Thursday, 15 June 2017

Together for Sustainability: The new SusChem website

Today, (15 June 2017), SusChem has publicly launched its new website featuring fresh content and the platform’s distinctive new branding. The SusChem website’s bright and distinctive new visual style emphasises the platform’s values and aspirations, and is designed to help widen its appeal and accessibility. SusChem stakeholders were briefed on the new design at #suschem2017 on 8 June. SusChem was conceived in 2004 to shape one voice on innovation for the European chemical industry and has been very successful in promoting the chemical sciences and biotechnology in European research and innovation programmes for over the past decade.

Triple focus
The new website has a triple focus on SusChem’s policies, its technologies and its initiatives to cater for the diverse audiences that the platform reaches out to.

The primary policy vision driving SusChem’s thinking and initiatives is of a sustainable low-carbon economy in Europe that can avert or adapt to the impacts of significant climate change and support a dynamic innovation and industrial eco-system. Under this overall vision the website focuses on five main policy areas: Competitiveness, the Circular Economy, the Energy Union, the Digital Single Market, and the Bioeconomy.

From a technology perspective SusChem was created to revitalise and inspire European chemistry and industrial biotechnology research, development and innovation in a sustainable way to respond to pressing societal challenges. Its technologies are grouped into three general areas: Advanced materials, Process, and Digital.

In its initiatives section SusChem highlights its robust framework that brings together research, development and innovation actors from academia and industry across Europe providing an open and collaborative space to formulate and implement ideas that address major societal challenges.


Together for sustainability:

“Sustainability and competitiveness are strategic priorities for SusChem,” says Dr. Flavio Benedito, Cefic innovation manager and Secretary of SusChem. “Progress on sustainability, competitiveness and environmental protection are intimately linked; and chemical products and chemistry-driven technological advances provide critical answers to ensure the sustainable development of modern societies. The breakthrough technologies needed to transform our society to a more sustainable future will be enabled through chemistry. This concept of ‘Together for sustainability’ was a key element in the evolution of the new SusChem branding and website.”

The new SusChem branding was developed by DogStudio design and web consultancy based in Namur, Belgium in collaboration with the SusChem communications team.

Esther Agyeman-Budu, Cefic communication manager and leader of the SusChem Communications team said: “Our task in developing the new website and branding was to maintain key visual links with our original artwork concept while modernising it and expressing SusChem’s current values and aspirations as a mature, influential, international and inclusive professional organisation.”

For more information, please visit the new SusChem website or contact the SusChem team directly.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

#suschem2017 in Pictures

The 2017 SusChem Stakeholder event #suschem2017 was  a day full of discussion and debate on the impact of SusChem inspired projects and a look forward to the scope and content of the next European Commission framework programme for research and innovation. SusChem stakeholders also got to experience the new SusChem branding and make their FP9 wish. Here are a selection of images from this highly interactive day.















Thanks to everyone who made #suschem2017 such a success!

#suschem2017 - Sustainable chemistry: Accelerating innovation and impact in Europe

Today, 8 June, 2017, the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem) will be holding its annual Stakeholder event (#suschem2017) in Brussels. The event will bring together global audiences, senior players from the chemical and biotechnology industries, academia, research technology organisations (RTOs) and EU institutions to address common challenges and debate priorities crucial to the sustainability of the European chemical and biotechnology innovation sectors. The theme for #suschem2017 is ‘Accelerating innovation and impact in Europe: Shaping expectations and priorities for the next EU Framework Programme’.

The SusChem Stakeholder event is the platform’s biggest and most influential event and will culminate with a high level debate on how Europe can accelerate innovation and deliver real socio-economic impact through the next European Research Framework Programme (FP9). There will also be updates from SusChem’s network of National Technology Platforms and the launch of new SusChem branding at the event. All participants will get a chance to give input to the proceedings through parallel breakout workshops.
SusChem Chairman Dr. Klaus Sommer said: “Our SusChem 2017 Stakeholder event will provide input on success factors for innovation impact, how to better stimulate SMEs to engage with FP9 and which new instruments might be required in FP9, amongst other topics. This is exactly the role that a European Technology Platform like SusChem should play, continuing our role as thought leaders for sustainable chemistry Research & Innovation in Europe.”
What’s happening?
In the morning, the event will kick off with plenary presentations from Peter Droell, Director at European Commission DG Research and Innovation for Industrial Technologies and Dr. Klaus Sommer, Chairman of the SusChem Board. The SusChem communications team will also present the SusChem rebranding project.

Participants will then split into three parallel breakout workshop sessions. The three breakout session topics are:
  • Defining success factors for EU funded projects to optimise innovation impact and value for Europe. How can we maximise the market uptake and impact of EU funded project results by examining success learnings from projects?
  • SMEs as a driver of the EU innovation ecosystems: How can we stimulate market-creating innovation through SME funding? This breakout session will try to identify the right mechanisms and ways to enhance their engagement in European public funding.  
  • Shaping funding instruments to accelerate innovation and competitiveness in Europe. This breakout session we will examine the strengths and weaknesses of the design and structure of EU innovation funding instruments by sharing experiences with Horizon 2020.
FP9 debate
In the afternoon SusChem stakeholders will receive updates from the SusChem NTP network and feedback from the breakout sessions before a high-level panel discussion will examine how to accelerate innovation and deliver impact in the forthcoming FP9 programme.
“The SusChem platform has made a significant contribution to the formulation, execution, implementation and success of the FP7 and Horizon 2020 European research and innovation programmes. The forthcoming FP9 programme is a great opportunity to ensure that this success continues for the benefit of European industry and society in general. For this it is essential that the outcomes of successful projects are widely implemented to achieve tangible impact.” concludes Sommer.
The panel will be moderated by Cefic Executive Director for Research and Innovation Pierre Barthelemy and features contributions from Prof. Michael Matlosz, President and Chief Executive Officer of the French National Research Agency (ANR), Angels Orduña, the SPIRE PPP Executive Director, Iryna Sukhotska, Head of Public Affairs and R&D Project Management at Biopolis, Ulrich Kuesthardt, SusChem Board Member and CIO at Evonik, Muriel Attané, Secretary General of EARTO and Kurt Vandenberghe, Director for Policy Development and Coordination at DG Research and Innovation.



