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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Date for your diary: SusChem Stakeholder Event 2016 will be on 16 June!

SusChem is proud to announce that its 2016 Stakeholder event will take place on
Thursday, 16 June from 09:00 to 17:00 at the Hotel Bloom in Brussels, Belgium.

Mark the date in your diary now! As usual attendance at the event will be free of charge for all SusChem stakeholder, but registration will be required.

More details will be published soon on the SusChem website. In the meantime if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the SusChem Secretariat.

Six Model EU Regions to lead way towards Sustainable Chemical Industry

The European Commission has selected six 'model regions' to lead the way towards a sustainable EU chemical industry. The announcement (on 26 January 2016) of the selection of the six model regions in the field of sustainable chemicals production kicks off the European Sustainable Chemicals Support Service which met for the first time this week. And Cefic and SusChem will be helping to deliver support to the selected regions.

The six 'model demonstrator regions' in Europe are Andalusia (Spain), Groningen-Drenthe (The Netherlands), Kosice (Slovakia), Scotland (United Kingdom), South and Eastern Ireland (Ireland) and Wallonia (Belgium).

The regions have been selected from 28 applicants from EU regions, and will receive advisory support from the 'European Sustainable Chemicals Support Service' (ESCS) – a consortium led by the European Commission and CIRCE (the Research Centre for Energy Resources and Consumption). Cefic and SusChem will work with CIRCE and other partners to provide support to the six selected regions.

The aim of the initiative is to encourage investments in sustainable chemicals production in Europe that will contribute to the development of the circular economy, for example by taking advantage of domestically available feedstock such as biomass, waste or CO2.

Cefic and SusChem have been very supportive of collaboration within and between chemical regions based on concepts such as Industrial Symbiosis. This was demonstrated by Cefic-SusChem participation in the Chemical Regions for Resource Efficiency (R4R) FP7 project and expressed in the SusChem position paper on Circular Economy (see below). Participation in this tender continues and expands this support.

Call background
In a call for the expression of interest in September 2015, the Commission asked for applications from regional organisations interested in developing ambitious strategies to support sustainable chemicals in Europe. The final aim is to attract new investments in industrial projects in the chemicals sector, thereby also contributing to the industry policy objective of raising the GDP share of manufacturing in Europe. The call also intended to lead to further development of coherent policies, such as those related to the circular economy and low carbon economy, industrial symbiosis as well as removing investment bottlenecks.

The applications submitted clearly show the commitment of many regions in Europe to move towards circular economy and low carbon economy models, by using renewable resources for chemicals production. Experiences from the initiative will be shared with other interested European regions, to boost cooperation between the chemicals sector and other sectors, like agriculture, forestry, energy intensive industries, waste management and recycling.

SusChem and the circular economy
Since its inception in 2004 SusChem has inspired numerous research and innovation activities that address major European societal issues. SusChem’s solutions are based on sustainable enabling technologies developed by the chemical industry and its partners in academia, research and technology organisations, and other industrial players from a wide variety of different value-chains and sectors. Many of these technologies are essential to the implementation of a sustainable circular economy.

In October 2015 SusChem published a position paper on the Circular Economy. You can download the paper here.

The paper has three main messages:

A sustainability-based approach is needed
The integration of all aspects of sustainability is essential to the development of a circular economy in order to effectively ensure a positive impact on society while minimising environmental impact and maintaining economic growth.

Technology development is required for a sustainable circular economy
A circular economy cannot be achieved only through implementation of new regulations, services and business models.  Advanced technologies are essential to enable a better use of existing resources along the whole life cycle to develop new production and recycling paths – and the expertise of the chemical industry as a material supplier is highly valuable and important here. In particular SusChem believes that the principle technology developments should take place in the following three areas:
  • Utilisation of sustainable alternative feedstock including  secondary raw materials, ligno-cellulosic biomass, waste or CO2 from industrial flue gases. 
  • Design of sustainable materials enabling eco design of ‘products’ that are easy to recycle while maintaining or improving performance.
  • Improved efficiency for production processes to maximise the use of all resources entering the system including primary and secondary raw materials, water, and energy.
These technologies are more fully described in the SusChem’s 2015 Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) and should be supported through the appropriate European funding instruments.

