Cefic Research and Innovation has recently recruited two new Innovation Managers who will be heavily involved with SusChem activities over the next few years. Martin Winter and Flavio Benedito both started their secondment to Cefic in June and many members of the SusChem community will have met them at the 2015 SusChem Stakeholder event. In this and a subsequent article we introduce both managers and ask them about what they are expecting to achieve for Sustainable Chemistry in Europe during their time with the platform.
In this article we talk to Martin. You can find the interview article with Flavio here.
Martin is a chemist by education and received his PhD on a nanomaterial science topic in 1998 from the Max Planck Society before leaving for postdoctoral study at the Scripps Research Institute in the U.S.
He has a long term background in the chemical industry joining Clariant in 1999 managing several innovation projects as Research and Development group leader and focusing on innovation and growth of new businesses. This included setting up external innovation activities through venture capital mechanisms, e.g. through screening and investments in start-up companies. In addition a marketing and sales responsibility for one of Clariant’s young start-up businesses brought him to Asia/Japan for a while.
Since June 2015 he has been seconded from Clariant to CEFIC in Brussels as an Innovation Manager responsible for driving the innovation agenda for the Chemical Industry by networking regarding research and innovation priorities and connecting them with the European Commission’s funding instruments under Horizon 2020, for example via the SPIRE Public Private partnership.
He likes to spend his free time with his family and also enjoy flying in the sky being an enthusiastic skydiver, instructor and tandem-master.
What is your view on Sustainable Chemistry?
I consider sustainability not only as a simple ‘trend’, but today not considering its significance means not only risking to stay in the business but also exposing future growth opportunities to risk. The concept of “being and developing sustainable” has to be strongly considered and supported by the innovation agenda of our industry to keep us ahead in the race for competitiveness.
The SusChem ETP and its Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) is an excellent platform to support the transformation of our excellent European research into relevant business opportunities by connecting industry, SMEs, academia and technology organizations with the funding instruments under Horizon 2020.
How do you see your new role contributing to your view on Sustainable Chemistry?
I will contribute to the already existing strong momentum with my personal commitment to relevant topics and discussions in the chemical and process industry, including Cefic contributing to Horizon 2020 projects.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of your three years at Cefic?
To support our European Industry to improve their competitiveness and economic growth and at the same time contributing with concrete innovation actions to the key societal challenges we are facing. In addition, and through my involvement in these activities, I will, of course, also enlarge my own network and be able to support my company Clariant when I return after my time at Cefic.
What areas are you looking to collaborate with others and how do you prefer to be contacted?
All topics relevant for the chemical and process industries with an initial focus on ICT aspects. I can be contacted by email or phone and of course lets meet personally at SPIRE, SusChem and other events to exchange our thoughts.