#suschem2017 takes place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Brussels, You can access the full programme for the event is available here.

Monday, 29 May 2017

ICIS Innovation Awards 2017

You have just over one month to submit your entry for the ICIS Innovation Awards 2017! The awards were launched in 2004 by European Chemical News and are celebrating their fourteenth anniversary this year. The awards have grown in popularity with each succeeding year and SusChem has been proud to contribute to their judging panels on many occasions. This year SusChem board member Dr Pierre Barthelemy will be part of the judging panel. The awards include categories for company innovations and also recognise high performing individual entries.

Innovation is a key driver for sustainable growth and profitability in the chemical sector. And the ICIS Awards look to recognise and reward the very best in innovation in the chemical industry. Sustainable innovation is at the heart of SusChem’s priorities and the platform is happy to support the awards.

The ICIS Innovation Awards focus on companies and individuals that show high levels of innovation in products and processes, as well as providing benefits to the environment and advancing progress towards sustainability.

The winners will be those companies and individuals that have made significant steps forward in technological and business innovation, with tangible results emerging during 2016 and the early part of this year.

For the second year ICIS is again teaming up with Elsevier’s R&D Solutions as the overall sponsor of the awards and as a partner in the Alpha Innovator of the Year Awards for individual achievement that were launched last year.

Judging panel
The awards are open to any chemical company or collaborative effort between industry and academia anywhere in the World. The judging panel will be looking for innovative projects that solve problems or provide solutions for the company or its customers or that demonstrate an innovative approach to business, the environment and sustainability.

Pierre (pictured left) is executive director for research and innovation at Cefic, representing the priorities of the chemical industry towards the EU institutions for innovation-related aspects. He joined Solvay in 1988 and was seconded to Cefic in 2014. He has a PhD in chemistry from the University of Liège, Belgium

"I am really pleased to be part of this year's ICIS Innovation awards judging panel," said Pierre. "And am looking forward to seeing some truly innovative and sustainable entries."

Pierre’s fellow members of the 2017 judging panel include Christina Valimaki, senior director, chemicals segment marketing, for Elsevier; Mike Lacey, new product identification manager within the New Product Platform group of Exxon Mobil Chemical; Just Jansz, an independent board member and advisor, and founder and MD of business and technology management consultancy Expertise Beyond Borders; Mike McKenna, COO for Maroon Group, a North American specialty chemical and ingredients distributor; Paul Bjacek, principal director and lead for Accenture’s chemicals and natural resources strategic research; and Peter Nieuwenhuizen, global research, development and innovation director, specialty chemicals, at AkzoNobel.

Which award?
Past ICIS awards winners have included the largest multinational and the smallest ‘micro’ SME – but the common denominator for success has always been the quality of the innovation. This year there are four prize categories for company entries to choose from:

  • Best Product Innovation
  • Best Innovation by a Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME)
  • Best Business Innovation
  • Innovation with Best Benefit for Environmental and Sustainability

An overall winner will be picked from the winners of the four individual categories.

In addition the Alpha Innovator of the Year Awards recognise individual scientists, engineers and other R&D professionals who are unafraid to tackle roadblocks head on, and who are unrelenting in their pursuit of innovation and optimisation as they strive to push the industry forward – not only as an industry but as a society.

Again this year, two individuals will be recognised as Alpha Innovators of the Year – one for their work in the area of product development and/or process optimisation and the other for innovations that help develop and promote environmental performance and sustainability in the chemical industry.

How to enter?
The ICIS Innovation Awards are open to any chemical company or individual, regardless of where they are based.

Having decided the appropriate category or categories you want to enter in either the ICIS Innovation Awards or Alpha Innovator of the Year Awards you then need to complete the relevant online application form that can be found at www.icis.com/awards, upload any supporting documents and click ‘submit’ – that is it! 

The deadline for receipt of entries is 30 June 2017. A confirmation of receipt of your entry will be sent by email.

Winners of an award will receive a free trial to Reaxys, Elsevier’s R&D Solutions’ web-based tool for retrieval of chemistry information and data from published literature, including journals and patents; enjoy extensive editorial coverage in ICIS Chemical Business and ICIS online; be able to build on further publicity both within their company and externally, related to their success in the competition; be invited to an Awards lunch with the other winners, sponsors and judges later in the year; and receive an active Innovation Awards logo to host on their website, promoting their success in the competition.

The deadline for entries is 30 June 2017. A shortlist of successful entries in each category will be published in ICIS Chemical Business in August. Winners will be notified in September, and the announcement of the winners will be made in ICIS Chemical Business in October. Award presentations will be made in early December at a special lunch in a leading London venue.

For more information about the ICIS Chemical Business Innovation Awards view the launch video below or for specific queries contact John Baker at ICIS.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Are you the Most Innovative European Biotech SME?

SusChem founding partner EuropaBio is inviting small and medium sized biotech companies (SMEs) across Europe to apply for the 8th edition of its Most Innovative European Biotech SME Award: a unique annual initiative recognising biotech innovation and its contribution to society. SMEs interested in entering the competition are invited to apply by 26 June 2017 via the awards dedicated website.

