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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

First SuperBIO Workshop on Valorisation of Residues

The new Horizon 2020 project SuperBIO is running its first Thematic Workshop on ‘Valorisation of Residues from Intensive Horticulture’. The workshop is free and is taking place on 12 September 2016 at the Centre for Technological Research and Innovation in Seville. The following day is, of course, the SusChem Brokerage event in Seville and SuperBIO will also be there and available for B2B discussions.

SuperBIO is an innovation project supported through the Horizon 2020 funding programme. The € 3.8 million project supports the development of promising industrial value chains in the bioeconomy and engages with the EU biobased business community. The SuperBIO consortium includes four industrial cluster organisations (from Belgium, France, Spain and Poland), and six service providers (from the UK, Germany and Belgium). 

The workshop kicks off at 15:30h with a description of the SuperBIO project from Dr. Gloria de la Viña from project partner Corporación Tecnológica de Andalucía (CTA). This is followed by a discussion on SuperBIO Support to SMEs with Dr. Holger Bengs of BCNP Consultants GmbH, Dr. Lieve Hoflack from Bio Base Europe pilot plant and Dr. Caitlin Burns of NNFCC. 

Examples of the valorisation of agricultural and horticultural residues from a range of Horizon 2020 projects will then be presented. 

Dr. Francisco Egea from Almería University will describe the biomass potential of intensive horticulture followed by discussion of Biotechnological valorisation of horticulture residues by Dr. Javier Velasco of NEOL S.A and the final presentation will be on a success story showcasing horticultural bioproducts that are already in the market. The workshop will close at ~17:50h

You can find more information on the event website, including a downloadable programme, and you can register directly here. The registration also includes a booking option to schedule meetings with SuperBIO representatives at the SusChem Brokerage event on 13 September.

About SuperBIO
SuperBIO’s strategic vision is to build new industrial value chains by integrating and supporting groups of SMEs in collaboration with other innovation actors.

The project aims to:
  • create open collaboration spaces for SMEs, Larger Enterprises (LEs) and other stakeholders in the biobased economy
  • identify new industrial value chain concepts maximizing the benefits for EU business and citizens
  • construct highly promising, disruptive and sustainable new industrial value chains by selecting synergistic groups of SMEs, LEs and other stakeholders, and
  • provide a diverse, stepwise and comprehensive innovation support programme that enables the efficient and optimal validation of new value chains and brings them closer to the market. 
The SuperBIO project main objective is to build at least 10 new biobased value chains around innovative and promising ideas from the business community. In addition, SuperBIO will offer innovation services to at least 30 third-party SMEs that are part of identified value chains.

To further innovate in the EU bioeconomy, new partnerships and connections need to be established between different sectors (for example between chemistry and agriculture, between producers and end-users). SuperBIO helps to build these connections by engaging with the wider biobased business community. It supports cross sectorial and cross border industrial value chain building and provides innovation support services to SMEs.

Industrial stakeholders are invited to submit their idea for an innovative value chain to the SuperBIO project. The consortium ensures that their information will be treated as confidential throughout the process. The combined expertise in the biobased economy and skills of the consortium enable them to identify promising ideas for new innovative value chains. SuperBIO then supports cross sectorial and cross border development of the value chain of the selected ideas.

Once a value chain is created SuperBIO analyses the gaps to be filled and further requirements to bring this value chain closer to the market. Based on this, SuperBIO offers selected innovation services to SMEs that are part of the value chain. Six services providers are included in the consortium offering a combined set of 10 different professional innovation services: scale-up and proof-of-concept, IP support, life cycle assessment, techno-economic evaluation, feedstock analysis, market research, sustainability advice, business planning, access to investors and grant writing. These services are funded by the project for 75%, the remaining 25% being covered by the SME receiving the service.

This project will lead to the implementation of new value chains, the production of drop-in biobased chemicals and products and/ or the production of new chemicals and products with improved features. It can lead to investments in dedicated industrial production sites for the new value chains, for example via ESIF funds, and therefore provide leverage for the re-industrialisation of the EU using innovative technologies.

In brief, SuperBIO offers a unique opportunity to bring innovative, sustainable, cross border and cross sectorial biobased value chains closer to the market.

