Monday, 22 December 2014

SusChem 2014 in Review

2014 was another great year for the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry: SusChem.  This year we celebrated our 10th anniversary with an extra special stakeholder event in Brussels. Over the past decade SusChem has inspired research and innovation projects worth well over one billion euros: the vast majority part-funded via the European Commission’s FP7 programme.

The launch of Horizon 2020 on 1 January 2014 saw SusChem proud to have inspired two major new public-private-partnerships (PPPs) that are already playing a major role in 2014 in delivering real competitive advantage for Europe via the new programme: the Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency (SPIRE) PPP and the Bio-based Industries (BBI) Joint Technology Initiative (JTI).

SusChem itself was also ‘quick off the blocks’ for Horizon 2020 by organising its first SusChem brokerage event on 31 January. The event attracted some 200 participants who heard about results from existing projects and started the process of initiating new consortia for the new Horizon 2020 calls.

On April 9 – 11 SusChem was at the Industrial Technologies 2014 event in Athens one of the highlights of the Greek Presidency of the European Union.

And on 6 May the European Commission gave the formal greenlight for the BBI JTI with the first calls for the Euros 3.7 billion joint venture announced on 9 July. Our other major PPP saw its second major call brokerage event on 23 May. The SPIRE Brokerage event was extremely successful and profiled its second wave of calls under Horizon 2020.

June 11 and 12 saw the event of the year for SusChem - SusChem#10 - our 10th anniversary stakeholder event. To mark the occasion a series of videos were produced to celebrate our first decade.

At the June stakeholder meeting as well as celebrating our 10th birthday we discussed and augmented the new SusChem Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA). This new agenda shows how the platform can help Europe to bridge the so-called ‘innovation valley of death’ and tackle some of the societal challenges addressed Horizon 2020.

You can access a series of seven videos produced around SusChem#10 to celebrate our achievements and look forward to the next ten years here on the SusChem YouTube channel.

Material innovation
At the end of September the SusChem FP7 project MatVal held its closing conference within the large LETS 2014 event in Bologna, Italy. SusChem and SPIRE were also featured in many other LETS 2014 sessions.

Bringing an exciting year to a very successful end SusChem had a big role in Knowledge for Innovation’s (K4I) Sixth European Innovation Summit at the European Parliament in Brussels from 17 - 20 November. As well has organising and participating in many of the conference sessions the SusChem stand in the exhibition area was a big hit with two 3D printing machines showing how chemistry is supporting the next industrial revolution: additive manufacturing.

A short video (below) gives a brief overview of SusChem’s involvement and the excitement generated at the event.

Great job!
When SusChem was established in 2004 the sustainable chemistry community in Europe faced a difficult task: to bring stakeholders in the chemical and the biotechnological industries, along with other important European industries, research organisations and academics together to formulate a strategy and a plan. This strategy and plan outlined how we could rejuvenate our industries through research and innovation and improve the competitiveness of our industries.

This was not an easy job, but together over the past decade we have shaped a lively, creative organisation, open for all interested stakeholders, that has made a huge impact.

But there is more to do. In early 2015 the full SIRA will be published setting out SusChem’s research and innovation priorities for the medium term under Horizon 2020 and other funding programmes. The document will add value to the societal, scientific and industrial debate in Europe and help all SusChem stakeholders to concentrate on the real challenges that we all face. Our work will be fully justified if we can simultaneously create jobs, improve the environment and generate greater economic success and well-being.

We look forward to working together to take SusChem to the next level in 2015.

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