Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Help shape the Future of European Industry

You can help the European Commission shape the industrial agenda of tomorrow at the Industry Day Conference that takes place on 28 February 2017. Some 400 participants, including key industrial players, global trend shapers and high-level policy makers, will inspire a full-day of debate on the future of European industry at the European Commission's Charlemagne Building in Brussels at the end of February.

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, and Commissioners Elżbieta Bieńkowska (Internal Market, Industry, SMEs and Entrepreneurship) and Carlos Moedas (Research and Innovation) will all participate in the event.
Representatives of traditional and new, disruptive sectors will present their views on the future of their business. Entrepreneurs, innovators, start-ups and the tech community will share the stage with key EU political leaders.

There will also be speakers from the Committee of Regions, the European Investment Bank, the European Parliament, Business Europe, the European Roundtable of Industrialists and the European Trade Union Confederation.

Industry is changing
The nature of industry is changing, driven by rapid technological change. The evolution of industrial activity is characterised by digitalisation, clean and circular technologies, and a higher reliance on services. SusChem is actively engaged in shaping policy in all these industry-relevant areas – and others such as Key Enabling Technologies.

The Commission supports industry and makes a strong contribution to jobs and growth in Europe. Major policy initiatives for industrial competitiveness range from the Investment Plan and Horizon 2020 to the Single Market Strategy, from circular economy to Digitising European Industry. The Commission’s strategic approach to industrial competitiveness aims to empower businesses, citizens and entire regions to be fit for the future.

The European Industry Day event will take stock of existing actions and stimulate debate on a joint vision for the long-term future of European industry. Questions to debate include:
  • What has been achieved by mainstreaming industrial competitiveness into EU policy?
  • How will people find their place in the new industrial revolution?
  • What is the role of regional ecosystems for industrial transformation?
  • What are the key technologies for the future of industry?

The event will also aim to identify barriers preventing further progress towards  smart, clean and innovative industry that creates employment and high living standards for our citizens.

Registration for the event is via the event webpage. For more information contact the EU Industry Day team.

Friday, 27 January 2017

More rebel thinkers required for 2017 LRI Award!

Are you a real rebel thinker? Do you have a great idea for novel research in human health or environmental risk assessment? Then apply now for the Cefic-LRI Innovative Science Award 2017. But be quick - the closing date for applications is 19 March 2017.

The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), in conjunction with the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), ), the Association of European Toxicologists and European Societies of Toxicology (EUROTOX), and the International Society of Exposure Sciences (ISES) is offering a €100,000 award to support promising new research in the field of dose-response of synergy in combined exposure to humans or environmental species. But you must apply by 19 March 2017!

New approaches to synergy needed
The risk assessment of combined exposures to multiple chemicals is largely based on the assumption that effects of chemicals acting via the same Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) / Mode of Action (MoA) can be estimated based on dose-addition, and that different AOPs/MoAs can be accounted for by response-addition models. The interaction of multiple chemicals that result in more-than-additive adverse effects (‘synergy’) is assumed to be rare and is mostly described for toxicokinetic interactions of pharmaceuticals at high doses.

Beyond the question of whether synergy can occur or not, the synergy dose-response is highly relevant for the risk assessment of moderate to low co-exposures to either humans or environmental species. But today our knowledge on the relevance of both exposure levels and mixture ratios on the occurrence and degree of synergy is limited.

So for 2017 the LRI Award is looking for new approaches and techniques that, in characterising synergy dose-response, will improve risk assessment of chemical co-exposures at environmentally relevant exposure levels. These could include:
  • Experimental approaches to examine the dose-response of more-than-additive interactions of chemicals in relevant models of environmental or human health effect assessment
  • Structure-activity modelling
  • Mathematical modelling to integrate mechanistic and/or kinetic knowledge and experimental data from different models
Award objectives
The objective of this LRI Award is to stimulate innovative research, ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking and new approaches which will advance the development and application of new and existing approaches in the assessment of chemical safety.