Coherence and stability over time for the policy framework is critical for European leadership
To contribute fully to a sustainable economy, the circular economy policy should be developed in coordination with other related policies such as the Energy Union Package. Policy coherence, as well as policy stability over time, is essential to establish a regulatory framework that enables investment in sustainable, resource efficient and innovative technologies in Europe and ensures European leadership in sustainable/clean technologies.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Launching a Pact for Innovation at 7EIS

Hosted by Knowledge4Innovation, the 7th European Innovation Summit took place at the European Parliament in Brussels on 7–10 December. With everyone from young entrepreneurs and students to European Commissioners and MEPs in attendance, the stage was set for exciting discussions on how Europe can bridge the innovation gap. Cefic co-organised a Breakfast debate on ‘Advanced materials and breakthrough opportunities for the energy transition’ at the event. Science writer Ben Skuse reports.

More than 1 500 delegates, including more than 50 MEPs, attended 2015’s European Innovation Summit (7EIS), offering a unique opportunity for stakeholders across the spectrum to get together and discuss the key challenges and opportunities for Europe to capitalise on its innovation potential, increase its competitiveness and help solve global problems.

Alongside the cross-sector, cross-disciplinary themes discussed throughout 7EIS’s plenary sessions and coffee breaks, a number of more targeted debates took place at the event. These offered the chance to hear sector-specific challenges and opportunities from leading stakeholders in each field. Critical topics including industry, environment, agriculture, bio-economy, health, transport, safety and security, quantum computing, the role of regions and cities, and energy were all debated through dedicated sessions.

Advanced materials, competitive economy
The latter – energy – was the focus of Cefic’s co-organised Breakfast debate entitled ‘Advanced materials and breakthrough opportunities for the energy transition’ on 8 December. Dedicated to how the chemical industry can contribute to enabling Europe make the transition to a competitive, sustainable low-carbon economy through innovation, the session was hosted by MEP Professor Jerzy Buzek with presentations from key policy makers and industry representatives including Cefic Executive Director for Research and Innovation Pierre Barthélemy.

Introducing the debate Prof. Buzek stressed the need for an innovative leap, in which development of advanced material would be very important, to enable change in the way we make and use energy.  Rudolph Strohmeier, Deputy Director General at the European Commission’s DG for Research and Innovation (below) agreed describing the Commission’s “two-sided approach with the Energy Union and SET plan and the Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) initiative - that includes advanced materials - to achieve a real energy revolution.”

Pierre Barthélemy highlighted the chemical industry’s responsibility to contribute to energy issues along the entire value chain and called for further EU support for technology development activities but also for the deployment of novel technologies. For example, central talking points included the chemical industry’s role in providing lightweight materials offering improved energy efficiency for the transport, construction and industry sectors described by Christian Collette of Arkema. While advanced materials for key energy technologies, such as energy storage, solar cells and wind turbines, and new materials for carbon capture and use as fuels or chemical energy storage were highlighted by Peter Nagler of Evonik.

The debate went well beyond advanced materials, turning to wider energy-related concerns, as Cefic Innovation Manager and SusChem Secretary Jacques Kormorniki illuminates: “There were excellent statements and discussions around the topic of energy during the Breakfast debate. This aligns with what we try to do in the SET-Plan and SusChem’s Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda – to have a global view of the energy issues.”

For example Martin Winter from Clariant claimed that advances in chemical catalysis to 2050, particularly for the synthesis of ammonia, could save energy equivalent to the current consumption of Germany and boost the global fight against hunger.

A Pact for Innovation
Although highly diverse, all the sessions and subjects were linked by the common goal of providing an environment in which Europe’s young innovators can be creative, expand their businesses and compete in the global economy. And nowhere was this theme more evident than in the official launch of the Pact for Innovation (INPACT) during the Summit’s opening ceremony on 7 December.

INPACT aims to create a space for innovation stakeholders and European institutions to meet and collaborate, in order to tackle key issues at the local, national and regional levels that hinder excellence in innovation. In essence, it will provide platforms for Europe’s innovators in all sectors to communicate with policy makers in a meaningful way.

