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Monday, 31 March 2014

Showing the benefits of chlorine chemistry

Euro Chlor, the Brussels-based business association representing chlor-alkali producers in Europe, has just launched a new website featuring the many advantages and benefits of chlorine-based chemistry. The site describes chlorine-based chemistry applications in ten areas of everyday life, from feeding the planet to transportation solutions and home comfort.

Many people know the role of chlorine in disinfecting drinking water and swimming pools, but the wide variety of other uses of chlorine chemistry is relatively unknown. This will change with the new Euro Chlor website.

On the ‘Chlorine Things’ site you can learn how to swim faster than a fish, the way solar cells are produced and how pavements can clean polluted air – all thanks to chlorine chemistry. You can watch videos about how chlorine reacts with metals, and how virtually all communication relies on chlorine chemistry.

The site is also a portal to dialogue with Euro Chlor. The organization is eager to know what its website visitors think about chlorine chemistry. The homepage presents a range of interactive buttons that offer different possibilities for dialogue with the Euro Chlor. Visitors can post links to chlorine-related videos or just ask any chlorine-related question and there is the possibility to win a prize in the process! Click-through links allow visitors to connect with all major chlorine industry websites worldwide.

Why not visit the Chlorine Things website and start a fascinating journey through the chlorine universe!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Advancing Manufacturing can pave way for Industrial Renaissance

The role of manufacturing industries in Europe has declined in recent years. Over 3.8 million jobs have been lost in manufacturing in Europe since the beginning of the recent economic crisis. The European Commission is acting to reverse this trend and the Report of the Task Force on Advanced Manufacturing for Clean Production, just published, presents an overview of measures to foster the adoption of advanced manufacturing, including sustainable processes, to increase European competitiveness.

Europe is looking to enable an Industrial Renaissance and to increase the contribution that European industry makes to EU GDP to 20% by 2020. Sustainable chemistry and the process sectors represented by the SPIRE (Sustainable Process Industry through Resource Efficiency) PPP, have a clear role here.

In 2012, the manufacturing sector in the EU employed 30 million people directly and provided twice as many jobs indirectly manufactured goods amount to more than 80 % of total EU exports and manufacturing accounted for 80 % of private research and development expenditure.

Manufacturing currently faces a number of challenges such as the increasing scarcity of resources, the availability of big data, and mass customisation that have the potential to modify the global industrial landscape. Anticipating and reacting to these trends will be a major challenge for the European manufacturing sector.

"The chemical industry has been, is currently, and will continue to be a major driving force for innovation through its materials and processes," commented Gernot Klotz, executive director research and innovation at Cefic. "However, Europe also needs strong leadership and a commitment to create an integrated manufacturing policy that can drive a significant increase in job creation and prioritises growth without jeopardising the environment."

Advanced manufacturing
Advanced manufacturing includes all production solutions that can improve the productivity and/or to improve waste and pollution of manufacturing production both in traditional sectors and emerging industries. For example sustainable manufacturing technologies can increase manufacturing efficiency in the use of energy and materials and drastically reduce emissions.

Advanced manufacturing technologies are of a cross-cutting nature, providing a crucial input for process innovation in all manufacturing sectors. Their greater uptake in production processes would increase the competitiveness of the EU’s manufacturing industry.

The global market for industrial automation solutions is estimated at $ 155 billion in 2011, 35 % of it in Europe, and is forecast to reach $ 190 billion by 2015. In addition, the market volume for resource-efficiency technologies – an area of significant focus for SPIRE - is estimated at € 128 billion per annum.

Faster commercialisation, finance
Horizon 2020, the new Research & Innovation Framework Programme of the EU, will offer funding opportunities for research and innovation in advanced manufacturing. Public-private partnerships have been established such as Factories of the Future with an indicative budget of €1.15 billion and SPIRE with a €0.9 billion budget from the EU and matching contributions from private sources. New public-private partnerships in the area of Robotics and Photonics will also play a role for advanced manufacturing technologies.

A new emphasis on technology transfer and demonstration activities will bring research results quicker to the European market.

The European Investment Bank has introduced new measures that provide financing for advanced manufacturing. The Structural and Investment Funds also provide significant opportunities for European regions to modernise their industrial base via smart specialisation.

Incentives schemes on the EU level to foster the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies by EU industry such as SILC (Sustainable Industry Low Carbon) and I4MS (ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs) could serve as sources of inspiration for Member States and their regions.

