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Tuesday, 15 June 2010

SusChem relevant calls in FP7- July 2010

Following the SusChem Info day on June 4 covering the forthcoming Summer 2010 calls in FP7 a spreadsheet describing calls with relevance to SusChem in the KBBE, NMP, Energy and Environment themes has been collated.

The spreadsheet can be downloaded here. The spreadsheet includes theme, area and individual call information, a brief description of the research topic itself, the type of funding scheme (large-scale , small-scale etc.), and the likely deadline for initial submission of a project proposal to the Commission.

The sheet also includes details of contact details from the Info Day of people who have expressed an interest in this area and an area for project notes and comments.

For more information, or if you want to express an interest in collaborating in any of the projects, please contact the SusChem secretariat.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Hybrid report delivered to EC

A report compiling the conclusions from the successful SusChem/ DPI Hybrid Materials workshop held in March was officially handed over to the European Commission on Wednesday 9 June.

Present at the meeting in the Commission's Champs de Mars offices in Brussels were (from left to right in the picture below) John van Haare from the Dutch Polymer Institute (DPI), Renzo Tomellini, Head of Unit for 'Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies' at DG Research European Commission, Ger Spork Innovation Manager at Cefic/ Suschem, Helge Wessel of DG Research, and Jacques Joosten from DPI.

Common trends
The report highlights the conclusions from the intensive workshop sessions in Luxembourg that covered future materials needs in five key sectors: automotive; solar energy; solid state lighting; civil engineering; and aviation and aerospace.

The workshop aimed to identify technical hurdles and potential technology bottlenecks; capture new ideas; define potential R&D projects; and prioritise those projects.

A number of common technology trends or requirements were identified across the five sectors including better energy management (in terms of consumption, conservation and generation), improved and cost effective hybrid materials and better prediction tools.

Material needs
The report lists some desirable characteristics and functionality that new hybrid materials should possess. These include light weight but with sufficient mechanical properties, smart capabilities such as sensing, self-monitoring, self-cleaning, self-healing etc, resistance to corrosion, wear, UV and moisture, the capability to generate or store energy, halogen-free flame retardancy, be easier to recycle as useful devices, be low-cost and/ or produced from renewable resources.

New multi scale modeling tools are needed to help predict material properties, optimise structural design and the lifetime of different devices amongst other tasks. High throughput screening tests are also needed for assessing different materials and their properties, and validation tools are needed to shorten the time needed to evaluate new hybrid materials to replace existing components.

In terms of manufacturing and recycle processes the workshop is looking to standardised evaluation processes to make, assemble and disassemble hybrid materials and to help in scale-up of materials to industrial quantities. Improved life cycle analysis and recyclability is required, as is lower manufacturing and recycle process costs.

Finally fundamental studies are needed to investigate the influence of molecular structure on material properties, compatibility between different hybrid materials, and interface properties between hybrid materials.

The full report is available to download from the SusChem website. For further information, please contact the suschem secretariat.

Monday, 7 June 2010

SusChem Brokerage 2010 – First Phase

For the 2010 FP7 calls SusChem is taking a multi-step brokerage process. The first stage was undertaken on 4 June in Brussels with an Information Day highlighting SusChem-relevant parts in the current FP7 draft calls and a briefing on collaboration building and other non-FP7 opportunities for funding.

Ron Weerdmeester of PNO (left) outlined the new Grant-it service that is available for Cefic member companies to help them navigate the maze of EU funding opportunities and facilitate consortium building.

A second full brokerage event will be staged in Brussels on September 20 after the final calls have been published but well before the deadlines for proposal submission.

Ger Spork (below) outlined SusChem strategy in the short to medium term. Innovation and a full ‘value chain approach’ were key elements – but Ger emphasized that SusChem was still very much committed to research.

The primary aim is to address societal challenges by creating sustainable chemistry solutions that use the value chain to connect new (and existing) technology with innovation to ensure societal implementation. One aspect of this approach is a drive towards programmes, via public private partnerships (PPPs), that connect value chain related industry partners with academia, centres of expertise and also include regions to ensure actual proof of concept or demonstration in real-life conditions. This would require efective use of the SusChem network of national platforms and concret linkage between all elements in the SusChem work plan.