Further, the Pact will focus on introducing and optimising favourable conditions for innovators to operate in and will lay the foundations for the next generation to be able to take risks. “A stronger EU-wide commitment is needed, and that’s why we’ve come forward with this Pact for Innovation, not just another reformulation of the overall [innovation] strategy between the key European institutions – we strive for a stronger, less institution-centric and firmer dialogue with all stakeholders,” stated Lambert van Nistelrooij, Chair, K4I Forum Governing Board, during his address.

The launch of INPACT was warmly welcomed by European Commissioner for Research Carlos Moedas at the opening ceremony (see box below).

Open Innovation 2.0
Offering a basis for INPACT to succeed, another strong theme pervading the conference was Open Innovation 2.0. Based on a Quadruple Helix Model, involving government, industry, academia and civil stakeholders, Open Innovation 2.0 calls for all actors to co-create the future through networking, collaboration, corporate entrepreneurship, proactive intellectual property management and R&D.

 “To use an analogy, we need multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary models of innovation with all stakeholders, all disciplines, all levels of technology readiness in a boiling kettle with the public authorities providing the kettle, the fire and ensuring the soup has all the right ingredients,” explains Bror Salmelin, Innovation Systems Adviser at the European Commission, DG CONNECT, and co-creator of the Open Innovation 2.0 paradigm. “And then we have the chefs who know how to cook it and how to grab onto the results – these are entrepreneurs, large or small.”

“Innovation is not a linear process any more, it is not science-based excellence, it’s about creating a lot of collisions, igniting new ideas that can be prototyped in a real-world setting very quickly, with the end-user there to say what is working and not,” Salmelin concludes.

Enabling innovators to innovate
Key to a meaningful dialogue between Europe’s innovators and policy makers, and introducing Open Innovation 2.0 to the current and next generation of innovators, will be engaging youth.

A number of young innovators were in attendance at 7EIS to offer their perspective of the innovation environment in Europe. During the parallel session ‘The next generation: mobility, jobs and entrepreneurship’, policy makers, academics and entrepreneurs shared their experiences with an eclectic crowd, including Govinda Upadhyay, 2015 EIT CHANGE award winner and founder of educational solar LED lamp startup LED safari. “It’s really good to see how people are working in the innovation direction at the European Union level, but I wish that this could be on a much more grand scale,” he explained after the session. “I am sure that if the policy makers took more initiative for young entrepreneurs in terms of market, funding, really encouraging them, it would be very beneficial.”

Another speaker at the session Tobias Bahnemann, co-founder of groundbreaking 3D sensor startup Toposens, shared Upadhyay’s tentatively positive sentiment: “The policy makers are listening to the problems and wishes of young entrepreneurs here definitely, but we will have to wait a few years to see if any changes have been made as a result.”

Support for the innovators

But perhaps entrepreneurs will not have to wait so long: “I would like to see Europe go further and faster towards open innovation,” stated European Commissioner Carlos Moedas in his foreword to the 7EIS programme.

During his speech at the Summit’s opening ceremony, Moedas went on to outline how he wishes to achieve a better innovation ecosystem. He explained how INPACT aligns perfectly with his idea of building a European Innovation Council to support innovators in the same way that the European Research Council boosts scientific discovery: “I was looking at the Pact for Innovation and I saw four key words that I think are essential […]. The first is careers, the second is refocus, the third is citizens and the fourth is future [… ]. Careers, yes: we have to streamline instruments, we have to get people in Europe to know where to go when they come to us. Refocus, yes: the European Innovation Council is all about refocus[ing]. Citizens, yes: it’s about how you get these new innovators to get on board. And the last point, future generation: […] how you transform curricula from a very young age to the Master’s level. And all this is about how you can get a bottom-up experience for innovators.”
“I would like to see Europe go further and faster towards open innovation,” – Carlos Moedas

Friday, 22 January 2016

Biobased innovation wins Climate and Environment award

German chemical company Clariant has been awarded the 2015 German Innovation Prize for Climate and Environment (Der Deutsche Innovationspreis für Klima und Umwelt - IKU) for its innovative sunliquid technology. This biotechnological process produces cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues and was awarded first place in the Process Innovations category winning against 14 other competing technologies.

The sunliquid technology convinced a jury of independent experts from business, science, media and politics chaired by Professor Klaus Töpfer. Biofuels and biobased chemicals made from agricultural residues such as wheat straw are produced sustainably and economically using this process without competing with food or feed production. Cellulosic ethanol made with sunliquid® technology is ground-breaking for climate and environmental protection.

