Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Ten Years of SusChem: Celebrating Success, Preparing for the Next Decade

Today (11 June) in Brussels the European Technology Platform (ETP) for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem) is celebrating 10 years of achievement in sustainable research and innovation in Europe. Since its launch in 2004 SusChem has made significant contributions in areas from industrial biotechnology to process technologies and the development of new materials. And SusChem is preparing to do even more during the next decade. Over two days SusChem will be celebrating its achievements so far and looking to future activities in the context of its new Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA).

Clear commitment to Europe
Over the past 10 years SusChem has benefited from the solid commitment to sustainable chemistry of a broad range of stakeholders from industry, academia, and research and technology organization (RTOs) from all parts of Europe to build an invaluable network for sustainable chemistry across the continent.

Through its network of national technology platforms (NTPs), and a proactive approach to other industrial and technology sectors, SusChem is a trusted partner for research and innovation activities with the European Union and its member states. SusChem is officially recognised as a platform in the European Commission’s new research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.

A decade of achievement
Over the past 10 years SusChem has inspired research and innovation projects worth well over one billion euros: the vast majority funded via the European Commission’s FP7 programme. Under Horizon 2020 SusChem is proud to have inspired two major new public-private-partnerships (PPPs) that will deliver real competitive advantage for Europe: the Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency (SPIRE) PPP and the Bio-based Industries (BBI) Joint Technology Initiative (JTI).

“SusChem is leading the development of many of the key enabling technologies that are indispensable to achieving sustainable solutions for our most pressing societal challenges,” said Chairman of the SusChem Board Dr. Klaus Sommer (pictured right).

The next 10 years: breaking new boundaries 
On June 11 and 12 the new SusChem Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) will be discussed. The SIRA will set SusChem’s research and innovation priorities for the medium term.

An executive summary of the SIRA can be downloaded here.

However, to ensure future sustainable growth and competitiveness in Europe needs more than innovative sustainable technologies. To successfully compete with the US and China Europe must play to its strengths in a united effort to establish a sustainable, innovative and dynamic society.

“The proximity of European value chains across many different sectors, the possibility to easily work together on highly technical, cross-border projects, and the European economic eco-system of large and small enterprises working together give Europe a strong head-start to deliver the sustainable technologies the world needs,” commented Dr. Sommer.

And to enable Europe to meet the needs of our 21st century societal challenges, we also need a working population that is equipped with the right skill sets.

“We must make sustainable chemistry and science education in general more exciting and inspiring to attract more of our best young people with the right skills to science, technology and engineering careers. Without these skills Europe cannot build the sustainable future that we all want,” concluded Dr. Sommer.

The Stakeholder event
The SusChem Stakeholder event is taking place on 11 and 12 June 2014 at the Renaissance Hotel, Rue du Parnasse, Brussels with the theme: “Sustainable Chemistry: At the Forefront of Innovation. Defining the New Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda for the Next Decade.”

For more information on the event keep an eye on the SusChem blog or follow @suschem on twitter. We will be tweeting pictures and comments from the event under the hashtag #suschem10.

SusChem was initially formed as a joint initiative between Cefic, DECHEMA, EuropaBio, GDCh, ESAB and RSC with the objective to revitalize and inspire European chemistry and industrial biotechnology research, development, and innovation in a sustainable way.

SusChem was officially launched on Tuesday 6 July 2004 at an event hosted by the then Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin in Brussels. You can access Commissioner Busquin's speech from 6 July 2004 here (in French).

More information on the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem) can be found on its website.

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