Three categories are available for entry: healthcare, agricultural or industrial biotechnology. Applications must be submitted online at biotechSMEawards.eu by close of business on 26 June and two companies will be shortlisted in each category by a jury of biotech experts.

The winners will be celebrated during a landmark event for SMEs to held in early October. Each winner will also receive a €10 000 prize and two years free membership of EuropaBio.

In order to be considered for the EuropaBio SME awards a company must qualify as an SME under the standard EU SME definition: the company's primary location of operations must be within Europe, it must employ 250 or less staff, and its annual turnover must be €50 million or less.

Why SMEs?
According to the European Commission, “small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Europe's economy. They represent 90% of all businesses in the EU. In the past five years, they have created around 85% of new jobs and provided two-thirds of the total private sector employment in the EU.” 

In other words, SMEs matter and their leaders in innovation should be recognised and rewarded.

Biotech exemplifies the way in which science and scientific breakthroughs can be applied to respond to society’s current challenges. From new therapies that can address unmet medical needs and fight epidemics and rare diseases, to industrial processes that use renewable feedstocks instead of crude oil, to drought-resistant crops that allow farmers around the world to feed more people under unpredictable climatic conditions, biotechnology pays significant economic, social and environmental dividends.

The awards have become one of the main initiatives in the European biotech calendar, with almost 200 SMEs competing over the years. The success stories from previous winners can be read online at biotechSMEawards.eu.

The jury
The expert jury are all involved in biotech and understand the science, the funding realities and the regulatory and political frameworks in which European biotech SMEs operate. They appreciate the potential of innovation and SMEs for Europe’s future, and they will carefully analyse each application to select the nominees. The jury includes:
  • Peter Heinrich, Chairman of German national biotech association BIO Deutschland and Managing Director of Sinfonie Life Science Management GmbH, Planegg.
  • Frank Bulens, member of the Management Committee and Board of Directors of Capricorn Venture Partners. He is active in diagnostics, therapeutics and medical devices as well as digital health-tech for the various Capricorn funds that are investing in these areas.
  • John Brennan, the new Secretary General of EuropaBio, who takes up his post from 19 June 2017, with over 25 years’ experience both on the regulatory and the industrial sides of the healthcare industry.
Further jury members will be announced before the summer.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Water in the Circular Economy: Innovations for Urban Water Treatment

The FP7 project R3Water (Reuse, Recovery and Resource Efficiency: Innovations in Urban wastewater treatment) will be holding its final conference on 30 May 2017 in Brussels. The conference will provide participants with detailed information on the innovations for urban water treatment developed in the project.

The final R3Water project conference entitled ‘Water in the circular economy – innovations for urban water treatment’ will take place from 10:00 on 30 May 2017 at the Representation of the State of Hessen to the EU, 21 Rue Montoyer, 1000 Brussels.

As well as presentations related to the developments made during R3Water, several keynote speakers will give insights on the reuse of water, resource recovery and resource efficiency in urban waste water treatment.



More about R3Water
The R3Water project was funded under the European Commission’s FP7 programme and started in January 2014 for 42 months with a budget of EUR 7.8 million.

Wastewater treatment plants are usually regarded as facilities to avoid emissions from wastewater. Current research and development shows that these plants can be converted and upgraded into production units to provide energy, nutrients, water for re-use and possibly other valuable outputs. This is achieved by improved resource efficiency in the plant as well as through the use of new technologies and business models that allow the re-use of resources from the incoming water.

The main objective of the R3Water project is to demonstrate solutions that support this transition from a treatment plant for urban wastewater to a production unit for different valuable products.

The project consortium, coordinated by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, brings together 12 technological partners from seven European countries.

More information about the R3Water project can be found on the project website and in its brochure.

Friday, 28 April 2017

'Industry Water: From Single Use to Integrated Management' Workshop

On 20 April, the WssTP and SusChem European Technology Platforms jointly hosted a successful and well-attended workshop on ‘Industry water: from single use to integrated management’ in Brussels.


The workshop succeeded in gathering challenges and perspectives on the management of smart industrial water reuse and featured contributions from the European Commission and the sector made by both “problem owners” and “solution providers”, and with a final insight on the holistic and systemic structure (Smart Governance and Digital Water) which addressed the challenges for discovering and exploiting the true Value of Water as highlighted in the WssTP Vision document.

For WssTP the Value of Water highlights the crucial role of water for our economy, industry, society, nature and citizens and foresees a future digitally connected water-smart society that works with waters of different qualities that are appropriate to their use.

SusChem sees fresh water as a scarce resource and a critical element for sustainable development of society. Water is a priority area for SusChem and it is pursuing specific topics with the overall aim of decoupling economic growth from actual water use.

Outputs for action 
The workshop produced tangible outputs through a final parallel breakout session that developed and proposed content, gaps, strengths and needs of the four pillars of the Value of Water vision:

  • Modelling and Analysis
  • Big Data
  • Smart Governance, and 
  • Sensor Networks.

This final session built the basis for an action plan to bring the outcomes of the workshop to the European Innovation Partnership for Water (EIP Water) Conference, which will be held in the city of Porto in the week of 25 September 2017. A group of participants from the workshop will support the further development of the outputs for final presentation at the EIP Water Conference. A list of action derived from the joint workshop will drive the content of a follow-up workshop that will take place during the EIP Water Conference.


The outputs and challenges identified for each pillar of the Value of Water are briefly described below:

Sensor Networks
Sensor development provides a unique opportunity for enhancing the Value of Water. Advanced sensor development is required to ensure continuous understanding and control of water quality. Handling of dynamic water systems requires advanced sensors. Full implementation, reliable operation costs and maintenance are important.

