Wednesday, 11 December 2013

SusChem “ready to roll” for Horizon 2020

Today (11 December) the European Commission’s much anticipated Horizon 2020 programme was launched with the announcement its first calls by Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science. Horizon 2020 will be the largest European Union Research and Innovation programme so far with a budget of almost €80 billion for the period 2014 – 2020.

Commenting on the launch Dr Gernot Klotz, Cefic executive director for research and innovation and SusChem board member, said: “The chemical industry welcomes Horizon 2020 and applauds this ambitious commitment to fund excellent science and innovation activities in Europe”.

Horizon 2020 has an enhanced focus on innovation to ensure that more of Europe’s excellent research ideas are swiftly transferred into successful products and services in the global market. “This offers a huge opportunity to boost jobs and growth and increase the competitiveness of the European Union” continued Klotz.

Launching the first calls for Horizon 2020 Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn (above) said: "It's time to get down to business. Horizon 2020 funding is vital for the future of research and innovation in Europe, and will contribute to growth, jobs and a better quality of life. We have designed Horizon 2020 to produce results, and we have slashed red tape to make it easier to participate. So I am calling on researchers, universities, businesses including SMEs, and others to sign up!"

Details of the first calls can be found in this EC press release.

Chemistry is key
SusChem sees Horizon 2020 as a key turning point for research and innovation in Europe and as a major opportunity for sustainable chemistry. The funding available for all aspects of chemistry research and innovation activities in Horizon 2020 will be greater than for its predecessor programme FP7 (2007 – 2013), which in turn was greater than its predecessor FP6 (2004 – 2007).

The European Union has also demonstrated a major commitment to EU industry-driven research and innovation in Horizon 2020 through its support for significant Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs). These include the Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency (SPIRE) PPP - a Cefic-SusChem flagship programme - and the Bio-Based Industries Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) - a SusChem-inspired proposal.

Sustainable chemistry is a key enabling technology to ensure competitiveness in Europe and a vital component of almost all value chains across the continent.

Stepping up
It is now vital that European chemistry-based industry and research institutions respond positively to this opportunity and challenge. In Horizon 2020 the portfolio of funding schemes has been simplified and the bureaucracy and other barriers to participation – especially for SMEs - have been significantly reduced.

At the launch Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn stated: "Today we're firing the starting gun: only the quickest out of blocks and the fittest will succeed."

And Cefic and SusChem are here to help you to succeed in Horizon 2020. During FP7 SusChem initiated and inspired sustainable chemistry projects with total funding in excess of € 1 billion.

Following its very successful pre-brokerage event in October, SusChem has scheduled a further Brokerage event for 31 January in Brussels. Don’t miss out – register today!

A specially created Grant-it web portal – a virtual gateway to all European Union funds for the sustainable chemistry sector – will be launched to SusChem stakeholders and Cefic members next week.

The first relevant calls for Horizon 2020 are already being uploaded to this portal.

Programme details
While the main areas of SusChem interest in the early calls for Horizon 2020 can be found under the Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies (LEIT) programme, with particular focus in those calls in the nanotechnologies, advanced materials, advanced manufacturing and processing, biotechnology (NMP) programme, SusChem experts have analysed the full programme and identified SusChem relevant topics across the portfolio of calls for 2014 and 2015. These include calls in:

All reference documents for the Horizon 2020 calls and programmes can be found on the dedicated Horizon 2020 Participant Portal.

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