The research should be complementary to the Long-range Research Initiative’s (LRI) objectives. LRI is a chemical industry funded programme that aims at enhancing scientific knowledge to help protect health and the environment.

The award is intended for a European-based scientist with less than ten years post-doctoral experience. Active involvement in interdisciplinary research, current academic track record, and access to appropriate networks will be considered in the selection. There is no age limit for applicants.

Applicants must submit a two-page project proposal by mid- March. Short-listed researchers are then requested to send in a more detailed description of their work, after which the three finalists are selected to present their proposal before a jury panel in Brussels. This year the final selection in Brussels will be on June 2017.

The winning proposal of the LRI Innovative Science Award will be officially presented at the LRI Annual Workshop on 15 November 2017. The 2017 Awardee will be expected to present the results of the research supported by the Award at the LRI Annual Workshop in November 2018.

The Cefic-LRI Innovative Science Award was established in 2004 to inspire highly innovative and industry relevant projects in biomedical toxicology and ecotoxicology led by promisingly early career scientists. The prize of € 100 000 has been awarded annually ever since - boosting the careers of twelve younger European scientists in the challenging fields with which LRI is engaged.

For more details on the Cefic-LRI award and how to apply visit the awards web page or email the Cefic-LRI secretariat.

What is LRI?
The Long-range Research Initiative (LRI) programme is a major voluntary initiative of the European chemical industry to support the long-term sustainability of its sector and European society. Through the programme we hope to identify the hazards posed by chemicals and improve the methods available for assessing the associated risks.

The LRI sponsors high-quality research of a standard publishable in a reputable peer-reviewed journal, and seeks to provide sound scientific advice on which industry and regulatory bodies can draw-on to respond quickly and accurately to public concerns.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Bioeconomy: Challenges and opportunities

The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) has just issued a briefing paper on the Bioeconomy. The eight page document, entitled ‘Bioeconomy: Challenges and opportunities’ provides a background to the European bioeconomy before outlining a range of opportunities and challenges this present, the EU’s policy on bioeconomy, the European Parliament’s position and a range of Stakeholders' views. An edited summary of the paper is below. The full briefing can be downloaded here.

The bioeconomy refers to the production and extraction of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food and feed, bio-based products and bioenergy. The current notion of the bioeconomy emerged recently as a knowledge-driven concept aimed at meeting a range of today's challenges. In the European Union (EU), the bioeconomy sectors have an annual turnover of about €2 trillion and employ between 17 and 19 million people. They use almost 75% of the EU land area.

The briefing highlights the strong research and innovation dimension of the bioeconomy, which may be applied to improve the production of food, feed and fibre as well as to develop new applications and products in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals and energy. This dimension, generally referred to as the 'knowledge-based bioeconomy', is in part driven by recent developments in bioscience and biotechnology, related in particular to bio-based materials and genetic engineering of crops. Recent applications include materials, textiles, cosmetics, furniture and food. A variety of products could be produced in integrated units, for instance integrated biorefineries producing fuels, chemicals, plastics, heat and electricity.

A stronger bioeconomy could trigger growth and jobs, and reduce dependency on imports. It could contribute to optimising the use of biological resources, which remain finite although they are renewable. However, it could also create competition between uses and technologies at various levels. Besides, the amount of available biomass remains disputed. A bioeconomy could contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving public health. However, it could also trigger new greenhouse gas emissions and induce adverse impacts on the environment.

The EU policy framework for the bioeconomy is spread across a number of policies (agriculture, forestry, fisheries, climate, circular economy and research). Although a bioeconomy strategy from 2012 aims to ensure policy coherence, inconsistencies remain. The EU provides funding to innovative bioeconomy activities through Horizon 2020 and a range of other instruments.

The European Parliament has been supportive of the bioeconomy strategy, while highlighting the need for sustainability and policy coherence.

SusChem and the Bioeconomy
A sustainable bioeconomy features in the SusChem Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) encompassing the production of renewable biological resources and the conversion of these resources and associated waste streams into value-added products such as feed, food, biobased products and bioenergy.

