Could you describe the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem)’s purpose in the wider context of the European technology landscape, and outline its vision? SusChem is an industry-led platform that brings together stakeholders interested in sustainable chemistry. Its vision is a chemical and biotech industry which fosters innovation in many industrial sectors by providing products and solutions in an open innovation mode. In the broader context of European Technology Platforms (ETPs), achieving this vision means working together and maintaining strong relations with the other Platforms. This is visible with the Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency (SPIRE) roadmap established with seven other ETPs.
How did you become involved with SusChem and what is your academic background? I became involved in SusChem when I accepted an Innovation Manager position at the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC). Part of this role was to become the new SusChem secretary. My educational background is in chemical engineering, with a PhD in Chemistry. I am currently seconded from industry, with a long history of R&D experience in advanced materials and chemical processes. Nanomaterials were part of the domains in which I worked; in the field of materials we also worked on nanostructuring materials, which are not nanomaterials per se but do provide specific high performances.
Why does SusChem regard Horizon 2020 as a key turning point for research and innovation in Europe, and a major opportunity for sustainable chemistry? The new Horizon 2020 framework programme provides an holistic view, integrating the why (the needs) and the how (the technologies) without being too prescriptive. This leaves the innovation field open. Horizon 2020 is also geared towards more near-to-the-market solutions, which is what is needed to promote growth and jobs in Europe. SusChem’s vision and the technologies proposed in its roadmap (the Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda) come with solutions to the main challenges facing Europe and are certainly part of the best answers to the issues. SusChem is therefore attuned to the Horizon 2020 spirit on a global scale.You can download the whole article as a pdf from the SusChem website or access the article on the International Innovation website. To access the article in this way you will need to register (for free) with the International Innovation website.
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