Big Data
Identifying the value of the water system in generating and creating data is central to its economic value. The creation of a resilient basis for cyber security and privacy legislation is necessary, as no holistic overview currently exists. Links between data silos and pockets of data should be established and prioritized.

Modelling and Analysis
Many models for enhancing water management exist in academia or within RTOs. But these methodologies need to be brought into context before moving to the next pilot phase. It is necessary to identify models and tailor them to the requirements of users in order to develop more efficient  water systems, while observing the interactions and implications.
 
Smart Governance
Smart governance models vary from region to region. The selection process for an appropriate governance design requires extensive consideration. Education and communication is crucial for its successful understanding and implementation.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact the WssTP secretariat.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

SusChem 2017 Registration - Lets do it!

Our most influential annual event – the SusChem Stakeholder event – is now open for registration. The 2017 event takes place on 8 June at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Brussels and will bring together global audiences, senior players from the chemical industry, academia, research technology organisations (RTOs) and EU institutions to address common challenges and debate priorities crucial to the sustainability of the European chemical and biotechnology innovation sectors. This year’s theme is ‘Accelerating innovation and impact in Europe: Shaping expectations and priorities for the next EU Framework Programme’.

Registration is easy. Cefic Innovation manager and member of the SusChem secretariat show you how the registration launch happened - and how to sign up for the sustainable chemistry event of the year!


Thursday, 13 April 2017

Registration for SusChem Stakeholder event 2017 is open!

Our most influential annual event – the SusChem Stakeholder event – is now open for registration. The 2017 event takes place on 8 June at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Brussels and will bring together global audiences, senior players from the chemical industry, academia, research technology organisations (RTOs) and EU institutions to address common challenges and debate priorities crucial to the sustainability of the European chemical and biotechnology innovation sectors. This year’s theme is ‘Accelerating innovation and impact in Europe: Shaping expectations and priorities for the next EU Framework Programme’.


In the morning plenary presentations will be given by Peter Droell, Director at DG Research and Innovation for Industrial Technologies and Dr. Klaus Sommer, Chairman of the SusChem Board and the SusChem communications team will also present the SusChem rebranding project.

Breakout sessions
Participants will then split into three parallel breakout workshops. There will be two sessions held either side of the morning coffee break and delegates will be asked to select two of the three topics at registration.

The three breakout session topics are:

  • Defining success factors for EU funded projects to optimise innovation impact and value for Europe How can we maximise the market uptake and impact of EU funded project results by examining success learnings from projects? Exemplary projects will share relevant success factors and critical learnings and all stakeholders will have an opportunity to share their views on collaborative projects and how they can be designed to optimise impact.
  • SME’s as a driver of the EU innovation ecosystems: How can we stimulate market-creating innovation through SME funding? Chemical and biotechnology SMEs are key enablers of innovation. This breakout session will try to identify the right mechanisms and ways to enhance their engagement in European public funding.  The session will examine current policies drivers, funding requirements and barriers to the commercialisation of SME innovation.
  • Shaping funding instruments to accelerate innovation and competitiveness in Europe Competitiveness relies on the capacity to create added value.  In this breakout session we will examine the strengths and weaknesses of the design and structure of EU innovation funding instruments by sharing experiences with Horizon 2020. Together, we will identify a short list of ideas and recommendations for the EU Commission in the evolution and design of the next EU Framework Programme.

FP9 debate
After lunch SusChem stakeholders will receive updates from our National Research Platform (NTP) network and feedback from the breakout sessions before a high-level panel discussion that will examine how to accelerate innovation and deliver impact in the upcoming Framework Funding Programme (FP9).

The panel will be moderated by Cefic Director General Marco Mensink and will feature contributions from Prof. Michael Matlosz, President and Chief Executive Officer of the French National Research Agency (ANR), Cosimo Franco, CEO of Endura, Angels Orduña, the SPIRE PPP Executive Director, Ulrich Kuesthardt, SusChem Board Member and CIO at Evonik, and Kurt Vandenberghe, Director for Policy Development and Coordination at DG Research and Innovation.

Following a summing up of the day’s activities and outcomes, the SusChem Stakeholder event 2017 will conclude – as ever – with a networking cocktail reception.

For more details, please visit the event website or register direct by clicking here. In the meantime why not catch up with the highlights of the 2016 SusChem Stakeholder event!



Tuesday, 11 April 2017

VERAM holds Expert Workshop on future of European raw materials research

On Tuesday 13 June 2017, the Horizon 2020 project VERAM (Visionand Roadmap for European Raw Materials) is holding a workshop to explore opportunities and develop solutions which will help shape the landscape of European raw materials research and innovation towards 2050. The event will take place in Brussels. SusChem is a partner in VERAM and you are invited to participate, but places are limited so don't miss this opportunity to have your say on the future of raw materials research and innovation!

VERAM is a unique coordination project that links two European Technology Platforms (ETPs) in minerals and forestry and two European Research Areas (ERA-NETs). And SusChem is involved too. With a total budget of €1.4 million to be implemented over a period of 30 months, the project kicked off in December 2015 and will complete its work by 31 May 2018.

The VERAM project is working to produce a Vision and Roadmap for European Raw Materials to 2050 based on the coordination of raw materials research and innovation. At the heart of this collaboration are two of our fellow ETPs: ETP SMR on Sustainable Minerals Resources and FTP (Forest Technology Platform). They are supported in their efforts by the ECTP (European Construction Technology Platform) represented by Università Politecnica dells Marche - UNIVPMEuMaT (Advanced Materials ETP) represented by Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek - VITO, and by SusChem represented by the European Chemical Industry Council - Cefic.