Integrated biorefineries are central to the development of the bioeconomy and were one SusChem’s original flagship innovation concepts. They can deliver new sources of chemical building blocks that are either structurally similar to fossil-based feedstock or new with novel functionalities and improved properties. In order to unlock the full potential of a sustainable biomass supply, it is essential to consider all possible sources including second generation biomass and waste streams (such as municipal wastes). The bioeconomy can improve resource efficiency and is a key element in achieving the broader concept of a circular, integrated, renewable economy.

Innovation is also a key solution provider for the transition to a more Circular Economy and the development by the chemical sector of innovative advanced materials and process technologies is essential to enable a better use of existing resources along the whole life cycle, to develop new production and recycling paths.

About EPRS
The European Parliamentary Research Service is the European Parliament's in-house research department and think tank. Its mission is to assist Members in their parliamentary work by providing them with independent, objective and authoritative analysis of, and research on, policy issues relating to the European Union. It is also designed to increase Members and European Parliament committees' capacity to scrutinise and oversee the European Commission and other EU executive bodies.

The EPRS website is here and you can also follow EPRS on Twitter.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

New WssTP Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda published

How can we realise the true value of water for our environment, economy and society? Is it possible to reduce the impact of Europe’s society on our natural water resources? In what way can we boost the European water market? How can we secure long-term resilience, stability, sustainability, and security of the society with regard to water? These and many more questions are answered in the European Water Platform (WssTP) Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (WssTP SIRA) which has just been published!

Following the release of the new WssTP Water Vision 2030 ‘The Value of Water: Towards a Future proof model for a European water-smart society’ in October 2016, WssTP has followed up with its new SIRA, The Value of Water; Multiple Waters, for multiple purpose and users, demonstrating an innovative route to implement the WssTP Water Vision.

SusChem works closely with WssTP and supports the platform's work including major joint collaborations such as the E4Water FP7 project that presented its results last year.

Key components
The WssTP Water Vision 2030 has been built on four Key Components (KC) of innovations, all contributing to increasing and better realising the Value of Water, and jointly defining the WssTP future-proof model for a water-smart and resilient society. These four components are:
  • The Value of Water
  • New Digital and Water Technologies
  • A Hybrid Grey and Green Infrastructure
  • An enabling inclusive multi-stakeholder Governance
To realise the WssTP Water Vision, the WssTP SIRA aims to combine real-life experimental environments (Living Labs) with dedicated research and innovation actions targeted at developing the 4 layers of the European model for a future proof water-smart society. The research and innovation actions, suggested by the WssTP Water SIRA are organised in six main components which are presented in the figure below:

WssTP is now in the process of translating the new Water Vision to all the EU’s official languages, promoting the understanding and use of the Water Vision not only at European level but also at national, regional and municipal level.

What is the WssTP vision?
The WssTP vision aims to show the routes towards a better exploitation and stewardship of our water sources by society and businesses while developing resilient and sustainable solutions for our key global water challenges. It describes how these challenges can be turned into opportunities for Europe, to develop new technologies, solutions, business and governance models for the water-smart society of the future. The vision imagines a future, where water scarcity and pollution of ground- and surface water in Europe are avoided, water, energy and resource loops are closed to a large extent to realise a circular economy, the water system is resilient against climate change events and European water-related business thrives as a result of forward-looking research and innovation.

For more information on WssTP activities and the new SIRA, please contact Durk Krol at the platform.

Monday, 23 January 2017

BIOSKOH working to fulfil Biorefinery vision

One of SusChem’s first three visionary project concepts outlined in its initial Vision document in 2004 was the development of a fully integrated biorefinery. Now the BIOSKOH flagship research project, funded under the BioBased Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) in Horizon 2020, will demonstrate a first of its kind commercial-scale second generation biorefinery in Europe. This sustainable, circular bioeconomy project will transform a brownfield industrial site in eastern Slovakia into a 55 kton cellulosic ethanol production facility.

