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Tuesday, 21 September 2010

2010 Brokerage Part Two: Projects, partners, networking

With military precision the SusChem brokerage event yesterday (20 September) in Brussels successfully brought together dozens of potential FP7 project proposals and ideas with a wide variety of collaborative research expertise and experience from across Europe.

Opening the event at the Hotel Bloom in Brussels SusChem coordinator Ger Spork told the capacity crowd of delegates that “this is very much your event.” He reminded them of the many opportunities to make contact with collaborators provided throughout the day and the main aim: “to support chemistry and industrial biotechnology to take up the opportunities in the FP7 2011 call for projects.” He wished all delegates a “creative, dynamic and successful day.”

Ron Weerdmeester of PNO outlined the day’s programme and also the follow-up process. Two formal presentations sessions before and after lunch covered specific project proposals and expressions of interest or expertise respectively. With each session involving around a dozen individual presentations good time-keeping was essential. The formal presentations were followed by a speed networking / speed dating session and a parallel poster/ networking event.

Follow up
Following the brokerage event all the presentations will be published on the members’ area of the SusChem website and may be published on the public site if the presenters wish.

Delegates can also request for a specific partner search to fill expertise gaps in their project by contacting PNO via Ron Weerdmeester or Pablo Garcia Tello.

Finally PNO can support validation of a project outline description either through the Grant-It website (for Cefic members only) or by submission of a project concept in a template that will be sent to participants after the event by email. This later option is open to both Cefic members and others.

For more information, please contact the SusChem secretariat.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

SusChem Brokerage 2010 - Second Phase

On 20 September SusChem will organise the second part of its 2010 FP7 brokerage programme at the Hotel Bloom (right) in Brussels.

The first part of the 2010 Brokerage programme was held on 4 June and involved European Commission officers describing the content and objectives of four relevant FP7 funding programmes for the chemical industry: NMP, KBBE, ENERGY and ENVIRONMENT.

In parallel Cefic has developed with the support of PNO Consultants an on-line grant information tool called GRANT-IT, to provide easy access to all relevant EU funding opportunities.

“The overall aim of this integrated approach is to prepare the chemical industry and the SusChem community in a timely way for the upcoming calls for proposals that have submission deadlines at the end of 2010,” explains Ron Weerdmeester of PNO.

The second event on 20 September will be targeted at brokering and matching partners around FP7 emerging project ideas and proposals that are under preparation. More than 50 participants from large chemical corporates (including Dow, Solvay, Rhodia, BASF, DSM and UMICORE amongst others), research institutes (for example VITO, Dresden University and TNO) and cluster organisations (Cefic, Essenscia, EuropaBio, Dechema and VNCI) will join together to present and discuss their interest to participate to specific FP7 projects.

Following a brief introduction by SusChem coordinator Ger Spork of Cefic and an overview of the process from Ron Weerdmeester, the morning sessions will focus on participants presenting project ideas and their expressions of interest.

Expressions of interest
A large number of expressions of interest have already been received covering a range of interesting FP7 topics such as:
• Active nanomembrane/-filters/-adsorbents for efficient water treatment,
• Smart and multifunctional packaging concepts utilizing nanotechnology ,
• Large-scale green and economical synthesis of nanoparticles and nanostructures
• Multiscale Modelling as a tool for Virtual Nanotechnology
• Materials for new energy efficient building components with reduced embodied energy
• The Eco-Factory: cleaner and more resource-efficient production in manufacturing
• BioWASTE - Novel biotechnological approaches for transforming industrial and/or municipal biowaste into bioproducts

The afternoon sessions will be dedicated to “speed-dating” in which participants will meet with possible project partners around these and other dedicated FP7 topics.

“The purpose of this activity is to facilitate the direct networking with potential interested partners that can contribute to your project idea,” explains Ron.

For more information and registration, please visit the Brokerage page on the SusChem website.

KBBE 2020

The Knowledge Based Bio-Economy towards 2020 conference that took place in Brussels on 13 and 14 September saw biotechnology experts and policy-makers discuss real-world solutions to a variety of societal challenges. And SusChem representation was well to the fore.