In addition the ERA-NETs WoodWisdomNet (represented in the project by Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe – FNR – from Germany) and ERA‐Min (represented by the French National Centre for Scientific Research – CNRS) will link to national research funding activities and four well-known research institutes - D’Appolonia SPA from Italy, Germany's Forschunszentrum Juelich - FZ Juelich, Fundacion Technalia Research and Innovation - Tecnalia from Spain, and Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy - VTT from Finland - complete the partnership.

The VERAM Experts' Workshop takes place on 13 June at the Orega - EU District, Rue du Commerce 123, 1000 Brussels from 10:00 to 16:00 and will gather information, ideas and opinions from expert stakeholders to develop a solid Research and Innovation Roadmap for European Raw Materials.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

SusChem UK hosts BBI workshop in London

On 3 May 2017 SusChem UK, the Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), the Horizon 2020 UK National Contact Points (NCPs), and Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) are holding a Consortia Building Event: European Funding for Bio Based Industries in London. This one-day event will give details about the 2017 call for proposals from the European Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) and will provide the opportunity to start building consortia and finding new project partners.

The London event is suitable for anyone with an interest in participating in European projects in the forthcoming 2017 call topics under the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking. The workshop will present a range of experience in European projects from newcomers to people who have coordinated EU projects on a regular basis.

Representatives from industry (small and large), academia, RTOs and other types of organisations with appropriate skills and expertise to address the forthcoming 2017 call topics in BBI should attend and delegates from all European Member States are encouraged to be there – in fact one-third of the spaces available are reserved for non-UK participants.

By attending the workshop delegates will have the opportunity to:
  • Identify and link with new partners across Europe
  • Join consortia forming around forthcoming 2017 call topics
  • Discuss and refine your projects ideas with potential partners
  • Gather information on forthcoming 2017 call topics
  • Take advantage of the NCP, BBI JU, KTN and EEN support available on the day
BBI calls for 2017 and 2018
The strategic orientations for the BBI JU’s calls in 2017 and 2018 are:
  1. Fostering a sustainable biomass-feedstock supply to feed both existing and new value chains;
  2. Optimising efficient processing for integrated biorefineries;
  3. Developing innovative bio-based products for specific market applications; 
  4. Creating and accelerating the market uptake of bio-based products and applications.
The calls that will be reviewed at the workshop are:
  • Feedstock: BBI 2017.R1, BBI 2017.D1, BBI 2017.D2
  • Process: BBI 2017.R2, BBI 2017.R3, BBI 2017.F1
  • Products: BBI 2017.R4, BBI 2017.R5, BBI 2017.R6, BBI 2017.R7, BBI 2017.D3, BBI 2017.D4, BBI 2017.D5, BBI 2017.F2
  • Market Uptake: BBI 2017. S1, BBI 2017.S2
You can find more details on these topics and a full list of BBI JU call topics here. The BBI JU 2017 call programme was also described in SusChem News in January.

The event will take place at the Ambassadors Bloomsbury Hotel in central London. More information is available here. Registration is free, but all participants must register by 13 April. Please contact Susanne Coles with any further queries.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Industry Water: From Single Use to Integrated Management

The European Water Platform (WssTP) and SusChem are jointly organising a workshop on ‘Industry Water: From Single Use to Integrated Management’ that will take place on Thursday 20 April 2017 at the BluePoint Centre (formerly known as the Diamant Centre) in Brussels.

The workshop will gather perspectives and viewpoints on the water reuse domain and will feature contributions from the European Commission, the ‘problem owners’ and ‘solution providers’ involved in the water and related sectors, and a final insight on the holistic and systemic structure (Smart Governance and Digital Water) which can address the challenges for discovering and exploiting the true Value of Water: multiple waters, digitally connected and smartly managed.


Tangible outputs from the workshop will be produced through a final breakout parallel session that will develop and propose content, gaps, strengths and needs of the four pillars of the Value of Water concept:
  • Modelling and Analysis
  • Big Data
  • Smart Governance
  • Sensor Networks
The final session will build an action plan to deliver the outcomes of the workshop to the Fourth EIP Water Conference that takes place in the city of Porto during the week of 25 September.

You can download the agenda for the workshop here and registration can be found here.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Mainstreaming Sustainable Chemistry with ISC3

On May 17 and 18 the German Environmental Agency and the Ministry of Environment in Germany is organising the conference ‘Mainstreaming Sustainable Chemistry – Launch of ISC3 and ISCnet for Global Cooperation’ in Berlin. ISC3 is the International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre, which will be based in Bonn, Germany and will start its activities in May 2017.

The conference programme includes sessions on ‘Sustainable Chemistry and the SDGs: Policy Options to Realise the 2030 Agenda’ including a panel discussion on how to mainstream sustainable chemistry into governmental and business policies and practises; ‘Mainstreaming Sustainable Chemistry: Opportunities and Challenges for ISC3’; ‘Sustainable Chemistry, Sustainable Development, Investment and Economics’ including a panel discussion on the main economic drivers for sustainable chemistry; and the scope, expectations and challenges for ISCnet

The conference also provides an opportunity to meet members of the ISCnet global network, which is open to everyone engaged in sustainable chemistry.

The conference is free of charge and the link to the conference website is here. You can download a flyer on the conference here and a detailed conference programme here.

The conference will take place at the German Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety situated on Potsdamer Platz in the heart of Berlin. Until 1989, the building was actually part of the Berlin Wall and part of the wall was preserved and can be visited inside the building. Please register via the ISC3 website.