To establish an advanced European bioeconomy and transit towards a sustainable future, Europe needs to boost the sustainable conversion of renewable biomass into biobased products, chemicals and energy. Currently, there are no true full-scale producers of second generation (2G) bioethanol in Europe. BIOSKOH aims to change this through research and innovation and specifically to pave the way for the largest 2G biorefinery in Europe with a 110 kton capacity.

Development Phases
The project has two development phases. Initially it will develop a flagship 55 kton 2G biorefinery to produce cellulosic ethanol for EU biofuel mandates. This should pave the way for second stage investment to scale up to a 110 kton facility that will be the largest in Europe.

BIOSKOH, full project title ‘Innovation Stepping Stones for a Novel European Second Generation Bioeconomy', launched in October 2016 and includes eleven partners from seven EU member states in its consortium. The project members represent the full bioeconomy value chain including land owners, feedstock producers, supply chain experts, agronomical researchers, leading biotechnology companies, innovative technology providers, and plant constructors and operators.

BIOSKOH’s core project aims are to:

  • Establish a first of a kind biorefinery flagship for Europe in terms of size and innovation potential
  • Demonstrate a full regional biobased value chain, helping farmers to diversify business and create new opportunities including the exploitation of currently under-used resources by introducing farmers to innovative ways to use biomass
  • Improve regional infrastructure including substantial storage and shipment facilities for agricultural products
  • Support cross-industry collaboration between the agro-industry, bio-based, chemical and energy industries
  • Validate and optimise several design and process solutions to upscale and integrate them into the bioeconomy value chain
  • Create up to 160 direct and 500 indirect jobs across the value chain, from feedstock production and processing, supply chain logistics, up to bioethanol production and side-stream valorisation
  • Share a summary of the project’s sustainable business model, including how it used Innovation Stepping Stones to build techno-economic viability

By enabling full-scale production of 2G bio-ethanol in Europe, BIOSKOH will help to boost the bioeconomy and create an inspiring example for the global biobased market.

The project boasts four Innovation Stepping Stones: superior biorefinery technology; a brownfield approach, improving regional infrastructure; industrial symbiosis and energy autonomy; and abundant, secure and sustainable biomass.

The project will also explore the potential for emerging biobased materials including the use of lignin by-products from the BIOSKOH process and bio-ethylene.

More information
For more information on the BIOSKOH project visit the project website or contact the project via email. You can also follow BIOSKOH on Twitter via @bioskoh.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Presenting the BBI JU 2017 Annual Work Programme

The BioBased Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) has published its 2017 Annual Work Plan (AWP) and Budget. This 79-page document outlines the scope and details of research and innovation activities prioritised for the 2017 Call as well as giving an overview of the governance and activities of the BBI JU for the year.

The 2017 AWP is the fourth AWP in a total of seven that are planned between 2014 and 2020. The critical path towards 2020 for the PPP is the acceleration of the development of (new) sustainable value chains from biomass feedstock supply via efficient processing, to the acceptance and application of biobased products in end-markets. The 2017 AWP refocuses on the need to better integrate biomass feedstock suppliers on the front end of the value chain to create a demand for biomass feedstock from biorefining processes.

Similarly, the AWP aims to stimulate the formation of partnerships with end market actors to create a ‘market pull’ for biobased products for identified applications. As initiated in last year’s AWP 2016, the AWP 2017 moves away from a strict biomass feedstock ‘push’ based on traditional value chains, towards a demand for biomass to enable processing to respond adequately to a ‘pull’ from the end markets.

Focus and impact
The identified priorities for the BBI JU continue to build on those for 2016, but add emphasis on products with new functionalities, and on supporting actions to better realise the associated expected impacts. In addition, the emphasis on sustainability, addressing the environmental, social and economic dimension, is increased.

The strategic orientations for 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 2017 Call
The 2017 call will have the identifier: H2020-BBI-JTI-2017 and the anticipated official publication date is 11 April with a indicative deadline for proposal submission of 17h00 (Brussels time) on 7 September. The call will be a single stage call and the total indicative budget for the call is € 81 million with an estimated value of the in kind contributions by the members other than the European Union or their constituent entities of a minimum of € 40 million.

