Tuesday, 3 April 2018

SusChem-Spain Stakeholder Event celebrates Sustainable Circular Economy

The SusChem-Spain Stakeholders Event took place on 14 March in Madrid and concluded that the chemical sector is key to the sustainable and circular productive model that both Europe and Spain are seeking.

The event was attended by a wide range of experts, coming from both public and private entities, such as the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, the Centre for Industrial Technology Development (CDTI), the Spanish Chemical Industry Association (FEIQUE), the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), SusChem-Europe, Gómez-Acebo & Pombo Lawyers and Linknovate.

During the official opening, SusChem-Spain’s chair, Javier Brañas, highlighted the importance of public-private collaboration in Sustainable Chemistry, as the way to multiply the existing opportunities that innovation in science and technology offer to move towards a circular economy model.


In this context, the Chemical Industry plays, and will play, a key role as an example of productive and economic development. FEIQUE’s General Director, Juan Antonio Labat, highlighted the effort the Chemical Industry is making in order to position themselves as the 1st industrial R&D&I investor in Spain (25%), bearing in mind that 57% of the Chemical companies are innovative, twice the industrial average, and the sector’s clear support for talent and quality employment, since 23% of researchers working in industry are employed by a chemical company.

Director General of R&D&I of the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Clara Eugenia García, emphasised the job of the Chemical sector as a strategic one, that contributes in a direct way to sustainable development and competitiveness, since its activity has a clear impact in other sectors, making it a key player when developing the next EU Framework Programme (FP9), under discussion already in Europe, as the roadmap to reach a sustainable future. She also wanted to highlight that the future will inevitably need to move towards circular economy, “Or the future is circular or there will be no future”, as she expressed it.

During the presentation of the recently approved National Scientific & Technical Research and Innovation Plan (2017-2020), García stressed the need for public – private collaboration and the enhancement role that relies on the Administration since “industrial policy goes hand on hand with research policy and vice-versa”. This was the reason why both parameters need to be considered globally as well as promoting the elimination of the sectorial barriers. Following this statement, CDTI representatives, Francisco Marín, Director General, and Cecilia Hernández, Manager of Health, Bioeconomy, Climate and Natural Resources, announced some of the new funding instruments of CDTI within the new Plan

Pictured below are (from left to right): Javier Brañas (SusChem España), Clara Eugenia García (MINECO), Francisco Marín (CDTI) and Juan Antonio Labat (Feique).


The new Framework Programme: FP9
Following the publication of the Horizon 2020 Work programme 2018-2020, work is already being done to prepare for the next European Framework Programme, also known as FP9, that will cover the period 2021-2027. This was one of the key topics of the Stakeholders’ event, in which priority areas for the Spanish Chemical sector were debated with participants.

Juan Antonio Tébar, Head of European Programmes Division (Horizon 2020) from CDTI, made a call for collaboration between public and private entities working in the field of sustainable chemistry, so that all interests can be collected, either through CDTI or through SusChem-Spain.

In a more sectorial approach, José Manuel García, Chemistry and Chemical Technologies Coordinator from CSIC, underlined the relevance of both national and international basic Research in the different areas of chemistry as a sample of talent to generate economic and social impact.


Anne Chloé Devic (pictured above on the left), Materials and National Technology Platforms Manager from CEFIC/SusChem Europe, encouraged all participants to send success stories showing the impact of European funding, to acknowledge the results of European funded projects carried out in the country and to contribute to the future “missions” of FP9.

About SusChem-Spain 
Spanish Technology Platform of Sustainable Chemistry, SusChem-Spain, is an Industry led public-private initiative, with the participation of all agents, that promote Research, development and innovation in Chemistry and Industrial Biotechnology. It promotes collaborative activities, knowledge and information Exchange and Technology transfer to provide solutions to future challenges.

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