Thursday, 19 May 2016

Introducing Anne Chloe Devic

Cefic Research and Innovation has recently recruited two new Innovation Managers who will be heavily involved with SusChem activities over the next few years. Some members of the SusChem community will have met Anne Chloe Devic and Henk Pool prior to their secondment to Cefic and as they took up their duties for SusChem over the past few months. All stakeholders will have the opportunity to meet them at the 2016 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. Today we talk to Anne Chloe Devic.

Career highlights
Following two years of “Classes Preparatoires” in France, Anne Chloe got a Master’s degree in Chemistry and Chemical engineering specialising in Polymers from the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Chimie in Montpellier, France. She then started a professional ‘tour of Europe’ with a job at ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) in the UK working as a research engineer in acrylic composites. Anne Chloe then moved to France where she managed a laboratory and process support team for the production of alkoxylates for surfactants before moving to a plant producing PMMA cast sheets where she was deputy site manager looking after quality, SHE and process. Her next country was Belgium and, still with ICI, she managed a team looking after all scale-up activities for their Polyurethane business which was subsequently purchased by Huntsman. She continued her tour of Europe with a move to Spain in 2002 were she worked as technology advisor in research and innovation for materials at Repsol based in Madrid. In that job, Anne Chloe got involved with the SusChem Spain board and the materials working group of SusChem Europe. She also got the chance to sit on the IRIAG (Industry Research and Innovation Advisory Group) and the partnership board of the SPIRE association – experiences that means she has absolutely the right profile for the job of Innovation Manager at CEFIC!

In her free time Anne Chloe is a keen sportswoman, enjoys travelling every year to visit her family in India, and she has a special interest in innovation in politics – for example new governance systems.

What is your view on Sustainable Chemistry?
Sustainability in developing chemistry solutions for societal challenges is not only about assessing and reducing the environmental impact of a process or a product. It is also about developing in parallel an added value for the customer. Sustainability is also about the life of a chemical product which needs to further reduce its different footprints in its use and its ability to be recycled. Sustainability of chemicals is also about positive impact on people’s health and well-being. For example, I see 3D printable prosthetics as the solution and best example of sustainable chemistry for easy access of these devices to a much larger number of disabled people – more than we could ever dream off just 10 years ago. Here there is triple sustainability: it is about the renewable biopolymer used for 3D printing, it is the lower price enabling increasing access, and the added value by enabling full adaptation to the individual human body.

What challenges do you foresee?
We will not win the battle for competitiveness, which is crucial for the European Chemical industry, if we don’t offer Sustainable Chemicals which have significantly enhanced properties compared to existing products. The market needs to see sustainability and added value together, which is a very big technological challenge for the years to come. The answer will be the use of eco-design of materials. However the methodology of eco-design needs to be standardised and systematised in all research and innovation organizations.

Another challenge is to get the messages through to the public that sustainability is not only about use of alternative feedstocks for products, like biomass for “bio-products”. It is also about, for example, using CO2 and by-products from effluents to convert to useful products.

How do you see your new role contributing to your view on Sustainable Chemistry?
My new role will hopefully enable companies that we (CEFIC) represent to do more Research and Innovation, helping the Horizon 2020 programme and other instruments to better respond to the industrial challenges we face and to find the right multi-disciplinary collaborations across countries, academics and companies that will enable customers and society in general to have a better life, in a more reasonable world run under a sharing and more resource, energy and CO2 efficient economy - the circular economy.

What do you hope to achieve by the end of your three years at Cefic?
I hope I will have contributed, together with my colleagues in the innovation team at CEFIC, to spread the innovation challenges messages of the chemical industry, as an intermediate and coordinator, so that the public, the companies, the Research and Technology Organisations, and the European Institutions have a better understanding of how Innovation in sustainable chemicals and materials can be placed in the right context in terms of policy and technology. And how they can be potential game changers for Europe. To be more precise I hope that the achievement will be: Compared to three years before, we can seeing more involvement in collaborative projects with a measurable impact and more innovative products close to the market from the European chemical industry.

What areas are you looking to collaborate with others and how do you prefer to be contacted?
I will be dealing with the area of Sustainable Materials and I am looking to gather experts from industry and research organisations in order to draw together the research and innovation challenges of the future – specifically Materials in the Circular Economy and Energy Union issues. We will also establish and confirm the current priorities within the review of the SusChem Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA). I can be contacted for any proposed contribution you may have.

I am also coordinating the SusChem National Technology Platforms (NTPs) and will be looking to increase the number of NTPs - any organisation interested I setting up a new NTP can contact me - and how we can improve the existing network of 13 countries, exchanging real value between the European and national platforms.

You can contact Anne Chloe by email.

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