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Friday, 26 October 2018

SusChem Brokerage 2018: Horizon 2020 update and Project Pitching

The SusChem Brokerage Event 2018 took place at the distinguished Hotel Le Plaza in Brussels on 23 October and was attended by some 180 participants. The audience was updated on Commission proposals for the 2019 and 2020 Horizon 2020 work programme and forthcoming calls in areas relevant to sustainable chemistry. In addition, a wide range of project ideas and consortia were presented in some 39 presentations across three project pitching sessions and inspiring talks on disruptive innovation were given. Information booths presenting the programmes of the SPIRE cPPP, the Biobased Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), and SusChem National Technology Platforms (NTPs) were open throughout the day and, of course, speed dating and informal networking was facilitated.

Delegates to #SusChemBrokerage2018 were welcomed by Vivi Filippousi, SusChem Secretary and Innovation Manager at Cefic, who introduced a video message Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro and Chair of the SusChem board Chairman (pictured below). He welcomed the wide range of SusChem stakeholders at the event and urged them to continue the collaborative style that SusChem has initiated and to be “curious, colourful and make the world a brighter place through sustainable chemistry.”

Commission programme
Overviews of the forthcoming Horizon 2020 work programme and 2019 and 2020 calls were presented by Commission officials, although it was stressed that the topics presented were currently tentative and official texts would be published later in the year.

Potential topics in the materials (NMBP) area were presented by Søren Bowadt, Deputy Head of Unit; Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology at the Commission’s DG Research (pictured below). This was followed by Carmine Marzano, Programme officer for Advanced Manufacturing Systems and Biotechnologies who focused on process technologies – in particular the forthcoming SPIRE calls – and Panos Balabanis, Deputy Head of Unit for Eco-Innovation who concentrated on calls that offered direct support for the EU’s recent circular economy package and that connected economic and environmental gains.

In a second session call presentations from two further Commission speakers were presented. First, Arian Zwegers, Programme Officer for Technologies and Systems for Digitising Industry at DG-Connect described some of the calls in the digital with an emphasis on security, the concept of digital manufacturing platforms and big data applications.

Topics on Energy were described by Silvia Vivarelli, Senior Project Adviser on Horizon 2020 Energy Efficiency at the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) Goals in particular those putting energy efficiency first and providing the technical basis for the Clean Energy for all Europeans Package.  Reducing final energy intensity in industry was a key goal.

Power pitching, disruptive innovation
After the morning coffee break, seven of SusChem’s NTPS (Spain, Finland, Czech Republic, the UK, Belgium, Slovenia and Greece) were introduced by Anne Chloe Devic from Cefic and presented a range of project ideas on behalf of national stakeholders including SMEs, larger companies, RTOs and universities.

An intense second Project Pitching session after lunch saw 22 speakers from large and small companies, RTOs and universities presenting their project ideas. This was followed by two presentations on disruptive innovation in Europe.

Nicholas Zylberglajt, President and Co-Founder of the European Young Innovators Forum (EYIF) looked at trends and challenges in the European start-up ecosystem. To succeed start-ups needed access to talent and skills, funds and the ability to make effective and useful connections. He said that Europe had made huge progress over the last decade – the last five years especially – in terms of its start-up ecosystem with leading hubs in London, Berlin, Amsterdam and Barcelona.

Eric Pol, Senior Advisor at venture capital organisation Ventures4Growth described the sort of initiatives that he looks to invest in: companies doing good, relevant, and credible science with high quality, close-knit teams who were able to react to crisis. Overall, he thought that Europe was doing very well thanks to EU programmes and the existence of the single market.

A final, third pitch session saw presentations on behalf of nine sustainable chemistry start-up companies.

The day was completed with a networking cocktails and throughout the day a dedicated meeting room allowed individuals to meet and exchange ideas, speed date and build consortia. Information booths representing SusChem NTPs and the two SusChem inspired Horizon 2020 programme initiatives – the SPIRE cPPP (above) and the BBI JU (below) – were also open providing information on their forthcoming work programmes.

All in all, #SusChemBrokerage2018 was a packed and exhausting day with, in total, more than 50 project concepts presented and numerous individual contacts facilitated. We look forward to these exchanges leading to the birth of many new and successful projects in the next few months!