The Commission will present information campaigns to industry on business opportunities for sustainable manufacturing opened by the Energy Efficiency Directive. A technology-neutral internal market legislation and enhanced cooperation with standardisation organisations on advanced manufacturing will also help to avoid obstacles for the uptake of advanced manufacturing technologies in European industry.

Links between industry, education and training institutions will be strengthened, notably with the Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) on added-value manufacturing that will be launched in 2016.

Future activities
During 2014 the Commission services will continue their partnership with Member States, Regions and industry to discuss potential measures in the medium-term that would contribute to improving the productivity and competitiveness of EU manufacturing industry.

For more information on the Advanced Manufacturing Technologies initiative visit the dedicated website where you can also download the full report.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

World Water Day 2014 on 21 - 22 March!

Water and Energy for a more efficient and sustainable management of our water resources is the theme for the 2014 World Water Day. On March 21 and 22 the United Nations Organisation – working closely with its Member States and other relevant stakeholders – will highlight the issues around the water-energy nexus: a topic of major interest to SusChem, the chemical and other process industries. Water and energy are closely interlinked and interdependent.

Energy generation and transmission requires utilisation of water resources, particularly for hydroelectric, nuclear, and thermal energy sources. And innovation in water usage is essential for us to achieve a more efficient use of water and energy: saving energy is saving water and saving water is saving energy. Choices concerning the supply, distribution, price, and use of water and energy impact one another. The water- energy nexus is one of the major societal challenges facing Europe and the World.

The chemical industry as one of the biggest water consumers can lead the development of integrated water strategies through technologies that reduce water consumption, reduce use of fresh water resources (through cascade use of urban, industrial and rural areas), and optimise waste water management.

The industry is also one of the biggest providers of water treatment materials and technologies. Our experience will allow us to develop new approaches to improve other sectors’ water management and public sector water requirements.

WWD 2014
World Water Day 2014 aims to facilitate the development of policies and cross-cutting frameworks that bridge ministries and sectors, leading the way to energy security and sustainable water use in a green economy.

The main celebrations of World Water Day will be organised by United Nations University (UNU) and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) on behalf of UN-Water on 20 and 21 March and will take place at the UNU Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.

Boosting innovation in water management will contribute to overcoming these challenges by achieving sustainable use and treatment of water and developing future water policy. The chemical industry participates in projects for the development of integrated water strategies through technologies that reduce water consumption and the related energy, reduce use of fresh water resources and optimise waste water management. For example, the FP7 project E4Water that is building on state-of-the-art and new fundamental R&D concepts with the aim of achieving an expected reduction of 20-40% in water use, 30-70% in wastewater production, 15-40% in energy use and up to 60% direct economic benefits at its case study sites throughout the European chemical industry.

Water EIP Newsletter
SusChem and Cefic are heavily involved in the European Innovation Partnership on Water (EIP Water) and the UN World Water Day is one of many articles in the latest EIP Water Newsletter.

Water and Energy is one of EIP Water’s priority areas and in the newsletter you can get updates on the activities the  EIP Water Action Groups that are working in this field: Water4Energy Framework , Renewable Energy Desalination and Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor. You can subscribe to the newsletter via the EIP water website.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

MatVal Cross Sectorial Workshop to Take Place in Brussels

MatVal, the SusChem-supported FP7 project is organizing a cross-sectorial workshop in Brussels on 26 March. The workshop will bring together a selection of experts to identify how innovation in materials research can help fulfil the converging needs of a wide variety of different industrial sectors.

The workshop will gather both industry actors and European policy-makers specializing in different technical areas that strongly rely on materials technology. These include: energy, construction, transport and the creative industries such as textile manufacturing and design. The experts will work together to explore where new approaches and new materials technologies that are used across different value-chains can benefit more than one sector.

This is an innovative approach to research and innovation in materials: cross-sectorial collaboration is the only way to help identify the key elements where innovation can deliver a holistic breakthrough, and it also creates a space for efficient sharing of resources and knowledge. This space, where the value chain approach is a guiding light, can be a fundamental cornerstone of the Alliance for Materials (A4M) “common house” that aims to bring together all the players of the Material research community in Europe.

The workshop is an invitation-only event.