For more information on the SuperBIO project and the scope of its innovation services visit the project website (under construction).

Thursday, 18 August 2016

A Sustainable Future through Catalysis?

Europe is a leading player in terms of research on catalysis as well in the industrial implementation of catalytic technologies, however this leadership is under threat due to fragmentation of effort, insufficient coordination between European and country-based activities, a declining level of funding for fundamental research in some European countries, and a lack of large-scale infrastructures dedicated to catalysis. Now the European Cluster on Catalysis initiative has published its new Roadmap on Catalysis for Europe report ‘Science and Technology Roadmap on Catalysis for Europe’ that outlines a clear path forward. Catalysis has always been seen as a key chemical technology for SusChem and many SusChem members were closely involved in the development of this report.

This roadmap and the activities of the European Cluster on Catalysis have the ambitious objective to define a new path to create a sustainable future through catalysis. The process is bottom-up as it starts with national roadmaps and inputs from all across Europe and develops a common vision and highlights strategies to reach the challenges facing industry and society in a transitional period to a new economic cycle.

The ‘Science and Technology Roadmap on Catalysis for Europe’ report provides that long term vision and an action plan to support catalysis research in the EU and identifies the key actions that must be undertaken at European level in the next ten years in the field of catalysis.

These are:
  • Identify the best catalyst/process-related opportunities;
  • Accelerate R&D that improves energy efficiency;
  • Facilitate R&D on game changers with partners that lower barriers and operating costs;
  • Undertake or stimulate academic and national laboratory research on large-volume/high-energy use processes;
  • Promote synergies and cohesion between research groups on catalysis through the use of flagship initiatives
Catalysis – a key enabler
Catalysis is one of the key cross-cutting and enabling disciplines for the chemical and other process industries. Catalytic materials are crucial to reducing environmental burdens today and in the future and can help to make products greener and more sustainable, to reduce CO2 emissions and address future energy challenges. The first ‘Science and Technology Roadmap on Catalysis for Europe’ provides valuable input for the elaboration of future research policies in this area.

The report first introduces the vision of the roadmap, based on analysis of a scenario for sustainable production of chemistry and energy vectors and provides some long-term strategic goals. The role and relevance of catalysis is discussed and aspects identified that will dominate the future production of sustainable chemical and energy vectors and other critical areas for catalysis use.

Based on this analysis the report then identifies the grand challenges for catalysis and discusses possible implementation options. These challenges for catalysis, aiming to address societal, environmental and industrial demands, are grouped in three main topic areas:
  • Catalysis to address the evolving energy and chemical scenario
  • Catalysis for a cleaner and sustainable future
  • Addressing catalysis complexity
The following section analyses the strategic research agenda and related implementation action plan for these grand challenges identifying the key aspects, and related challenges and opportunities for catalysis, the main research areas and required outputs.

Catalysis is a key enabling technology for a cleaner and sustainable future, and the report focuses on intensifying research in this areas. Two main directions are identified in the roadmap:
  • Catalysis for eco-technologies, from air to water and waste, to address stationary to mobile; this area includes the aspects of photocatalysis related to depollution
  • Catalysis to improve sustainability of chemical processes, in terms of atom economy and improved processes to produce the main intermediates and chemical products/monomers
The report proposes that to foster innovation in catalysis impact and address the identified societal challenges requires a knowledge-based approach and enhanced capabilities in four main areas:
  • Advanced design of novel catalysts
  • Understanding catalysts from molecular to material scale
  • Expanding process concepts including catalysis
  • A scientific approach to link advanced design to catalyst scale-up and manufacturing
You can download the full report here.

More information
The European Cluster on Catalysis initiative was launched by the European Commission and brings together a number of SusChem inspired and EU-funded projects in the field of catalysis with research organisations and academic institutions as well as industrial and other relevant European stakeholders in the field. For the cluster the term catalysis encompasses many ‘flavours’ of catalysis including heterogeneous, homogeneous, photocatalysis, electrocatalysis, and biocatalysis together with corresponding chemical technologies such as CO2utilisation, artificial photosynthesis, biogenic materials, and water technologies.

For more information on SusChem initiatives in the field of catalysis contact Martin Winter at Cefic.