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

VERAM delivers

The SusChem supported Horizon2020 project VERAM (Vision and Roadmap for European Raw Materials) brought together diverse stakeholders – including five European Technology Platforms (ETPs): Sustainable Mineral Resources, Forest, Construction, Sustainable Chemistry and Advanced Materials – to produce a medium-term (2030) Vision and a longer-term (2050) Strategic Research and Innovation Roadmap for raw materials. VERAM is now completed and its public project deliverables are available to download.

Demographic changes, such as population growth in developing countries and an ageing population in developed countries, coupled with increasing standards of living and urbanisation trends will foster a greater demand for products and applications linked to human well-being, health, hygiene and sustainability. As a consequence, the worldwide demand for raw materials is expected to increase while global resources and land become scarce. A shift towards a more resource-efficient, circular economy and sustainable development is essential. 

Europe is confronted with many challenges along the entire raw materials value chain. Yet, innovation in raw materials value chains remains untapped despite the sector’s great potential.  A more coordinated approach towards raw materials management will help reduce external supply dependency and lead to an efficient use of resources.

To achieve these goals, a long-term vision and roadmap to 2050 could help tap the full potential of raw materials supply and use in Europe and boost the innovation capacity of the sector, turning it into a strong, sustainable pillar of the EU economy and an attractive industry, whilst addressing societal and environmental challenges and increasing benefits for society. This is where VERAM came in.

Key to success
“The key to the success of VERAM was the strong partnership that was forged through the project, linking diverse ETPs, value chains, industry sectors and academia,” commented Patrick Wall, VERAM’s project coordinator from the European Technology Platform on Sustainable Mineral Resources (ETP SMR).

“To address the challenges in the raw materials supply chain, VERAM initiated communication and dialogue between the different raw materials sectors, stakeholders (including civil society organisations) and all parts of the value chain to pool experience and knowledge and build the VERAM Vision and Roadmap for Raw Materials,” Mr. Wall continued.

Henk Pool, Innovation Manager at CEFIC, a partner in the VERAM project consortium said: “Predicting the future is a significant challenge, especially in a world that is experiencing rapid change, including accelerators of change such as digitalisation, however we can be certain that there will still be a significant need for raw materials in 2050! And VERAM has helped us understand what will be required and the critical need for innovation to ensure this need can be met.”

Deliverables to download

Work package 1: Management and coordination

  • Results of the feasibility study to establish a R&I Raw Materials Stakeholder Portal

Work package 2: Dissemination and communication

  • Project website design and initial promotion materials (logo, templates)
  • Clustering with ongoing initiatives (EIT RM; clusters; EU projects on RM, …)
  • Final Conference

Work package 3: Defining and exploring the playing field

  • Report on the raw materials research and innovation network: the relevant players and their roles
  • Report on the RM research & innovation funding and projects: relevant R & I topics in the EU and abroad, strengths and weaknesses of current EU and MS funding landscape
  • Report on future societal challenges and the corresponding needs of global markets and EU industries
  • Report on the challenge ahead: the gap between future EU industrial needs and current research and innovation funding
  • Web based information handling portal

Work package 4: Creating a vision 2030 and 2050 for raw materials

  • Report on economic outlook and raw material needs for 2050
  • Report on Raw material research and innovation vision for 2050
  • Report on innovation and capacity building needs across the EU economy till 2050

Work package 5: Creating the raw materials roadmap 2050

  • RM Research Roadmap drafts
  • RM Research Roadmap and recommendations

Monday, 22 October 2018

Want to boost innovation? Set the right framework for your industry

Are you facing non-technological challenges with your innovation agenda? Then the 2019 HARMONI Summit on regulation, standardisation and innovation transfer is for you! The summit will provide you with good ideas and solutions on how to address those challenges. The Summit takes place on 16 and 17 January 2019 at the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre; Rue de la Science 23; 1040 Brussels and registration has just opened

The HARMONI project is all about overcoming non-technological barriers to innovation as well as to innovation transfer: regulatory bottlenecks, standardisation needs and other related barriers.

The 2019 HARMONI Summit will involve two days packed with inspiring discussions, target-orientated solution development and cross-sectorial networking. It is your opportunity to get involved, discuss your ideas and generate solutions as well as to establish the right framework for your industry.

Key topics
The Summit will give you an insight into Harmoni’s key topics such as circular economy and waste as well as into the EU project world, innovation mission concepts and an exclusive first sight of the HARMONI project results.