“Clariant is continually investing in the development of sustainable products from renewable raw materials and in the exploration of innovative biotechnologies such as sunliquid. This pioneering process has great potential for the production of environmentally compatible biofuels and a multitude of biobased raw materials that are suitable for various specialty products, such as those of the cosmetic industry,” said Clariant CEO Hariolf Kottmann.

“Biofuels from agricultural residues play a key role in making mobility more sustainable worldwide. Greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by up to 95% compared with fossil fuels. The award from the Federal Ministry validates our approach,” added Andre Koltermann, Head of Group Biotechnology at Clariant pictured above (second left) receiving the award from Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks (second right) and Holger Lösch, member of the BDI Executive Board (far right) with Markus Rarbach, Head Start-up Business Project Biofuels & Derivatives at Clariant (far left).

Innovative sustainable chemistry
The award highlights the chemical sector as a truly high-technology industry at the forefront of sustainable innovation. SusChem welcomes this prestigious German Innovation Prize going to innovative and sustainable chemistry. SusChem is committed to addressing societal challenges via a sustainability based approach (simultaneously addressing the needs of the 3Ps – people planet and profit) using innovative. This commitment is clear from the programmes and initiatives outlined in our Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA).

“The 2015 German Innovation Prize for Climate and Environment warded to Clariant for its innovative sunliquid technology is another very good example that demonstrates the chemical industry’s commitment to addressing our grand societal challenges by investing in sustainable products derived from renewable raw material,” says Martin Winter, SusChem Innovation Manager at Cefic.

“Innovative biotechnologies at the forefront of innovation such as Clariant’s advanced sustainable sunliquid biofuel enable up to 95% savings in greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, it will contribute significantly to the decarbonisation of the transport sector without competing with food or feed resources.”

Sunlight technology
This is the fifth time that the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI) have awarded innovative projects focused on climate and environmentally friendly processes, products and services. The winning selections resulted from a profound technical analysis of all the applications by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI). The award ceremony with Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks and Holger Lösch, member of the BDI Executive Board, took place at the ministry in Berlin. The award comes with a cash prize of €25 000.

You can learn more about Clariant’s sunlight technology on the company’s website and in the video below.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

More rebel thinkers required!

Are you a real rebel thinker? Do you have a good idea for novel research in human health or environmental risk assessment? Then you can help your ideas come alive with the Cefic-LRI Innovative Science Award 2016. Your idea could be worth € 100 000! But be quick - the closing date for applications is 18 March 2016.

The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), in conjunction with Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), Federation of Toxicologists and European Societies of Toxicology (EUROTOX), International Society of Exposure Scientists (ISES) and Chemical Week, is offering a €100,000 award to support promising new research in the field of novel approaches to the characterisation of molecular initiating events, or other key events, in pathways for human and environmental toxicity. But you must apply by 18 March 2016!

The award judges will be looking for innovative research ideas, focused either on human health or environmental safety, which can pioneer new approaches to identifying and characterising molecular initiating events (MIEs) and other key events or biomarkers that are relevant for important new Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs).

In 2012 the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) launched a programme for the definition of AOPs as analytical constructs that describe series of linked events that are causally related and that lead to an adverse health outcome or environmental effect at the tissue, organism or population level. Such AOPs characteristically describe MIEs and other subsequent key events on the pathway to an adverse outcome.

The objective of the Cefic-LRI Innovative Science Award is to stimulate innovative research, "out-of-the-box" thinking and new approaches which will advance the assessment of hazardous substances.

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 research fields with which LRI is engaged.

Who can apply? 
The award is intended for a European-based scientist with less than ten years of research experience after their doctoral degree. Active involvement in interdisciplinary research, their current academic track record, and access to appropriate networks will be considered in the selection of the finalists.

Valid entries submitted by end-of-play on 18 March will be assessed by a panel of judges to select three finalists, who will be invited to present their ideas in Brussels on 6 June 2016, where the ultimate winner will be decided.

The LRI Innovative Science Award will be officially presented at the LRI Annual Workshop on 16 November 2016 and the 2016 Awardee will be expected to present the results of his or her research at the LRI Annual Workshop in November 2017.