What is MatVal?
Materials research and development is a technology area that affects almost every industrial sector. The achievement of effective coordination between different sectors, while maintaining their relative autonomy, interests and strategies is an essential condition to achieve the best and most effective use of the resources of the European materials research community.

The FP7 Project “Alliance for Materials – A value chain approach to materials research and innovation” - MatVal for short - was initiated by A4M: the grouping of European Technology Platforms (ETPs), including SusChem, involved in materials research and innovation as well as other key materials organisations representing research societies and networks of excellence. The project is also supported by more than 20 external partners with prominent reputations in materials.

MatVal was launched at a conference in Rome in February 2013. The two-year, €1.3 million project aims to integrate requirements, ideas and solutions in materials across sectors to create synergies and develop a truly coordinated and competitive materials R&D programme for Europe. A series of short video interviews with speakers from the launch conference can be viewed here.

The value chain approach is a key element of the thinking behind MatVal. Working along value chains can drive synergistic benefits through a common path which integrates players, resources and strategies starting from fundamental aspects of materials science up to the industrial systems that turn materials into valuable products

For more information on SusChem and chemical industry involvement in MatVal and A4M, please contact SusChem Innovation Manager Jacques Komornicki at Cefic.

Final call for Sustainable Energy Awards 2014!

Is your company investing in energy efficiency, renewable energy or clean transport? Are you keen to gain EU recognition and visibility for your company’s sustainable energy investments? If so, the European Commission invites you to participate in the Sustainable Energy Europe Awards 2014. But you'll need to be quick: the deadline for entries is 28 March!

Every action counts; whether it’s a freshly refurbished energy efficient office, a clean mobility project, an energy efficiency campaign, or your energy saving software for customers. For 2014 the Sustainable Energy Europe Awards include five categories:

  • COMMUNICATING: rising awareness actions
  • LEARNING: educational and capacity building programmes
  • LIVING: exemplary buildings
  • CONSUMING: energy saving and renewables in consumption and production processes
  • TRAVELLING: clean mobility projects

Winning projects will receive recognition and communication support, press promotion and a free audio-visual production featuring the project’s results. In addition, short-listed (five projects per category) and final winners will be invited to Brussels to present their project in a special conference and networking event to take place during the upcoming EU Sustainable Energy Week (23-27 June 2014). Travelling and accommodation costs for one representative will be covered. SusChem, of course, will be supporting #EUSEW 2014 as we did in 2013.

The winners will be announced during the EU Sustainable Energy Week 2014 in the presence of Energy Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger.

Why not share your company’s contribution to the EU 2020 energy targets and bring home the EU’s most important sustainable energy award?

More information
For more information visit the ManagEnergy and Sustainable Energy Europe Awards websites. Check out the competition’s eligibility and assessment criteria or click here to complete the short application form. You will need to register with the website before you can complete the form.

Don't forget the deadline for the competition is 28 March 2014. For queries or specific issues contact David Crous at the EUSEW organisers.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Public attitudes to science and technology

The 2014 Public Attitudes to Science (PAS) survey has just been published in the UK. This annual survey is conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and shows that the UK public’s views on science and scientists are becoming ever more positive as science and technology play an ever growing role in our daily lives. 

The 2014 PAS generally shows a more positive perception compared to two years ago with the majority seeing science as beneficial to their own life, society, and economy, and agreeing with public funding for research.

A large majority (81%) of the UK public think that on the whole, science will make our lives easier, with 55% agreeing that the benefits of science are greater than any harmful effects (up from 43% in 2000).  Those feeling that science makes our way of life change too fast have dropped from half (52%) in 1996 to just a third (34%) today. This change is driven by the younger generations, rather than a shift in overall perceptions across all generations, with 34% of both Generation X (born 1966-1979) and Generation Y (born since 1980) agreeing science makes our way of life change too fast, compared to 71% of the Pre-War Generation (born before 1945).  Similarly Generation X and Y are also more likely than their predecessors to say that it is important to know about science in their daily lives

Positive role
People are also more positive about the role science has to play in the economy, with almost all (91%) agreeing that young people’s interest in science is essential for our future prosperity (up from 85% in 2008) and 38% strongly agreeing that the UK needs to develop its science and technology sector in order to enhance its international competitiveness (up from 25% in 2008).

Almost eight in ten (79%) agree that even if it brings no immediate benefits, scientific research which advances knowledge should be funded by the Government, and 65% disagree that government funding for science should be cut because the money can be better spent elsewhere.