What is ISC3?
The International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre (ISC3) wants to support the global breakthrough of Sustainable Chemistry. The project for the establishment of ISC3 was launched in March 2015 by the German Federal Environment Agency. ISC3 will act as a platform for the Sustainable Chemistry community, an incubator and multiplier of ideas and innovations, a think tank and source of inspiration, and as a knowledge base for Sustainable Chemistry. ISCnet will be the global network of all stakeholders, scientists and practitioners engaged in sustainable chemistry approaches. SusChem board members Klaus Kuemmerer and Pierre Barthelemy are members of the ISC3 Advisory Council.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Your Chance to Influence the EU Research Agenda for Formulated Products

The Horizon 2020 project AceForm4.0 has launched a public online consultation. The main aim of the consultation is to identify the common technological challenges faced by the European Formulation Industry and its associated actors along the whole value chain. 

These findings will serve as guidelines for the allocation of European public funding for research and development activities over the next 5-10 years. Don’t miss your chance to make sure that those areas that will effectively enable your organisation to increase its competitiveness and its innovation ability get the support they need!

The Horizon 2020 Coordination Action on Formulations (AceForm4.0) was put together in response to a call that was originally proposed by some of the SusChem NTPs in particular SusChem UK. The full project name is ‘Activating Value Chains for EU leadership in FORMulation Manufacturing 4.0’.

The survey
The AceForm4.0 consultation targets industrial and commercial organisations producing formulated products and formulations as well as all associated actors along the value chain and is divided into four sections and should take no more than 25 minutes to complete.

The first two sections of the survey are dedicated to identifying the profile of the survey participant and their technical challenges and opportunities. The third and fourth sections are exclusively dedicated to the identification of challenges and opportunities for the formulation industry in the context of two mega trends: the Circular Economy and Industry 4.0

The survey will be conducted during the first and second quarter of 2017. The findings will then be analysed and translated into a common vision for sustainable formulated products and an implementation plan for 2025. Further one-to-one interviews and workshops will be carried out as part of the process of preparing this common vision. 

The findings will be made available to the public on a continuous basis during 2017 and 2018 through the AceForm4.0 project website.


More about AceForm4.0
The project aims to strengthen Europe’s leadership in the development and commercialisation of innovative sustainable formulated products by working with relevant stakeholders to establish a strategic roadmap, develop an associated implementation plan for 2025 and stimulate the creation of new collaborative value chains and partnerships in the context of the opportunities offered by industry 4.0 and the drive by Europe towards a circular economy.

The project will establish and evolve an EU Formulation Interest Group (EU-FIG) and facilitate the exchange of non-competitive know-how in formulation technologies between stakeholders operating in six key sectors that are dependent upon innovations in formulation technologies:

  • Formulated products for institutional and consumer use (e.g. detergents)
  • Pharmaceuticals and healthcare formulated products
  • Agrochemical formulated products
  • Formulated products for surface modification such as coatings and inks
  • Formulated food ingredients and nutraceuticals
  • Process modelling, simulation, plant automation and digital platforms (cross-cutting digital sector)

It will identify, analyse and validate common scientific and industrial cross-sectorial challenges facing these sectors in the coming decade that can reduce energy consumption; improve resource efficiency and recycling; improve process scalability; and reduce time-to-market. It will focus on the following domains:

  • Formulation technologies for better delivery of active ingredients
  • Modelling and high-throughput metrology to improve scale-up, process control and supply chain management
  • Intensification methodologies for better process design using scalable and industrially relevant integrated digital platforms

AceForm4.0 will develop and validate a strategic roadmap and associated implementation plan and facilitate through knowledge exchange activities the development of new cross-sector value chain partnerships. Finally it will develop a robust business plan for the on-going facilitation of the EU Formulation Interest Group, to enable facilitation of the community beyond the completion of the project.

What are Formulated Products
A formulated product is composed of at least two ingredients which are selected, processed and combined in a specific way to obtain well-defined target properties, functionality and performance. The product can exist in liquid, semisolid or powder form. A formulated product has a commercial value and is either meant for direct consumer use or for downstream use in industrial applications.

Examples of formulated products range from laundry detergents to wall paint and ready-made sauces, dressings and spreads, inks and ice-cream to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Friday, 17 March 2017

BioLinX - Providing Links to Commercialize your Innovative Ideas

‘Providing links to speed-up innovation in the bioeconomy’ is not only the full title of the BioLinX project, but also its primary goal. Migration towards a more biobased economy offers important opportunities for Europe, both in terms of ecology and in terms of economy.  BioLinx project coordinator, Dennis van der Pas of the regional development authority REWIN in the Netherlands, explains.

“The European Commission has successfully supported bioeconomy related projects during FP7 and will continue to do so under Horizon 2020. However, a range of hurdles, as identified within FP7 projects like the SusChem supported Bio-TIC and R4R projects, slow down the pace of innovation and market exploitation of research results in the bioeconomy. These hurdles are strongly intertwined and mitigating them requires joint efforts by multiple actors. Actors from within and outside of the value chain (such as regions, governments, advocacy parties, and financial parties) should be involved to bring innovation to the market.”

Van der Pas continues: “BioLinX contributes towards bringing research and innovation to the market in the bioeconomy by providing a variety of services aimed at overcoming the hurdles. The initiating BioLinX partners all have leading roles in their regional bioeconomies and have a strong foothold in the lignocellulose, agro- and agro-waste feedstock sectors. Incidentally: bioeconomy as per its proper definition does not limit itself to just industrial biotechnology, but also comprises sustainable chemistry and green chemical technologies; sectors of the SusChem community.”