Opening the presentations European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn (below) said: "The Belgian Presidency and the Commission are in complete agreement about the need for a more coherent approach to the bio-economy in the EU, and this conference is an important step. The bio-economy has the potential to address many of the things Europeans care most about: food security, reducing the environmental impact of agriculture and industry, providing healthy food at affordable cost, supporting coastal and rural development, reducing and recycling of bio-waste."

The European Commission will publish by the end of 2011 a more coherent approach to biotechnology research, Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn told the conference.

The communication will “[outline] a European strategy to develop a sustainable knowledge-based Bio-Economy, integrated into overall European policy, and linked to the Common Agriculture and Fisheries Policies, and our Industrial and Environmental policies,” she said.

The communication will also propose an agenda for delivering the strategy, detailing the specific steps needed at European, national and regional levels to achieve its goals.

“Today, Europe has a strong life sciences and biotechnology research base to support the development of a sustainable and smart Bio-Economy. It has a leading position in chemical and enzyme industries and a fast growing biotechnologies sector. However, a lot of work still needs to be done in order to fully exploit the potential of the sector today and ensure that Europe remains competitive tomorrow,” she commented.

EuropaBio policy guide
To coincide with the KBBE 2020 conference SusChem partner EuropaBio has published a policy guide ‘Building a Bio-based Economy for Europe in 2020’. The guide describes what a bio-based economy would look like and the driving forces behind such a move, before outlining the key priorities and actions needed to make it happen.

“Europe is at the forefront of industrial biotechnology and the bio-based economy,” commented Ian Hudson, Chair of EuropaBio’s Industrial Biotech Council, “But we need the right policies and focus to develop and implement a clear strategy. Now is the time for our regulators and decision makers to make some bold regulatory moves. We must focus on developing and applying an integrated and holistic approach towards our competitiveness and sustainability to make sure Europe has the world’s leading bio-based economy for 2020.”

SusChem Belgium
Belgian Minister for Science and Innovation Ingrid Lieten stated that European regions and member states such as Flanders are taking action to implement the bio-economy in a public private partnership with stakeholders. The chemical industry in Flanders has launched a strategy for greening industrial processes and production via the newly created SusChem Flanders technology platform.

The Minister also highlighted the € 21 million euro INTERREG project Bio Base Europe. On the first day of the conference delegates were able to visit a number of industrial biotechnology sites in the Ghent region including the pilot plant facility of this SusChem associated project. Conference delegates are pictured outside the Bio Base plant building below.

SusChem board member Wim Soetaert co-chaired one of the Thursday conference sessions on innovative bio-based products at KBBE 2020 and is a leading figure in the Bio Base Europe project. His conference session looked at the role of bio-based products in greening industry by the replacement of conventional fossil fuel based raw materials with bio-based alternatives.

For more information on KBBE 2020 organised by the Belgian Presidency of the EU, including more images and presentations from the various sessions, please visit the conference website.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

IndTech2010 profiles SusChem ambitions

The European Commission’s Industrial Technologies 2010 conference and Exhibition on September 7-9 proved to be a valuable platform for SusChem to engage with policy-makers and potential collaborative partners.

Speaking on the last day of the three-day event at Brussels’s Tour & Taxis site, SusChem coordinator and Cefic Innovation Manager Ger Spork said: “SusChem had a very strong presence in the conference and exhibition and our message was clear - SusChem is ready and able to take an active role in shaping and contributing to programmes under the Commission’s Europe 2020 initiative.”

The Europe 2020 initiative is looking to drive the EU economy towards smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. In his presentation to the conference Ger (right) had outlined the SusChem approach which combines definition of strategic research needs, deployment of large demonstration or proof of concept projects, and implementation.

“This final implementation stage involves the addressing of non-technical and non-financial challenges to the market implementation of sustainable innovations,” explains Ger. “To successfully get to rapid market implementation must, in our view, require a collaborative public-private approach that includes input from the full value chain. This is clearly an enhanced collaborative dimension that SusChem is ready to drive with strong support from the chemical industry.”

