The SIRA document highlights the role the chemical industry in boosting innovation in Europe and the potential for sustainable chemistry technologies to tackle societal challenges, as outlined in the European Commission’s Research Framework programme Horizon 2020.
The document introduces major changes from the past SusChem Strategic Research Agendas (SRA) by addressing new topics such as ICT and Manufacturing, the value chain impact, mobility and health. It also outlines the crucial links between SusChem's priorities and the Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) that Europe has been pushing forward.
Sustainable chemical value
Some 20% of the annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the European Union (EU) is due to the direct and indirect contributions of the chemical industry to EU Gross Value Added (GVA). The industry works along nearly all value chains and across industrial sectors ranging from pharmaceuticals and crop protection to the automotive sector, defence, construction, textiles and consumer goods.
The European chemical industry plays a pivotal role in supporting Europe 2020: the EU’s growth strategy that aims to transform the EU into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. The SIRA explains the strategy and role of SusChem in this context. It highlights a portfolio of sustainable chemistry research and innovation actions that the platform believes can make a significant contribution to improving competitiveness and sustainability in the EU, address societal challenges and contribute to achieving jobs and inclusive growth.
“Everything we do should be focused on ultimately improving societal conditions, in particular, with respect to sustainability – working for ‘People, Planet and Profit’”, says Dr Klaus Sommer, Chairman of the SusChem board. “Our work will be fully justified if we can simultaneously create jobs, improve the environment and generate greater economic success and wellbeing.”
“In this spirit, the new SIRA is a great opportunity for SusChem and sustainable chemistry research and innovation across Europe,” continues Dr Sommer. “The SIRA will add value to the societal, scientific and industrial debate and help us to focus on the real challenges we face.”
The SIRA is organised around five of the seven key societal challenges described in Horizon 2020 and highlights a portfolio of potential sustainable chemistry solutions. Each challenge is covered in a dedicated SIRA chapter:
- Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials
- Food security, sustainable agriculture and the bioeconomy
- Secure, clean and efficient energy
- Health, demographic change and wellbeing
- Smart, green and integrated transport
Stakeholder event 2015
Next steps and the implementation of the SIRA will be discussed at the SusChem Stakeholder event to be held in Brussels on 8 and 9 June 2015. The title of the event will be ‘Propelling Sustainable Chemistry to Exciting New Frontiers: Implementing the Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda’.
Registration for the 2015 Stakeholder event is scheduled to open on 24 March. Mark the dates in your agenda now!
The SIRA is the result of widespread consultation and input from SusChem's stakeholder community - not least discussions at SusChem's 10-year Stakeholder event in June 2014. SusChem now looks forward to working with its partners to implement these ideas over the next few years.
The SIRA has already been presented to European Commission officials and will form part of the input to future calls under Horizon 2020. You can download the full SIRA document here.
For more information on SusChem activities, the new SusChem SIRA and opportunities at the SusChem event contact Jacques Komornicki, SusChem Coordinator at Cefic.