already being considered in the ‘Industrial Technologies’ or ‘Societal Challenges’ areas. This is the result of all the hard work accomplished on many fronts following the revised SusChem strategy and based on an active participation in European Innovation Partnerships (Water, Raw Materials, Smart-Cities and Communities), strong support to Public Private Partnerships initiatives (particularly the SPIRE cPPP and the Bio-Based Industries JTI), participation in Task Forces and the High level Group on Key Enabling Technologies and the revision of our Materials Technologies agenda.”

SusChem News: “What has been the effect of this huge effort on SusChem’s profile?”

Klaus Sommer: “All this hard work has allowed us to boost SusChem’s visibility and influence, have a true dialogue with the EU and with all our stakeholders and finally play our role as a recognised ‘ETP 2020’ Technology Platform.”

“I would like to thank all the SusChem stakeholders for the support they have provided to make this happen either by direct involvement or by providing the required expert resources from their organisations. I personally would like to thank our colleagues at Cefic who support SusChem, in particular Jacques Komornicki, for their great commitment and support. Without them, it all would not work out.”

SusChem News: “Where do you see the main focus for SusChem in 2014?”

Klaus Sommer: “Looking forward, it is very important that we confirm our engagement by participating actively in the first round of calls of Horizon 2020. For this SusChem is organizing a ‘true’ brokerage event on January 31 where project ideas can be confirmed and consortia started - first deadlines for project submission are as soon as mid-March 2014. And the new Grant-it on-line facility is also available for free to all SusChem registered members. We urge you to mobilize your respective organisations to actively participate.”

SusChem News: “How else can the SusChem community contribute to the platform’s activities in 2014?”

Klaus Sommer: “Another important effort, which is part of our core strategy, is to have the SusChem National Technology Platforms play a more active role in mobilising our stakeholders at the national level; some clear progress has been made in 2013 with the publication of our new rules, the creation of a twelfth National Platform in Switzerland and an active brokerage activity by some NTPs. In the next steps we will further involve the National Platforms in our discussions and actions. I encourage SusChem members to support the SusChem platforms in their respective countries.”

“A further short-term action for 2014 is to publish a new Strategic Research Agenda based on our revised strategy; strong support from the board and stakeholders will be needed to make it a high quality document and a cornerstone of our communication activities for the future.”

“Finally, as you will know, Horizon 2020 contains many more innovation activities than previous programmes and our chances of obtaining successful project awards will depend on the quality and preparation of the evaluators of project proposals. The Commission has recently issued an appeal for such experts – and this is an opportunity for experts in your organisations can become expert evaluators.”

More information
More information on the requirements for expert evaluators can be found here. And the registration site for experts is available here.

SusChem News wishes all members of the SusChem community an excellent holiday break and looks forward working with you during another successful year for SusChem in 2014.

See you at the SusChem brokerage event on 31 January!

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