The full call topic list is below.

Research and Innovation Actions – Total indicative budget: € 36 million
BBI 2017.R1 – Valorisation of gaseous side streams from bio-based operations into chemical building blocks (Strategic orientation: Feedstock, Indicative project funding: € 2 million to € 5 million)

BBI 2017.R2 – Innovative technologies for the pre-treatment and separation of lignocellulosic feedstock and complex composition streams into valuable fractions while maintaining key characteristics (Strategic orientation: Process, Indicative project funding: € 2 million to € 5 million)

BBI 2017.R3 – Exploiting extremophiles and extremozymes to broaden the processing conditions to convert biomass into high value building blocks (Strategic orientation: Process, Indicative project funding: € 2 million to € 5 million)

BBI 2017.R4 – Proteins and other bioactive ingredients from side streams and residues (Strategic orientation: Products, Indicative project funding: € 2 million to € 5 million)

BBI 2017.R5 – Novel bio-based chemical precursors to improve the performance of mass consumption products (Strategic orientation: Products, Indicative project funding: € 2 million to € 5 million)

BBI 2017.R6 – Competitive biodegradable, compostable and/or recyclable bio-based plastics for a sustainable end-of-life phase (Strategic orientation: Products, Indicative project funding: € 2 million to € 5 million)

BBI 2017.R7 – Novel secondary bio-based chemicals without significant fossil-based counterparts but with high application potential (Strategic orientation: Products, Indicative project funding: € 2 million to € 5 million)

Innovations Actions – Demonstration Actions - Total indicative budget: € 22 million
BBI 2017.D1 – Valorisation of liquid and solid side streams from biobased operations into high added-value products to create new feedstock for bio-based products (Strategic orientation: Feedstock, Indicative project funding: up to € 7 million)

BBI 2017.D2 – Integrated multi valorisation of algae into advanced materials and high added-value additives BBI 2017. (Strategic orientation: Feedstock, Indicative project funding: up to € 7 million)

BBI 2017.D3 – Breakthrough primary bio-based chemicals without significant fossil-based counterparts but with high marketability (Strategic orientation: Products, Indicative project funding: up to € 7 million)

BBI 2017.D4 – Innovative bio-based fertilising products to increase the sustainability of fertilising practises in agriculture (Strategic orientation: Products, Indicative project funding: up to € 7 million)

BBI 2017.D5 – Advanced bio-based fibres and materials for large volume applications (Strategic orientation: Products, Indicative project funding: up to € 7 million)

Innovation Actions – Flagship Actions - Total indicative budget: € 21 million
BBI 2017.F1 – Integrated ‘zero waste’ biorefinery utilising all fractions of the feedstock for production of chemicals and materials (Strategic orientation: Process, Indicative project funding: up to € 21 million)

BBI 2017.F2 – Large scale production of proteins for food and feed applications from alternative, sustainable sources (Strategic orientation: Products, Indicative project funding: up to € 21 million)

Coordination and Support Actions Total indicative budget: € 2 million
BBI 2017.S1 – Establish cooperation and partnership with brand owners and consumer representatives to improve market access of sustainable bio-based products (Strategic orientation: Market Uptake, Indicative project funding: up to € 1 million)

BBI 2017.S2 – Identify opportunities for ICT to increase efficiency of biomass supply chains for the bio-based industry products (Strategic orientation: Market Uptake, Indicative project funding: up to € 1 million)

More information
You can download the BBI JU 2017 AWP here. On 28 April 2017, the BBI JU will organise its fourth Open Info Day and Brokerage event in Brussels, following the official launch of the 2017 Call for proposals. The venue is planned to be the Commission's Charlemagne Building. The Open Info Day aims to bring together potential applicants and provide information and networking opportunities in time for the 2017 Call for proposals. For more information visit the BBI JU website.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

BBI JU Science Committee looking for new members

The Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) has opened a Call for Expressions of Interest for independent experts to be appointed as members of its Scientific Committee. The deadline to submit an expression of interest is noon on 26 January 2017.

