Thursday, 15 May 2014

Climate-KIC unveils four new climate change innovation programmes

Today (15 May) the Climate-KIC, the European Union’s main climate innovation initiative, has announced €100+ million funding for long-term programmes aimed at fighting the climate change challenge. At least two of these new programmes will be of interest to SusChem stakeholders.

The four new flagship pan-European innovation programmes will accelerate efforts in climate change mitigation and adaptation and will be supported by a combination of Climate-KIC, partner and external sources of funding to the tune of more than €100 million over the next four years. The programmes will start this year.

The new innovation programmes will incorporate a range of pioneering research, innovation and entrepreneurship in diverse technology sectors including:
  • Sustainable urban environments
  • Climate-friendly homes and offices
  • Exploiting CO2 as a resource
  • Catastrophe models for the finance industry
Mary Ritter, Climate-KIC Chief Executive Officer, said: “These new flagship initiatives will provide focus and impact for Climate-KIC’s approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation. These innovation programmes enable us to expand our work with climate experts, educators and innovative entrepreneurs across Europe to address climate change mitigation and adaptation – and shape the world’s next economy.”

The four programmes were announced at the European Business Summit in Brussels.

Exploiting CO2 as a resource
Under the leadership of Bayer MaterialScience, the enCO2re programme will further broaden the approach for CO2 re-utilisation, connecting technology leaders as well as leading European universities and institutes in order to leverage a broad utilisation of CO2 as feedstock for chemical value chains. Bayer MaterialScience has successfully demonstrated the feasibility of utilising CO2 as polymer feedstock and the news on this new project came on the same day as Bayer announced plans for an industrial scale plant producing CO2-based polyols in Europe.

Following a successful test phase and promising market analysis, Bayer MaterialScience plans to invest € 15 million in the construction of a production line at its Dormagen site to use CO2 to produce a precursor for premium polyurethane foam. The line will have an annual production capacity of 5,000 metric tons. The objective of the “Dream Production” project is to launch the first product on the market in 2016. Processors of polyols and polyurethanes have already expressed considerable interest.

Within the new enCO2re programme turning CO2 into high-value products, as well as evaluating the required infrastructure, will contribute to further decoupling energy and resource consumption from industrial growth a major objective of SusChem and the SPIRE2030 PPP.

Christoph Sievering, Head of Strategic Energy Management, Bayer MaterialScience commented: “Bayer believes in the potential of industrial symbiosis and open innovation. Climate-KIC offers a unique umbrella for further leveraging our ambitions to turn value chains into closed carbon cycles. The Climate-KIC enCO2re flagship is an industry initiative for enabling CO2 re-use. Climate-KIC drives innovation by connecting industry and technology leaders and convinced us with its three-pillar concept of innovation support, educational programmes and start-up acceleration.”

Other Partners of the enCO2re project include: Imperial College London, Delft University of Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, Laborelec, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, RWTH Aachen, GDF Suez, TU Berlin, and AkzoNobel.

Climate-friendly homes and offices
The Building Technologies Accelerator will bring together multidisciplinary ‘living lab’ teams across Europe to address the climate impact of new building technologies and accelerate the potential of low carbon products and services in the built environment. By the end of 2014, a range of new prototype technologies will be ready to be launched across Europe’s building sector.

Last year SusChem published a report on Key Innovations in Energy Efficiency in Buildings for Smart Cities that could contribute here and other sustainable chemistry contributions to improved resource and energy efficiency can be found at the Cefic-SusChem Smart Cities website.

Partners for the Building Technologies Accelerator include: Delft University of Technology; ETH Zurich; EMPA; Chalmers University of Technology; Knight Frank; and IVE Spain.

Sustainable urban environments
The Smart Sustainable Districts initiative will help some of Europe’s highest profile city district developments become global exemplar projects testing smart, sustainable systems for replication in other urban areas world-wide. Initially working with four pilot districts from a wider collaborative network of 12, the project will bring together some of the most advanced innovations from Climate-KIC’s network of over 200 partners. The project is led by Imperial College; Institute for Sustainability; TU Berlin; TNO; TU Munich; and Utrecht Sustainability Institute.

The fourth KIC covers ‘Catastrophe models for the finance industry.’

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