The first day offers the opportunity to get in touch with interesting speakers and other industry representatives. It allows participants to engage with policy-makers and standardisation bodies during our evening event. A buffet and drinks are included to complement your stay. The second day is dedicated to discussions and solution generation.

A comprehensive programme for the Summit will be circulated by mid of November, including a detailed agenda, but registration is already open and will close on 7 January 2019. Participation is free of charge and you can register here.

If you have any questions about the event, or need more information, please contact Ann-Kathrin Blanke.

HARMONI will also be presenting on standardisation bottlenecks in the process industry at the Industrial Technologies 2018 (#IndTech2018) event from 29 to 31 October 2018 in Vienna.

More information on Harmoni
The SPIRE Horizon 2020 project HARMONI aims at bringing together all the relevant stakeholders in the process industry to jointly identify, analyse and propose solutions to the regulatory bottlenecks and standardisation needs that hamper their innovation processes and the market uptake of their results.

To do this, the project is developing and applying a methodology that ensures effective collaboration between the eight sectors involved in the SPIRE contractual Public Private Partnership to elaborate the solutions to the common challenges they face due to non-technological barriers including regulatory issues and lack of appropriate European Standards relevant to improving resource efficiency.

In addition, HARMONI is analysing, comparing and proposing recommendations to trigger the transferability of technical solutions among and beyond the SPIRE sectors.

The project activities should enable an optimised EU regulatory and standardisation framework that facilitates and supports innovation in the process industry; improved participation of the SPIRE community in EU regulatory and procedures; earlier and more active involvement of the SPIRE community in the EU standardisation process; and an overall better environment that maximises transferability rates for technologies across SPIRE sectors.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

November European Innovation Summit celebrates 10 years

The 10th European Innovation Summit (#10EIS) organised by Knowledge4Innovation (K4I) is taking place from 26 – 29 November 2018 in and around the European Parliament in Brussels. The theme this year is ‘Europe – A Global Leader in Science, Technology and Innovation’ and the event programme will address hot topics currently on the policy agenda, developments in sectors crucial for Europe’s competitiveness as well as taking a deep dive into emerging technologies.

Plenary Sessions on Horizon Europe as well as future Cohesion Policy in support of innovation will provide input to the ongoing negotiations among the three European Institutions. A special session will be dedicated to the European elections and how MEPs can play the 'innovation card' during their campaign and help to create a true single market for innovation in the EU.

Hot topics
Horizontal topics to be addressed at #10EIS include Horizon Europe (the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation), the EU-Cohesion programmes that support innovation policy implementation in all regions, and the forthcoming MFF, the Multiannual Financial Framework post 2020.

Emerging and Breakthrough Technology topics include Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Blockchain, Quantum Technologies, Next Generation Computing, Internet of Things and 5G mobile, Synthetic Cells and Genome Editing, and Augmented or Virtual Reality.

Many topics will bridge across industries and sectors such as Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0, Climate Change, Clean Energy, Food for all, Healthcare for a better life, Materials and Chemicals for sustainability, Urban Mobility and Carbon free transport, Financial Technology and Financial services, Education: adapting curricula to reality, Smart Cities, Circular Economy, Security and Cyber security, Space technology and much more.

For more information on #10EIS visit the K4I website. Both Cefic and SPIRE are partners of  #10EIS and will be participating in the event.

In parallel with #10EIS the EUTop50 Founders and Tech Festival (#EUTOP50) will be staged on 26-27 November at the Palais des Academies and the European Parliament in Brussels. #EUTOP50 celebrates and supports young talent from all over Europe by bringing together the continent’s leading innovation actors, technology developers, incubators and accelerators, investors, corporate venture organisations, family offices and all those who contribute to the development of a globally competitive entrepreneurial ecosystem in Europe.

Learning from last year’s #EUTOP50 event, and to achieve maximum impact, the 2018 edition has invited not only start-ups and scale-ups but also R&D innovators from Horizon 2020 and national research programmes and university technology developers from across Europe as well Graduate Companies from Universities of Applied Science.

During the event 25 winners will be selected to give pitches during the #EUTOP50 event, participate in the Mentorship Programme of Europe`s Future Innovation Leaders, compete for awards from #EUTOP50 Partners, meet Corporates and Investors, network with future Business Partners and participate at the #10EIS Opening Ceremony and Networking Reception.