The BBI JU is organising this open Call to appoint additional Scientific Committee members with expertise in one or more areas relevant to the work of the BBI JU. The BBI JU is looking for highly skilled, open-minded and independent experts with an innovative vision for the bio-based industries in Europe, who could join the current Scientific Committee.

More information on the Call is available on the BBI JU website in the Scientific Committee webpage.

People who are employed by an organisation that is full member of Biobased Industry Consortium (BIC) are not eligible candidates for this Call.

The Scientific Committee
The BBI JU Scientific Committee consists of no more than fifteen members who are appointed for three years. The appointments can be renewed once for a second three-year term following a recommendation of a pre-selection panel and confirmation by the BBI JU Governing Board. Each member of the committee serves in an independent scientific capacity and does not represent countries, employers nor other similar interests. Currently the committee has 10 members.

The Scientific Committee acts as an advisory body of the BBI JU established in accordance with the BBI Regulation and assists the BBI JU in providing scientific advice on the areas of work undertaken by the BBI JU. The Scientific Committee has two major tasks:

  • Advise on the scientific priorities to be addressed in the annual work plans 
  • Advise on the scientific achievements described in the annual activity report 

Moreover, the BBI JU Governing Board can ask the Scientific Committee to provide advice on a specific matter of interest to the BBI JU such as adjustments to the Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA).

What is the BBI JU?
The Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) is a Public-Private Partnership between the European Union and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC). BBI JU is operating under Horizon 2020 rules and its activities are driven its Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA), which was developed by industry. The BBI JU was established on 6 May 2014. The mission of BBI JU is to implement the SIRA.

The BIC is a non-profit organisation that was created to represent the industry group that supports the BBI JU. The members of BIC cover the entire bio-based value chain and consist of large industries, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), regional clusters, European trade associations, and European Technology Platforms. The aim of BIC is to ensure and promote the technological and economic development of the bio-based industries in Europe.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

SusChem responds to Horizon 2020 Interim Consultation

SusChem has submitted a position paper and a completed questionnaire to the Horizon 2020 Interim consultation. The results of the consultation will feed into planning for Horizon 2020’s successor programme (currently with the working title ‘FP9’) for 2021 and beyond. The Commission will publish a summary of views from the consultation by mid-2017.

The SusChem position paper has three key messages for the Commission:

PPPs are important for impact
The paper states one of the main aspects in Horizon 2020 is the drive for Innovation. It notes that Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), such as SPIRE and BBI, are important instruments that promote competitiveness, participation of partners along the value chain and foster a networking balance between SMEs and large industries. SusChem believes that this combination of SMEs, public partners and large companies is critical to cross the “technology valley of death” and this combination should be targeted as a long term committed initiative for Horizon 2020 and its successors.
Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) are key
The chemical industry provides sustainable and innovative solutions (KETs) that address the Societal Challenges identified by the European Commission under Horizon 2020. SusChem believes that innovative technologies and processes are the way to overcome the growth stagnation of European Industry. The platform thinks that National Technology Platforms (NTPs) have a fundamental role positioning their geographical strengths and needs to build a strong European technological and political network.
Project Success Rates can be improved
SusChem notes the almost halving of the success rate for project proposals in Horizon 2020 compared to FP7. SusChem believes this can be improved by more accurate call definitions with funding focused on a short list of major breakthrough innovation topics, with higher funding for more high quality projects. More precise call definitions will also enable better quality reviews of proposals.  
In addition the SusChem Position Paper highlights support for the two-stage call approach in Horizon 2020 and but highlights intellectual property (IP) concerns with the move to an Open Science approach as too hasty publications may hinder IP protection and therefore value creation.

The paper also stresses the importance of attracting a mix of SMEs and large industries to participate in Horizon 2020 and its successors seeking a continuation of the balance of public funding for SMEs and large chemical companies that is crucial to improve competitiveness in Europe.  