The public’s perceptions of scientists are strongly positive, with 46% strongly agreeing that they make a valuable contribution to society, and 27% strongly agreeing that in general, scientists want to make life better for the average person.  Scientists are now third on Ipsos MORI’s veracity index of professions, behind doctors and teachers, with 83% of the public saying that they would generally trust them to tell the truth.  This shows a significant continuing increase and now places scientists ahead of priests and the clergy in terms of trust.

The survey also shows that the public have a desire to know more about science and scientific research. The proportion who currently feels informed about science has increased from 40% in 2005 to 45% in now. However, half (51%) still feel that they receive too little information. There is also a desire for the public to play more of a role. However, while 69% think that scientists should listen more to ordinary people, and 75% think that the Government should act in accordance with public concerns about science and technology, there is also a growing recognition of the need for expert advice on some aspects.  Seven in ten (70%) say that experts and not the public should advise the Government about the implications of scientific development, up from 61% in 2008.

Science and media
The following nuggets of information were teased out of the survey details by Fiona Fox, Chief Executive of the Science Media Centre in London.

People still use traditional media. 59% say TV is one of their most regular sources of information on science, 23% say print newspapers are one of their most regular sources, while only 15% say online newspapers or news websites are one of their two most regular sources.
However 40% think scientists are poor at communicating and 50% think scientists are secretive. 90% trust scientists working at universities compared to 60% who trust private company scientists and there is concern over independence of scientists.

Of the specific science and social science topics explored in the survey, people feel relatively well informed about climate change, vaccination, renewable energy, economics, and animal research, but most do not feel informed about nuclear power, genetically modified (GM) crops, clinical trials, stem cell research, nanotechnology or synthetic biology (see Figure below).

GM and energy questions
72% feel that ensuring the world has enough food to go around is a very big issue today. 36% of those who have heard of GM crops before say the benefits of GM crops are greater than the risks, while 28% say that the risks are greater than the benefits. 80% feel that no agricultural technologies should be ruled out to help increase world food production, and less than only one-in-ten (9%) reject this notion. 58% agree that GM crops are necessary to increase world food production, but one-in-five (20%) are neutral and 15% disagree.

Interestingly support for carbon capture and storage is lower than for fracking for shale gas in questions about emerging energy technologies (see Figure below).

More information
For more details see the Ipsos MORI PAS 2014 website. The survey was conducted through 1 749 interviews with UK adults aged 16+ and a booster survey of 315 16-24 year-olds. Interviews were carried out face to face between 15 July and 18 November 2013.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Bio Base Europe selected as Demo Pilot Line

The Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant, a pilot plant for biobased products and processes located in the port of Ghent in Belgium, has been selected by the European Commission as a demonstrator multi-KETs pilot line. Supporting Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) is a key part of Europe’s industrial strategy to stimulate competitiveness and growth.

Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant has been selected as one of the four European demonstrator multi-KETs Pilot Lines. The Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant is a flexible and diversified pilot plant for the development, scale-up and custom manufacturing of biobased processes and products. It is an independent and open innovation pilot plant, accessible for companies and research institutions throughout the world. Bio Base Europe is one of a suite of projects across Europe that are working to realise the concepts outlined in SusChem’s original visionary project on ‘The Integrated Biorefinery’.

Six KETs - Industrial Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Nano- and Microelectronics, Photonics, Advanced Materials, and Advanced Manufacturing - have been were defined by the European Commission. Europe invests in these technologies, in part, to enable the shift to a low carbon, knowledge-based economy ensuring the competitiveness of European industries and the creation of jobs.

To support this policy, the European Commission has launched the multi-KETs Pilot Lines project that seeks to combine several KETs under one roof. In the frame of this project, four promising European pilot facilities will be scrutinized, resulting in a tentative implementation roadmap that can be used for the further development of a systematic EU policy to support pilot and other KETs activities.

The Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant is one of the selected demonstrator projects. During the coming months, its entire ecosystem will be mapped out including best practices, barriers to be overcome, technological and organizational aspects, financing mechanisms etc.

Bio Base Europe will organize monthly guided tours for interested parties, such as SME’s, large companies, policy makers etc, and host workshops to give participants insight into its daily operations. The first guided tour is scheduled for 25 March 2014. More information on the guided tours and workshops can be found here.