For more details on the Cefic-LRI award and how to apply visit the awards webpage.

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 the public's concerns.

Friday, 15 January 2016

SusChem publishes Polymer Composites Brochure

SusChem has just published a new brochure on ‘Polymer composites for automotive sustainability’. The brochure is the result of a collaborative effort involving stakeholders all along the automotive value chain in Europe. Automotive composites are a growing market that is driven by efficiency and emissions issues. The market for global automotive composite materials is forecast to reach €3.72 billion by 2017. This represents a real opportunity for the European chemical and composites industry. 

The automotive industry faces a new challenge aligning material properties, product design and production or assembly processes - especially in larger volume production series vehicles – but could take more advantage of the potential of composites for light-weighting vehicles. The demand for weight reduction is driven by the demand for better fuel efficiency and reduced emissions to comply with EU legislation. In 2007 over 500 million tons of CO2 emissions were estimated to be due to cars in the EU; it is estimated that savings due to composites light-weighting result in a potential 1.4% improvement here.

SusChem’s role
From its inception in 2004, SusChem identified advanced materials as an enabling technology critical to achieving its vision and mission. SusChem has set innovation priorities for advanced materials to be adopted in key end user markets including automotive and highlighted 'Multifunctional light-weight construction' as a priority for smart, green and integrated transport in its Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA).

The SusChem Working Group on Composites Materials for Automotive pulled together experts from the chemical industry, the automotive industry, the automotive parts suppliers as well as academia and recommended the publication of the brochure as well as a wider consultation with the established competence centres in Europe.

In October 2013 SusChem and the automotive R&D association EARPA organised a joint workshop, “Exploring cross-innovation opportunities on automotive composites and bio-based materials” in Frankfurt. The outcomes of this workshop, as well as feedback collected by a stakeholder consultation held as a follow-up exercise, are summarised in several key conclusions and recommendations within the polymer brochure.

Key objectives
The brochure integrates specific input from key stakeholders across the value chain, including those involved in production equipment, and provides concrete recommendations to enable faster progress in advanced composites light-weighting innovation uptake in the European automotive industry.

A set of specific R&D&I challenges are defined for advanced composite materials including:

  • Novel and innovative polymer composite raw materials with enhanced recyclability properties
  • Low cost adaptive, flexible and efficient manufacturing and assembly processes specific to the high-volume automotive industry
  • Multi-attribute design optimisation that works even in case of a multi-material architecture
  • Automated joining techniques for multi-materials and composites
  • Invisible damage identification and repair techniques for composite parts

A key wider-scale objective is the establishment of an EU-wide programme to ensure adequate support for automotive composites research and innovation in the long term.

As well as this coordinated R&D&I programme, the establishment of a European Automotive Composites Competence Network is proposed. This network of R&D&I clusters can improve the coordination between local knowledge hubs.

For further information on SusChem activities in this area contact Jacques Komornicki at Cefic.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

SPiCE3 Energy Efficiency gets Green Light for Phase Two

Today (13 January 2016) the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) has announced further support for EU chemical companies to increase their energy efficiency and competitiveness. This fresh investment round supports an innovative project designed to help European chemical companies to improve their energy efficiency: SPiCE3 (Sectoral Platform in Chemicals for Energy Efficiency Excellence). The SPiCE3 initiative provides a wealth of free resources to all chemical companies including workshops, peer-to-peer mentoring, on-site coaching and targeted events promoting best practice.

Europe’s SMEs represent a huge collective potential for driving energy efficiency, but can face challenges such as the lack of tools, expertise or resources. SPiCE3 will continue to provide accessible, hands-on assistance to SMEs, helping them with them to implement concrete measures that boost their energy efficiency.

Over 6 500 European companies have so far been reached through the SPiCE3 programme via:

  • 63 SME on-site trainings
  • 48 workshops at the local level reaching more than 650 participants
  • Three EU-wide events raising awareness of energy management best practices
  • The SPiCE3 web portal - a ‘one-stop shop’ for energy efficiency information and resources, including case studies, best practices, funding guides and newsletters

The continued investment by Cefic consolidates an industry-wide commitment to support increasing energy efficiency and competitiveness. As an energy intensive industry, the chemical sector alone consumes around 12% of the EU’s total energy demand, and one-third of EU industrial energy use. In addition, energy can be up to 25% of the total costs of an SME in the EU chemical sector. Therefore increasing energy efficiency is essential to preserving the industry’s competitiveness and to help meet Europe’s climate action goals.