“With respect to Europe 2020, SusChem’s four focus areas are ‘Quality of Life’, clean environment and water, low carbon society, and economic prosperity,” he continues. “These fit well with some of the potential Innovation Partnerships described by the Commission such as critical raw materials, water efficient Europe, and low carbon cities.”

“SusChem has already outlined four of its own proposals for public-private partnerships to the Commission in areas that are essential to the Europe 2020 strategy and where the chemical community is ready to take a lead,” concludes Ger. “The four areas are sustainable urban construction, sustainable individual mobility in large cities, resource efficiency in processing, and energy for a low carbon society; all designed as modular concepts to enable effective alignment with priority policy initiatives.”

F3 factory
SusChem board member Klaus Sommer (below) presented on the F3 factory at the conference. He described the SusChem-inspired project as a major coordinated effort between industry and academia to boost the competitiveness of chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing in Europe. This four year, 25 partner project provides a critical mass involving contributions along the value chain to meet the scale of the technical challenge. And it is deploying interdisciplinary teams addressing complex issues to create and demonstrate new process concepts.

He summarised the F3 project as a collaboration that enables all its partners to get farther and faster, together.

Klaus also stressed that many aspects around Sustainable Chemistry can integrate very well with up- and downstream partner industries and other process industries. The chemistry industry is a key component in very many value chains.

Commenting on the conference, Klaus said: “What I find important is that this interaction with the Commission is really strong. That we feel that we understand what the plans of the Commission are, but the Commission also hears the input that people from different corners of the industry give to the Commission.”

SusChem Board member Martina Bianchini also gave a short presentation on SusChem as part of her chairperson and moderator role for the conference session ‘Towards Environmentally Sustainable Production’.

As usual the SusChem stand (see below) with its interactive Smart Energy Home and F3 exhibits was also a very popular part of the exhibition area with SusChem representatives having to field a large number of queries over the three days.

For more information on the Industrial Technologies 2010 Conference, please visit the conference website.

All photos copyright ©2010 Mark Florquin

Monday, 6 September 2010

SusChem at major EU Industrial Technologies event

SusChem will be actively supporting the European Commission’s major Industrial Technologies 2010 conference and exhibition that is taking place in Brussels from 7 to 9 September at the Tour & Taxis site.

SusChem board member Martina Bianchini of Dow will be chairing and presenting at one of the conference sessions (D1) on Environmental Sustainable Production on the first day of the conference. This session also includes contributions from fellow Technology Platforms the Zero Emissions Platform (ZEP) and the European Steel Technology Platform (ESTEP) plus Inbicon the biorefinery company.

Also on September 7 SusChem board member Klaus Sommer of Bayer will present on the SusChem F3 Factory project and SusChem ideas for a Sustainable Production Public Private Partnership (PPP) in session C2. This session covers new approaches for emerging and traditional industrial sectors.

Finally Ger Spork, Innovation Manager at Cefic, will present on SusChem’s Technology Roadmaps including outlining SusChem plans to address major societal challenges during session G1 on September 8.

In addition SusChem will have a significant presence in the exhibition area on all three days of the event. The SusChem stand will feature both the F3 and Smart Energy Home demonstration tools.

Great platform
“This conference is a great platform for SusChem to demonstrate its plans and potential to contribute to addressing major societal challenges,” says Ger Spork. “We have the support of the chemical industry in this initiative and our approach fits well with the EU’s 2020 policy development and related initiatives.”

The Industrial Technologies 2010 conference is organised by the European Commission in cooperation with the Belgian EU presidency with a focus on the nanotechnologies, materials and production technologies that are key areas of the FP7 NMP theme.

The conference aims to address the need for innovation within European industry and look at obstacles that hinder innovation. A second major theme will be outlining future perspectives for industry with the new technologies and materials that are being developed. Finally the conference will survey the social, environmental sustainability and competitiveness perspectives of European manufacturing industry.

Ger Spork also sees the conference as an opportunity to reinforce contacts with potential partners for PPP and Innovation Partnership developments. “We will be networking during the three days with fellow technology platforms and other partners to discuss and look for alignment between our programme proposals,” he concludes.

For more information on the Industrial Technologies 2010 Conference, please visit the conference website.