This accolade strengthens the position of Bio Base Europe in its mission to support SMEs and large companies with biotechnological innovations. Prof. Wim Soetaert, founder and managing director of Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant is very pleased with this international recognition. “Through the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant, Flanders has obtained a pole position in the field of industrial biotechnology,’ he commented. Prof Stoetaert was a SusChem board member.

A recent video (see below) on the initiative was made for Euronews.

More information
Bio Base Europe was Europe’s first open innovation and education centre for the biobased economy. The project is a joint venture between founding partners Ghent Bio-energy Valley in Belgium and Biopark Terneuzen from the Netherlands and is supported by the European Commission through its European Regional Development Fund programme INTERREG IV.

The aim of the project is to facilitate scale up and optimisation of bioprocesses at pilot plant scale and run test production quantities of new bio-based products for testing, and provide a facility for education and training for process operators for the bio-based industries. At the heart of the project are a pilot plant facility and a dedicated training centre.

The Bio Base Europe pilot plant is located in Ghent and was officially opened in June 2012. It is a flexible and diversified facility that can operate at the tonne level. Its mission is to provide a bridge over a critical innovation gap from scientific feasibility to industrial application for new biotechnological processes and products. It is a one-stop shop focusing on second generation biotechnologies to convert agricultural waste and non-food crops to useful bio-products. The facility is open to all and operations are supported by its own professional staff.

The Bio Base Training Centre is based in Terneuzen and is an education, networking and exhibition facility promoting the development of a sustainable, bio-based economy. It offers general and company-specific training connecting closely with current market demand. The centre is addressing a clear industry-wide skill shortage for process operators and technical specialists with experience in bio-based production and sustainable energy processes.

For more information contact Katrien Molders, Communication Manager for the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant project.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Convention highlights innovation challenges

The European Commission held its second Innovation Convention on 10 and 11 March in Brussels. The Innovation Convention is an essential (and fun) part of the Innovation Union flagship initiative that aims to create an innovation-friendly environment in Europe. The convention provides a platform for debate, workshops, award ceremonies and a showcase for some of Europe’s most innovative ideas and people.

The convention was organised by Research and Innovation Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn (pictured below trying out Google Glass) and opened by Commission President José Manuel Barroso. He praised the Commissioner for her efforts and enthusiasm in driving forward an ambitious European agenda on innovation in the context of the overall Europe 2020 agenda.

President Barroso said: “Innovation has a vital role to play in the [EU’s] recovery and in shaping our societies of tomorrow. Europe has a good story to tell, but we still need to do more to foster innovation and we want to do it with our partners.”

“Innovation and skills go to the very heart of what we, in Europe, should be about in the 21st Century, in our knowledge, in our values and in our way of living,” he continued.

Key messages
SusChem contributed to a session on the ‘Key innovation messages from 2013’ as a follow up to the Vilnius Innovation Forum and the 5th European Innovation Summit. This fringe session was organised by Knowledge4Innovation (K4I) and the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2013 on the afternoon of the first day of the conference.

In 2013 the two major innovation summits were organised in Vilnius and Brussels respectively and both resulted in a series of new messages and actions that were presented and discussed at this meeting. Speakers included Mr Lambert van Nistelrooij, MEP, Chairman of the Knowledge4innovation Forum Governing Board, Dr. Albertas Žalys from the Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science, and Mr Dimitrijus Kucevicius from the Ministry of Economy.

Dr. Gernot Klotz, Executive Director Research and Innovation, Cefic (above) gave the view from SusChem. He noted that Europe produced around 30% of the world’s patents but only a few percent of the global manufacturing. He emphasised the difference between research and innovation: innovation is about change, doing things differently and at the appropriate speed – it is not only about more money.

The EU needs to build on its innovation strengths. This meant that we needed to not only focus on brand new industries, but also on existing leading innovative industries such as chemicals and the process sectors. He noted the role of SPIRE PPP in connecting innovation across the process sectors under Horizon 2020.

He concluded that Europe needed to decide if it was only interested in knowledge creation or also the benefit, in terms of jobs and growth, which came from serious implementation of knowledge. He believes that Europe needs a strong manufacturing as basis for whole economy and that to succeed at innovation would require clear and strong leadership from all parts of society including both government and business.