Learn more about the SPiCE3 project in the video below.

For more information on SPiCE3 visit the web portal your one-stop shop for energy efficiency information including 50 case studies, 20 best practice guides and much, much more.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Think Green to Win Green!

The ACS Green Chemistry Institute® (ACS GCI) is hosting a business plan competition exclusively devoted to innovations in sustainable green chemistry and engineering. Applicants have the chance to receive expert feedback, training and mentorship, and the opportunity to market their business idea to their target audiences.

Early stage companies dedicated to green chemistry and engineering solutions are encouraged to apply for this unique opportunity to win $ 10 000 and share their innovative solutions with a huge audience of potential clients and customers.

To apply companies need to submit an executive summary PowerPoint presentation with no more than 15 slides and also a 2-3 minute video pitching the idea. The summary and video must be submitted by mail to Ashley Baker at ACS by 8 April 2016.

A panel of experts selected by the ACS GCI will judge the applications to select three semi-finalists. The selected semi-finalists will attend the final round of the competition that takes place at the 20th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference in Portland, Oregon on 15 June 2016. Business ideas will be considered for all areas of green chemistry and engineering except biofuels.

Green principles
The competition judges will be looking for possible solutions that apply the principles of green chemistry and engineering to address the world’s biggest challenges. Previous winners have included a wide range of technologies from paints and coatings to safer chemical alternatives and innovative battery technology.

All semi-finalists will be notified on or before 25 April 2016 and business plan pitches must be made in person on 15 June 2016 at the conference. The overall winner will be announced on 15 June following the final presentations.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

MATCH Materials Newsletter published

The latest newsletter of the Horizon 2020 MATCH project was published at the end of December.  The MATCH project aims to strengthen and deepen the Alliance4Materials strategy by building a broad stakeholder network.

This third issue of the newsletter has a focus on Europe’s strategy for metallurgy, profiles open R&D materials company FIMECC Ltd, explores Additive Manufacturing for Metallurgy in Austria, and the describes the production of porous copper for use in applications such as water purification amongst much more. You can download and subscribe to the MATCH newsletters here.

Metallurgy is a core activity underpinning primary metal production, processing and reuse and recycling of metallic materials. In total these activities account for 46% of total manufacturing value and some 11% of GDP in the EU. The lead newsletter article features the EU roadmap ‘Metallurgy made in and for Europe’ outlining its objectives and main recommendations.

Material objectives
One of the key objectives of MATCH is to enable improved connectivity between scientific creativity represented by academia and European enterprises focusing on market needs. The European Commission has set an ambitious goal to re-industrialise Europe and to raise industry's share of EU GDP to 20% by 2020. Innovation in cross-cutting applications of advanced materials provides an excellent opportunity for Europe to reindustrialise and secure jobs.

Another important objective of MATCH is to promote the alignment of national and European materials research policies and funding. MATCH has the goal of creating a single interactive and informative platform for the international materials research community.

The project is coordinated by Italian Centro Sviluppo Materiali and the consortium consists of 18 partners from nine countries representing six related European Technology Platforms (including SusChem) and several major European material research organisations.

Material targets
MATCH focuses on four main targets, crucial for the promotion of European sustainable development and innovation actions. These are:

  • The enlargement and improvement of the Materials network at EU level
  • The multidisciplinary connection of Materials to a large number of fields relevant for European growth and where concerted management actions are needed
  • The integration with existing and/or promotion of new Materials networks at National and Regional levels
  • The integration of EU and national and regional networks in sustainable and effectively aligned network hubs

Through the MATCH project all organisations interested in materials research in Europe will have a single reference network through which to obtain information, contacts and guidance in an efficient and transparent way. Established and well-connected material research stakeholders will be able to intensify their activities and extend their collaborative activities at European level, realising the A4M concept for the “The Materials Common House”.

The project started in January 2015 and will continue until June 2017. MATCH is funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. It follows on from the previous Alliance for Materials initiative, the MatVal project, in which SusChem was also an active partner.