“BioLinX has already engaged with and supported over sixty EU co-funded biobased projects from all stages of the value chain. Furthermore, BioLinX has created links with 10 key regional Bioeconomy clusters in Europe. The relevant partners of the selected projects and regions are invited to participate in the BioLinX Innovation Linking and Support Programme. This programme consist of activities focusing on Brokerage, Innovation Incubation, Business Development, Finance and Funding and identifies and shares good practices.“

BioLinX services in a nutshell

BioLinx is for projects and/or companies who:
  • Are looking for private financing - BioLinX offers assistance to find (private) financing. We can parties to get investment-ready and can provide advice, training and access to private financing.
  • Are looking for public funding - Next to private finance, BioLinX assists in finding (public) funding resources as well. We help parties in (amongst others) finding grants, formation of project consortia and stakeholder analysis.
  • Are looking for value chain partners - BioLinX offers a well-established network capable of finding new value chain partners or new parties. The home base of the BioLinX project is formed by three well advanced regions/countries (Sweden, South-Netherlands / Biobased Delta, Northern Italy). BioLinX will expand its network to other regions as well (e.g. Germany, Scotland, Ireland, South Italy, Finland,). 
  • Are looking for introductions to networks or (test) facilities etc - Because of its extensive network and the capabilities of the various BioLinX partners we can provide projects/companies with easy access to multiple lab and pilot facilities and regional stakeholders in different regions.
  • Are looking for bioconomy patents, literature and more - The BioLinX Intelligence Platform offers easy access to literature, patents and project information. The intelligence database facilitates filtering and access to relevant scientific articles (18 million articles), patents (European patent database), European projects and funding opportunities.
  • Have no time and budget to travel but have a need for visibility - BioLinX offers a Partnering platform alongside its Intelligence platform. BioLinX recognizes that time and budget constraints are sometimes limiting factors to have ‘face-to-face’ meetings or discussions. Therefore BioLinX organizes online partnering events where parties can find, contact and meet potential cooperation partners in a secured online meeting room. 

These BioLinX initiatives are complemented with activities regarding advocacy, communication and dissemination.

Van der Pas concludes: Anyone who is interested in what BioLinX  has to offer is invited to join the BioLinX community. You can register at the BioLinX website. Or alternatively get in touch with me directly - also via our website.”

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Modular White Paper builds on F3 Factory results

A new Dechema paper on ‘MODULAR PLANTS’ summarises results from some recently finished publicly funded research and innovation projects that successfully demonstrated the economic and technical benefits of the flexible and modular plant concept for the production of fine and specialty chemicals as well as pharmaceuticals pioneered by SusChem's flagship F3 Factory project.

Important project examples. including examples from the results of the FP7-funded ‘F3 Factory’ project, clearly demonstrate the advantages of operating modular continuous plant processes that are more economical and sustainable than current operations and are only possible due to new types of equipment design, advanced digital process control and online process analytics (PAT).

The Dechema paper discusses the need for further developments including work on standardised interfaces and standards for modular automation, the reliability of modules, sensors and performance control systems, new continuous downstream processing units, how to enable new business and service models that take advantage of flexible and modular plant concept and other boundary conditions such as the regulations required to build and operate such units.

Modular progress
Building on the ‘F3 Factory’ project concept, the Horizon 2020-funded SPIRE project ‘CONSENS’ as one example that is advancing the continuous production of high-value products that meet high quality demands in flexible intensified continuous plants. It achieves this by introducing novel online sensing equipment and closed-loop control of the key product parameters.

If these concepts were applied in industry, the outcomes of the projects could result in significant cost savings and reduction of CO2 emissions (estimated at 176,000 tonnes per year), less consumption of solvents in pharmaceutical and specialty chemical sectors, and a significant acceleration in the development of new products (estimated at two-times faster additional innovations and halving the time-to-market).

The European chemical industry is facing increasing market competition from outside Europe and challenges with product launches in new and often volatile markets that means a fast response to market requirements and reduced investment risk for new plants is required. In addition, shorter product life cycles and smaller product volumes due to diversification and increasing specialisation of product ranges due to increased customer-orientated products are a feature of the market.

"SusChem has highlighted the modular plant concept enabled by the latest digital technologies as one of its current core priorities," says Martin Winter, Cefic Innovation Manager with responsibility for SusChem activities in this area. "And we are convinced such developments can make a very high impact in modernising Europe's chemicals production capabilities, introduce significantly higher resource efficiency, and would position the European chemical industry in the lead in the race for competitiveness and sustainability."

White paper discussion
This Dechema white paper was produced by the ProcessNet Temporary Working Group on “Modular Plants” and included industry representatives from BASF, Bayer, Clariant, Evonik, Invite and Merck as well as the universities of Ruhr-Universität Bochum and TU Dortmund.

The paper assessed the results of recently completed public funded projects that had demonstrated successfully the technical and economic benefits of modular plants and their applicability especially for small to medium scale (typically 0.1 – 1000 tonnes per year) continuous production.

The experts from across the chemical industries agreed that such modular plant concepts have significant economic potential. General concepts for modular production and the required enabling technologies for process intensification have been jointly  developed in projects such as the F3 Factory and CoPIRIDE projects or the ENPRO initiative for improved energy efficiency and process intensification in the German chemical industry.

Writing in a preface to the white paper Dr. Thomas Weber, Chairman of the VCI Committee of Experts Research and Education policy group highlights that these projects have also shown that multiple challenges exist including a lack of standardisation for modules on equipment level, as well as on the level of a complete production plant. This means that 'off the shelf' modules cannot simply be bought on the market, even though it is broadly accepted in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries that this would result in significant advantages in investment costs, time to market and flexibility of production assets.

Associated with this issue is the unmet market need for process control and automation concepts for modular plants. In addition, the discussion of centralised (classical) process control systems versus distributed (modular) process control systems has only just begun. The supporters of a completely modular design strategy envision the various plant modules acting fully automated and autonomously, with communication existing only via interfaces and communication protocols. This would enable a giant leap forward towards full ex-changeability and re-usability for the modular concept. Having an appropriate concept for modulations of process control and automation could become one of the key enablers for modular production plant concepts, said Dr Weber.

