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Thursday, 22 February 2018

The PHOENIX Initiative rises!

Today (22 February 2018) PHEONIX, a European initiative linking national and European Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) activities on CO2 valorisation, was launched at the EU INDUSTRY Days 2018 in Brussels. The initiative is a collaborative effort supported by EU Member States (France, Germany and the Netherlands) and the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic). PHOENIX will function as an umbrella organisation linking RD&I efforts in this area to ensure an optimal use of public funding and private investment. PHOENIX will interact with all relevant stakeholders from industry through research institutions to national governments and the European Commission.

The PHEONIX initiative was launched at a dedicated workshop at the EU INDUSTRY Days 2018. The workshop was opened by Jürgen Tiedje from European Commission DG Research & Innovation. Dr. Helmut Löwe of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) gave an overview of the objectives of the PHOENIX Initiative and the coming steps. The launch was supported by five short talks from industry speakers providing case studies from all core countries of the initiative and application fields of CO2valorisation.

The talks covered mineralisation of CO2 in the cement industry, biological valorisation of CO2, CO2 for energy storage, CO2 to chemicals, and cross-sectorial approaches.

Finally, a lively panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Pierre Barthélemy involving members of the European Commission, the Phoenix initiative and representatives of the various industry sectors concluded the successful launch event.

What is PHEONIX about?
PHOENIX’s ambition is to build the future of CO2 valorisation on a European scale, collaborating across national borders. PHOENIX will strive for joint progress, while recognising that policies will vary from country to country or region to region. In striving for progress, PHOENIX will make optimal use of national, regional and European instruments to achieve significant CO2 valorisation in and from Europe.

The technical scope of the PHOENIX initiative includes five elements that can contribute to a more sustainable production of chemicals, materials, fuels, biomass and can provide means to store renewable energy. Cost-competitive access to CO2 is a cross-cutting element (see below).

Why CO2 valorisation? 
Carbon is a crucial part of a wide variety of products – from food to materials – that are all essential to society. Alternative carbon sources and production pathways need to be considered for more sustainable production in and from Europe. CO2 sources are abundant and available in Europe. Recycling carbon from CO2 for a more sustainable production of chemicals, materials, fuels and biomass needs to be part of our European strategy towards CO2 emission reduction in a future circular economy.

CO2 valorisation can be beneficial for multiple sectors including, chemicals, cement, steel, transport, renewable electricity and horticulture. It can also contribute to Europe’s industrial leadership in clean technologies, stimulate growth and pave the way to a more circular low carbon economy.

The right policy framework
Coherence between the various policies (energy, circular economy, innovation, industry) is essential to enable innovative technologies developed in Europe to contribute fully to a sustainable European economy and address climate protection and resource efficiency issues. This is as true for PHEONIX as any other large-scale innovation initiative.

Policy coherence in content and timing, as well as policy stability over time, is essential to establish a regulatory framework that enables investment in sustainable innovative CO2 valorisation technologies. Uncertainty and extended timelines for policy decisions have negative consequences on the confidence of private and public investments in these new clean technologies. An appropriate, coherent and supportive regulatory framework is an essential element to ensure continuing European leadership towards a low carbon economy including circular concepts.

How can I get involved?
Additional Member States and Horizon 2020 associated countries are invited to join the initiative and interested industry stakeholders are requested join in contributing to the design of PHOENIX as a powerful initiative to support the deployment CO2 valorisation in and from Europe.

For more information, visit the PHEONIX Initiative website.

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