The paper argues that Improved Time to Grant for project funding is critical to maintain and increase industrial participation in Horizon 2020. In addition appropriate funding levels for projects is required with higher funding needed in particular to bridge upfront technologies and processes over the ‘valley of death’. Higher funding for innovation projects (TRL 6-8), demonstration and flagship actions is necessary. The paper also highlights that administrative costs for project consortia formation have increased in Horizon 2020.

SusChem recommends
SusChem’s position paper includes with the following specific recommendations:

  • A substantial coverage of topics in lower TRLs (Technical Readiness Level 3 – 5) and few topics at demonstration and pilot levels (TRL > 7) with appropriate levels of funding is required.
  • Strengthen the Public Private Partnership concept as a long term committed initiative; increase their attractiveness for large industry by higher funding for more flagship-oriented projects.
  • Focus the Horizon 2020 programme on fewer/bigger topics related to Europe’s strengths that can receive more funding to enable mission focused Flagship Project(s) for the chemical industry.
  • Focus on fewer topics but fund at least four high quality proposals, allowing a holistic approach for a specific scientific challenge.
  • To achieve a better participation balance in Horizon 2020 between large industries, SMEs, academia, and Member States (EU-13 and new Member States) an improvement of call topic selection is strongly required.
  • Earlier publication of call topics allowing possible partners to align themselves with their business planning is desirable
  • All the calls for proposals should be based on a two-stage process: this would allow a simplification of the workload of the involved consortia. Criteria: (i) the time for evaluation of the first stage should be faster with a shorter deadline between stages one and two; (ii) the coherence between the evaluations in both phases can be improved.
  • Better and more precise feedback for rejected projects is highly desirable.
  • Horizon 2020 is an important R&I funding mechanism, but overall may represent only a portion of total R&I funding/support available in the EU through other programmes and/or member state instruments. A better integration between different funding mechanisms is highly desirable.
  • High-level support in the Member States and the European Parliament is required to achieve the rejuvenation of the process industry in Europe.

SusChem impact
The SusChem Position Paper concludes by discussing the preliminary impact of selected FP7 and Horizon 2020 projects by highlighting a range of SusChem inspired projects in five relevant fields covering sustainable chemistry contributions in process industries, circular economy, and energy efficiency amongst others. The fields highlighted are:

  • Water Management 
  • Catalysis and Processes
  • ICT/Digitisation and Processes
  • Sustainable Bioeconomy
  • Materials for Energy

You can download the full SusChem Position Paper here and SusChem’s completed questionnaire here. For more information on SusChem activities visit the SusChem website or email the SusChem secretariat.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Springtime in Lille for Plant Based Summit

April 2017 will see the Plant Based Summit launch its 4th edition in Lille, France. With an even sharper positioning on the innovation, co-development and operational implementation required to deploy biobased products, the Plant Based Summit 2017 (PBS 2017) will be a great opportunity for participants to contribute to the evolution of plant-based, green and sustainable chemistry.

From 25-27 April the Plant Based Summit presents the latest developments and solutions to more than 700 international public and private decision-makers at the Lille Grand Palais. Participants to the conference typically include end-users, producers of biobased intermediates, biomass producers and transformers, R&D specialists, business angels, investment funds as well as European and national decision makers.

The focus of the PBS 2017 Conference is to stimulate biobased product development through a market driven approach. The conference program demonstrates how a higher uptake of biobased solutions in everyday products will benefit consumers.

In particular PBS 2017 will address the markets of home and personal care, pharmaceuticals, construction, packaging, transportation, coating, adhesives, as well as a dedicated cross-market stream on biobased solutions for infants and children.

SusChem is an active supporter of the Plant Based Summit and participated in previous events including running a session at the last summit in Lille providing a vision of how biobased chemistry is part of the wider world of sustainable chemistry.

SusChem is working to reinforce the links between the mainstream chemistry and the biobased sector and, of course, the bioeconomy features in the SusChem Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA).

Plant based programme
The PBS 2017 programme includes three plenary sessions, 20 thematic sessions and an exhibitors workshops.