There is also need for further development in the field of equipment and apparatus design, for example in separation and purification that could be quickly and directly scaled-up from laboratory to production scale at an acceptable risk. A simple and safe solution for production scale, is number-up instead of a classical scale-up. However, limitations exist as numbering up in many cases can increase investment costs and complexity.

You can download the Dechema White paper here.

It is hoped that this white paper will inspire new ideas and encourage a spirit of innovation across the a cross chemical industry for modular production plant concepts.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Announcing the 2017 European Responsible Care Awards

The European Responsible Care Awards 2017 organised by Cefic are now open for entries. The Responsible Care Programme has been at the heart of the Chemical Industry for many years.  And each year, the Responsible Care Awards enable chemical companies to demonstrate their commitment to this unique initiative. But be quick - the final date for applications to be submitted is 10 May 2017.

The European Responsible Care Awards provide Cefic member companies the opportunity to share effective and innovative projects for cooperation up and down the product chain, energy efficiency and combating climate change initiatives, health, safety and environmental excellence that demonstrate the business value of Responsible Care and its ability to enable engagement with stakeholders.

Cefic is looking forward to your entries and for 2017 is particularly encouraging SMEs to participate. Take part in the competition and get your work done in front of the people that matter! The Awards will be presented at a ceremony during the Cefic Chemical Convention in Vienna that takes place on 27 October 2017.

What does it involve?
Do you believe your organisation deserves increased visibility for its commitment and accomplishments in applying the Responsible Care principles? Are you keen to present your efforts and achievements that are actively contributing to the Responsible Care objectives? Do you consider your project outstanding?

The 2017 European Responsible Care Awards, managed by Cefic, are looking for examples in one of the three categories (listed below) that embrace the Responsible Care ethic.

1. Chemical substances safety
Projects that demonstrate their excellence in addressing health and safety issues related to products in the way they are developed, manufactured, distributed, used and disposed of in a responsible manner. This category recognises value chain projects that help companies set up and improve their chemicals management procedures. It also recognises projects related to the Product Stewardship initiative which, in line with chemicals regulations, addresses management of risks and improvement of the performance of products in the fields of health and safety during its entire life cycle.

2. Occupational health, process safety and security
Projects that either

  • demonstrate their excellence in occupational health, by the means of improved or sustained health programme performance and a healthy workforce and workplace, which includes but is not limited to management commitment, employee engagement and evidence of a culture of proactive health risk management and well-being support initiatives, or 
  • demonstrate their outstanding and exemplary record in implementing effective process safety management systems from process design to continued operation and routine maintenance, best practises and improvements for chemical prevention, preparedness and response to reduce major process hazards and risks for on-site operations, or 
  • demonstrate their outstanding performance in management practises to protect people, property, products, processes, information and information systems by enhancing security, including security against potential terrorist attacks of industrial sites.

3. Environment Responsibility
Projects that either

  • demonstrate excellence in environmental processes and products over their life cycles so as to avoid harm to people and the environment by reducing their pollutant emissions to air, water and soil and to limit environmental hazards related to their operations through the development of innovative technology. Also using resources efficiently and minimising waste, or implementing solutions for a circular economy, or
  • demonstrate their outstanding performance in energy efficiency, renewable or low-carbon energy along the supply chain. This area gathers projects that relate to the SPiCE3 initiative, that effectively contribute to, or favour, a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and have a proven impact across the whole economy. This category also addresses the efficient management of energy to improve practises and technologies in heat and power generation, the review of the steam flow in processes and its optimisation, and the use of electricity.

Judging criteria
Entries will be assessed by a panel of independent judges, including representatives from EU institutions, other industries, trade associations and the media. Judging of all entries will take place in June 2017. The jury will select one winner in the each of the three categories.

Winning projects should have elements of originality, innovative features and best practise sharing within the chemical industry and with customer industries.

For more information about the 2017 Responsible Care Award, including guidelines for applications and information on past winners, please visit the Responsible Care Award pages on the Cefic website, or contact Katleen Raes at Cefic.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Biobased Live: Innovation for Sustainable Products

From 31 May to 1 June the BioBased Live Europe event will be taking place at the Amsterdam Science Park. BioBased Live aims to take biobased innovations from laboratory to market through best practice sharing and making biobased products a key part of sustainable strategies.

BioBased Live and its organisers, BioBased World News, believe there has never been a more exciting time to work in the biobased industries - and SusChem agrees! Global production of biobased chemicals now exceeds 60 million tonnes with the global market for biobased chemicals expected to increase to at least $12.2 billion by 2021. We want to support this sustainable shift towards the circular economy and bio-based products.

What is BioBased Live Europe?
This second annual meeting offers an interactive and intimate environment to make biobased innovations a key part of future sustainable strategies. Bringing together CEOs, senior R&D,and Process Heads with the sustainability professionals, brand marketing specialists and end users, the event creates a unique platform to do business and create practical takeaways to ensure long-term sustainable success.

As an emerging industry the journey from lab innovation to commercialisation for biobased products can be a difficult one. It is a convoluted ecosystem and all actors are required to collaborate and work together to ensure a productive future for the bio-based industry. This is where Biobased Live comes in.

Focus of the event, in which SusChem will participate is on two themes:
  • Process Innovation & Technology - developing biobased and green innovations that are cost-competitive at commercial scale.
  • Sustainable Products - improving the triple bottom line for brands and retailers by placing biobased and green adoption at the heart of sustainability strategies.
You can find out more at the BioBased Live website, where you can look at the event's agenda, download a brochure for the event and, of course, register. SusChem stakeholders are being offered a 15% discount on registration fees using the code SUS15.