Another highlight was an early evening ‘Global Leader’ session, moderated by Clara de la Torre who now heads the Key Enabling Technologies Directorate at the European Commission’s DG Research and Innovation, that saw Marijn E. Dekkers, Chairman of the board of Management of Bayer AG in conversation with Professor Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Advisor to President Barroso (pictured below).

Their conversation discussed the role and the perception of science and innovation in society – in particular how to strengthen an evidence-based approach for policy-makers, thus ensuring transparency and an effective involvement of the public.

The SusChem News team also enjoyed a Science Communication workshop organised by the BBC featuring (below from left to right) BBC presenter Vivienne Parry, BBC Science producers Jacqui Smith and Helen Thomas and comedian and BBC Science Club presenter Dara O’ Briain.

Showcase area
The exhibition area of the Innovation Convention provided a space to showcase a range of innovative prducts and enterprises from Google Glass to fuel-cell powered cars and rapid cooling for drinks!

Two of our favourites with a sustainable chemistry elements were the Algae Lamp – pictured above being described by Nicolas Hue (on the right) - and the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) stand (below) which highlighted the winners of its ‘Two Team‘ projects that looked at breakthrough technologies for a low carbon economy including the use of Deep Eutectic Solvents to process biomass – an extremely energy and resource efficient concept.

A huge number of photos from the two days can be found here on the Innovation Convention's flickr web page and video summaries of the two days of the Convention can be viewed below and are also available on the Innovation Convention website along with lots more information on all the events that took place.

Innovation Convention Day One

Innovation Convention Day Two

We are looking forward to the third event already!

Europe’s Energy Future

Competitive, secure and sustainable energy is vital for a thriving European economy and society. In the aftermath of the ambitious European Commission goal-setting for 2030, a high-level round table addressing the current fragmentation challenges and the promises of innovative technologies in the energy sector will place policy targets on the path to implementation. This discussion will take place on 19 March 2014 at the European Parliament in Brussels hosted by Mr. Jerzy Buzek MEP, Chairman of the Knowledge for Innovation (K4I) Forum.

The meeting entitled ‘Europe’s Energy Future: Efficiency and competitiveness through smart integration’ will examine the EU’s ambitious 2030 energy targets. These will only be meaningful if we manage the sustainable integration of a portfolio of energy technologies, elevate the current level of debate and action to broader concepts across sectors and national / regional activities and their implications on sustainability and competitiveness, and consider the significant recent changes in global context including emerging economies, access to energy supply, dependency, technological leadership, and Europe’s role and needs.

 The key note speech will be made by Günther H. Oettinger, European Commissioner for Energy, with contributions from: Dominique Ristori, Director-General at DG Energy; András Siegler, Director of Energy at DG Research and Innovation; Gernot Klotz Executive Director Research and Innovation, CEFIC; Pedro de Sampaio Nunes Head of Secretariat, EUREKA; David Salisbury President of the European Gas Research Group (GERG); and Gabriel Marquette General Manager of EUROGIA 2020: the EUREKA cluster for low-carbon energy technologies.

This high-level round table could mark the setting of some new directions for a more efficient articulation of a sustainable European energy system highlighting new business models, new opportunities and synergies.

Both SusChem and SPIRE have and continue to contribute chemical innovations to the sustainable energy sector and have leading roles to play in development of new low-carbon technologies.

Scope and issues
The EU needs new, high performance low-cost, low-carbon sustainable energy technologies to be brought to the market. However, the greatest impact of these technologies in terms of delivery on policy goals, competitiveness and efficiency will be achieved through an integrated strategy for innovation in the energy area.

The Integrated Energy Roadmap puts forward an action plan that addresses the energy challenges in a system approach, consolidates and aligns the various individual technology roadmaps, covers the entire research and innovation chain, and identifies pathways for work and synergies between various programmes, stakeholders, instruments and authorities.

However, the roadmap needs to practically address a series of existing challenges for implementation including how and what to prioritise short-term versus medium-term and long-term, what we can learn from each other across sectors, borders, and along value chain, how to create synergies among different instruments, different sectors, different technologies, and how to balance (sometimes competing) targets considering technological, economic, environmental and social aspects.

More information
Further information on the event can be found on the K4I website.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Second SPIRE Brokerage Event in May!

The second Brokerage event to be organized by the Public Private Partnership (PPP) on Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency (SPIRE) will be held in Brussels on 23 May. The objective of the meeting will be to look more closely into preparations for the SPIRE 2015 calls and to consider the first ideas for shaping SPIRE and related Horizon 2020 work programmes for 2016-2017. 