To speed up the development process, all operators in the value chain need to deal with environmental issues, industrial and investment challenges by:
  • Bringing companies together to move towards an integrated plant based chemicals supply chain
  • Achieving technology scale up
  • Exploring business opportunities (industrial formulation, packaging, bio-cosmetics, plastics etc.)
At the Plant Based Summit, stakeholders in the biobased economy will be able to share their experience, find the best solutions to fit its own specific place and development stage, enabling them to make the decisive leap forward and contribute to empowering the biobased economy.

What is the Plant Based Summit?
PBS 2017 is the dedicated European exhibition, covering some 2.300 square metres, for the plant-based sector with more than 75 exhibitors covering manufacturers of biobased products, agricultural cooperatives and raw material traders, agro-industrials, suppliers and distributors of biobased products, equipment suppliers for the chemical industry, chemicals companies, engineering, Consulting and Investment companies, and public and political institutions

PBS 2017 is also the leading biobased products congress with 30 targeted conferences sessions and more than 100 international key speakers, providing first-hand insights and updates. The 2017 congress focus is on stimulating biobased product development through a market driven approach.

For more information visit the PBS 2017 website. PBS 2017 is organised by L’Association Chimie du Vegetal.

Monday, 9 January 2017

European Polymer Federation Congress, Lyon, July 2017

The 16th European Polymer Federation Congress (EPF 2017) takes place in Lyon from 2-7 July 2017. The Congress promises to be an exceptional rendezvous for all polymer scientists and engineers belonging to universities, institutions, and companies from around the World. The Congress theme is ‘From last trends in polymer science to cutting-edge industrial innovations’. 

With invited plenary talks and some 40 keynote presentations given by renowned speakers from leading international teams EPF 2017 will present the latest trends, results, and applications for polymers and polymer science.

With the highly relevant selected topic areas and the anticipated high participation from all areas of the polymer science world and related fields, the EPF 2017 congress will be an important place for inspiring international and interdisciplinary exchanges at the forefront of polymer science and technology. The EPF 2017 Congress aspires to be the place to identify the hottest topics in polymer science and the latest applications of polymers, to meet all the polymer community, to discuss,  and design new collaborations, … and to discover Lyon as well!

The EPF 2017 Congress topics include:

  • Macromolecular Chemistry
  • Polymerisation Processes
  • Physics of Polymers & Polymer Materials
  • Polymer Characterisation Methods
  • Modelling & Simulation

Sessions will also cover Polymers as Answers to Societal Issues including topics such as Energy, Transport and Mobility, Resources and Environment, Global Health, Information Society, Polymers and the Industry of the Future

On Tuesday 4 July, EPF 2017 will also be hosting , the second Australian-European Workshop that will illustrate connections, interactions and collaborations between European and Australian polymer researchers.

The extensive list of plenary speakers for EPF 2017 includes Prof. Jean-Marie Lehen, Université Strasbourg; Dr. Floryan De Campo, Head of Technology Specialty Polymers Solvay Company; Prof. Emmanuel Giannelis, Cornell University; Prof. Gaetano Guerra, Università degli Studi di Salerno; Prof. Laura Kiessling, University of Wisconsin - Madison; Prof. Joao Mano, University of Aveiro; Prof. Rolf Mulhaupt, Freiburg University; Prof. Anthony Ryan, Sheffield University; and Dr. Søren Kristiansen, LEGO Group Sustainable Materials.

Get involved!
All participants are invited to submit abstracts for oral or poster presentations. Submitted abstracts will be peer reviewed for their acceptance by the International Advisory Board and the Organising Committee. If the organisers cannot accept an oral presentation, presenters will be invited to present their research via a poster presentation.

Online registration and abstract submission are open now, but be quick as the deadline for abstract submission for an oral presentation is 31 January and notification of acceptance of the abstract is 15 March. The deadline for abstract submission for a ‘last-minute’ poster presentation is 31 March.

Find out more on the EPF 2017 website. For further details contact the EPF 2017 Congress Secretariat via email.