Wednesday, 20 June 2018

#suschem2018: Defining technology priorities for sustainable growth in Europe

Today (20 June, 2018() the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem) holds its annual Stakeholder event (#suschem2018) in Brussels. The event brings together global audiences, senior players from the chemical and biotechnology industries, academia, research and technology organisations (RTOs) and EU institutions to address common challenges and discuss priorities crucial to the sustainability of the European chemical and biotechnology innovation sectors. 

The theme for #suschem2018 is ‘The Future of Research & Innovation in Europe: Defining Technology Priorities for Sustainable Growth’.

This year’s opening keynote speeches will be presented by SusChem Chairman Dr. Markus Steilemann, Chief Executive Officer of Covestro, and Signe Ratso, Deputy Director-General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission. 

The event will culminate with a high-level debate on how the SusChem community can leverage the strength of the innovation ecosystem to boost research and innovation in Europe and deliver real socio-economic impact through the next European Research Framework Programme (Horizon Europe)

SusChem Chairman Dr. Markus Steilemann said:
“SusChem welcomes the room given to industry in the first proposal of Horizon Europe and calls for continued support for Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) as drivers of innovation. Especially advanced materials and processes enhanced by digitalisation technologies and combined with new business models are considered key areas for investment and growth. SusChem can and will substantially contribute to this development. We believe that sustainable chemistry and its innovation ecosystem in Europe – consisting of businesses of all sizes, academia and associations – can  thrive well in the Open Science and Open Innovation Pillars of Horizon Europe.”
What’s happening?
In the morning, the event will kick off with the plenary presentations from Steilemann and Ratso, followed by two parallel breakout sessions on future research and innovation priorities for SusChem and Horizon Europe, including discussions on potential missions. The two sessions will cover:

  • Creating the future with advanced materials: What are your priorities?
  • Creating the future with advanced process technologies: What are your priorities?

Both sessions will also deal with the question of how emerging digital technologies can be integrated to enhance impact in these areas. 

In preparation for Horizon Europe, SusChem presented its position on the role of Key Enabling Technologies in a white paper outlining the major technology developments and initiatives needed to create advanced materials, develop advanced process technologies and leverage them by the implementation of digital technologies.

Innovation ecosystem
In the afternoon, the participants will hear from the SusChem National Technology Platform (NTP) network on their successful stakeholder engagement strategies and we will welcome three new NTPs (Bulgaria, Finland & Sweden). A high-level panel discussion will follow on how to leverage the strength of the innovation ecosystem to boost research and innovation in Europe, especially in the context of KETs and Horizon Europe.

The panel will be moderated by Cefic Director General Marco Mensink and will feature contributions from Peter Dröll, Director Industrial Technologies at DG RTD, Prof. Ferdi Schüth, Vice-President of the Max-Planck-Society, Kateřina Šebková, Director of the Stockholm Regional Centre for Central and Eastern Europe, Martin Stephan, Deputy CEO of CARBIOS, and Olaf Wachsen, Head of Group Process Technology, Clariant.

#suschem2018 takes place at the Thon Hotel City Centre, Brussels, Belgium on 20 June. A full programme for the event is available here.

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