Following the very successful first SPIRE brokerage event held on 22 October 2013, the initial SPIRE calls under Horizon 2020 were published on 11 December 2013. The 23 May event will look at future calls under the theme of: ‘Outlook and perspectives in the forthcoming Horizon 2020 work programmes.’

The brokerage event will be held at the the Sheraton Brussels Hotel. The event is free of charge, but participation is subject to registration and restricted to members of A.SPIRE aisbl: the body that coordinates industrial contributions to the SPIRE PPP. Membership of A.SPIRE is open to all organisations with an interest in research and innovation activities for improving resource and energy efficiency in Europe.

Due to limited capacity and to ensure fairness the number of representatives from A.SPIRE  members will also be restricted to two each from A.SPIRE industry and research members and one each from A.SPIRE associations members and associate members. Registration will close on 25 April and it is strongly recommended that coordination takes place between representatives within member organizations before registration.

Soren Bowadt of DG Research and SPIRE’s R&D chair Ignacio Calleja of Tecnalia will open the brokerage proceedings with some feedback on the first 2014 SPIRE calls in Horizon 2020 and give a presentation on the upcoming 2015 calls.

There will then be parallel sessions of potential project ideas for 2015 in SPIRE’s Key Component areas: PROCESS, APPLICATIONS, FEED, WASTE2RESOURCE, and HORIZONTAL. The deadline to receive project idea submissions for presentation is 8 May 2014. All project presentations must be submitted via the SPIRE website.

After lunch the discussion will move on to the first ideas for 2016 and 2017. This will include work on the evolution of the SPIRE strategic research and innovation roadmap, discussion of gap analysis and presentations on the outcomes of recent Working Group days.

Attendance at the brokerage event will allow participants to exchange the latest information on relevant 2015 calls of Horizon 2020 in the areas of resource and energy efficiency. It will allow participants to present innovative project ideas to potential partners and to meet prospective partners and start building consortia involving both industry and academia. And the event will allow A.SPIRE members to present and exchange ideas about what technologies could inspire the development of 2016-2017 call priorities.

More information
For more information, including how to become a member of A.SPIRE, please contact the SPIRE secretariat or visit the SPIRE website.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

E4Water Newsletter out!

The third E4Water newsletter has just been published. The newsletter covers news and events from this important FP7 project including progress and results from some of the six case studies that are at the heart of the project.

The first feature is on the case study at Dow Case Study where the pilot plant at their Terneuzen, The Netherlands site was successfully started and officially opened in November 2013. The E4Water project consortium will meet on site in April to discuss progress in the project and link this with learning gained through the pilot site.

The second feature is the SolVin case study where project partners are working on technologies for a treatment train concerning the loop closure in the PVC production plant at Martorell in Spain. Following development and optimization of technologies the first part of the pilot plant is already under preparation and planned to start soon.

The final case study featured involves the treatment and reuse of process wash water at affordable costs. The partners from this Procter & Gamble case study are working on the development of a technology train with several tests ongoing. Selected technologies need to be optimized before building up, starting and running a test pilot in a real plant. This is scheduled for the end of this year.

The newsletter can be downloaded from the E4Water website, which also gives further details on the project and on upcoming events related to Industrial Water Management.

What is E4Water?
With the chemical industry providing the highest potential to demonstrate increased eco-efficiency in industrial water management, the FP7 project ‘Economically and Ecologically Efficient Water Management in the European Chemical Industry’ (E4Water) addresses a range of crucial process needs to overcome bottlenecks and barriers to a fully integrated and energy efficient water management system.

The project’s main objective is to develop and test integrated approaches, methodologies and process technologies. There are six industrial case study sites at the core of E4Water that are expected to achieve a reduction of 20-40% in water use, 30-70% in waste water production, 15-40% in energy use and up to 60% in direct economic benefits. In addition to the chemical industry, the project is actively seeking opportunities for cross-fertilization with other industrial sectors.

The project consortium brings together large chemical companies, leading European water sector companies and innovative research and technology development centres and universities. The partners are also involved in the Water supply and sanitation Platform (WssTP) and SusChem, the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry, and actively collaborate with water authorities in different European countries.

For more information about SusChem involvement with water issues, please contact Antonia Morales-Perez at Cefic, or visit the water priority page on the SusChem website.