He highlighted the Hybrid workshop undertaken in March 2010 that investigated the chemical materials needs for five value chain sectors. A formal report on the meeting will be published on the SusChem website soon. Engagement with other technology platforms in areas where chemistry plays an important role was also a key element of SusChem strategy.

A final element was the inclusion of training and education in the SusChem plan to fully address the knowledge triangle.

Draft calls
Frederic Gouarderes of DG Research outlined the draft proposals for the forthcoming FP7 call in the NMP area. The focus was on smart, sustainable, inclusive growth as described in the EU Recovery package otherwise known as the ‘2020 Strategy’.

He noted that there were calls across 46 topics for 2010 and that the total annual budget for NMP for the 2010 calls was increased compared to that for 2009. The total for NMP is €450 million including topics in the recovery package PPPs (Factory of the Future, Green Cars and Energy Efficient Buildings). The budget would continue to increase towards the end of FP7.

Frederic described the individual topics in detail and SusChem-relevant topics across all the calls described at the Information Day have been collated in an Excel spreadsheet that can be downloaded at the SusChem website.

The final calls should be published at the end of July. The selection for NMP will be two-stage with a first stage submission deadline of (probably) 4 November and probable second stage deadline of 19 April 2011.

Maria Fernandez Gutierrez described the 2010 calls for KBBE. In the main industrial biotechnology area the indicative budget for the 2010 call was just over € 70 million and Maria outlined some 17 call topics of general interest to SusChem stakeholders. The selection process for the calls would be single stage with the deadline for submission probably 25 January 2011.

Finally Alexis Bazzanella of Dechema outlined the relevant topic calls in the environment and energy calls. All presenters emphasised the need for delegates to check carefully the final texts of the call as they are published at the end of July.

Life+ etc
Ron Weerdmeester gave a brief overview of other EU funding opportunities such as LIFE+ and eco-innovation that are part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP). Both these later programmes could be undertaken without the need for partners. He also described other aspects of FP7 such as the ICT calls and elements of the FP7 People programme.

Ron gave examples of successful case studies and encouraged delegates to think wider for funding opportunities. A particular example is the Marie Curie Actions funding that has a specific programme for industrial partners to work with academics often with only two or three partners: the Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP) scheme. The IAPP scheme was valuable in its own right as a research vehicle, but could also be used to build the basis for later, more extensive collaborative programmes.

After lunch a number of parallel workshops on the various specific calls were organised followed by a plenary feedback session.

Finally delegates were reminded of the SusChem Brokerage Day to be held on 20 September in Brussels.

All the presentations made during the SusChem Info Day 2010 are available and will be sent to participants. For more information contact the SusChem secretariat.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

SusChem talks innovation at EP

SusChem representatives will discuss how to speed up innovation in Europe through value chain partnerships at a lunchtime event at the European Parliament (EP) in Brussels on June 2.

The SusChem event will be hosted by Austrian MEP Paul Rübig (below) who is a member of the EP’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE).

With the EU2020 vision calling for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and modernisation of EU Instruments and ways of thinking, this SusChem debate will aim to demonstrate how the platform is inspiring collective collaboration for innovation along the value chain in the context of current policy developments.

Following a welcoming speech by Paul Rübig, Prof Rodney Townsend of the Royal Society of Chemistry and SusChem chairman will outline SusChem’s strategic direction and then SusChem board member Dr. Paul-Joel Derian of Rhodia will discuss how innovation in Europe can be speeded up.

Finally The European Commission’s Director for Industrial Technologies at DG Research, Herbert Von Bose, will consider the role of European Technology Platforms in the EU 2020 vision, before concluding remarks from Paul Rübig.

The floor will then be open for debate which will focus on what is already happening in the innovation roadmap including best practices and the challenges ahead, and why European Technology Platforms are of key importance for driving innovation along the value chain. The EP has a critical role in ensuring that an appropriate the framework for innovation to flower in Europe is put in place.

For more information, please contact the SusChem secretariat.