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Thursday, 31 January 2019

HARMONI fosters European innovation

As stakeholders from the European process industry continue their search for measures to facilitate the transfer of innovation to the market, the Horizon 2020 funded SPIRE project HARMONI (Harmonised assessment of regulatory bottlenecks and standardisation needs for the process industry) has acted as a catalyst, bringing together over 150 experts to foster innovation activities.

On 16 and 17 January, the 2019 HARMONI Summit took place with the objective to encourage dialogue on an effective framework to facilitate and foster innovation. More than 150 experts from all sectors of the process industry, the European Commission and European standardisation bodies engaged in the exchange of ideas.

Summit solutions
The summit addressed solutions for non-technological challenges that hinder innovation and the transfer of solutions, such as regulation, standardisation needs and the lack of innovative business models. Based on the themes within the HARMONI project, the summit selected priority discussion areas that included innovation transfer and the harmonisation of EU regulation and EU standardisation.

Six sessions took place during the two-day workshop, dealing with context specific priority areas, such as the circular economy, CO2 valorisation and waste management. Each session included experts, and opportunity for Q&A’s, as well as working groups and discussion panels. This allowed for a hands-on evaluation of possible solutions for industry needs while, in parallel, giving a voice for representatives from the European Commission in an open and transparent dialogue.
HARMONI, in the words of the DG Research and Innovation, “can play a very interesting role in the future of the Horizon Europe Programme”, especially due to its good practise of integrating regulation and standardisation.

What’s next?
The HARMONI project continues until October 2019. The results of the project mainly address industry, regulatory and standardisation bodies. Identified priorities and results from the working groups will serve to provide recommendations to the responsible authorities.

The HARMONI team welcomes your input and looks forward to engaging with you in order to move towards a sustainable and competitive European process industry. Why not subscribe to the HARMONI newsletter to keep up to date with upcoming events and results?

More information on Harmoni
HARMONI aims to bring 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.

A Roadmap for the Chemical Industry in Europe towards a Bioeconomy

The final event of the Horizon 2020 project RoadToBio will take place on Monday 18 February 2019 in Brussels. This stakeholder workshop event will present and discuss the project’s ‘Roadmap for the Chemical Industry in Europe towards a Bioeconomy’.

Over the last 18 months, the RoadToBio consortium has developed suggestions on how to produce 25% of organic chemical products in Europe as biobased goods by 2030. The results of the project have been achieved in close cooperation with many stakeholders from industry, associations, NGOs, and academia.

At this final workshop, the project will share the insights that have been gained and discuss the results of the analysis, the proposed actions and the messages that can help to facilitate the participatory development of Europe's bioeconomy going forward.

There are three main objectives to the workshop.

  • Firstly, to present the analysis on the selected nine product groups with a high potential to switch from a fossil-based to a biobased production pathway and to discuss their market opportunities. These nine products groups are: Agrochemicals, Adhesives, Cosmetics, Lubricants, Man-Made fibres, Paints and Coatings, Plastics, Solvents, and Surfactants. Participants to the workshop will be able to choose two breakout sessions covering specific aspects of each product group.
  • Secondly, to discuss general barriers that may hinder the development of Europe’s bioeconomy and the recommended actions from the project to overcome these.
  • And, thirdly, to explain how biobased products could be communicated better and what tools and messages can be used to better engage stakeholders and the public

The event will be held on the afternoon of 18 February 2019 at the Bluepoint Conference Centre in Brussels. You can download a draft agenda for the event here. Registration will be open until 13 February 2019 by emailing Lea Koening at Dechema indicating which two product groups you are particularly interested in.

More on RoadToBio
How can the chemical industry in Europe meet the challenges in global markets while becoming more sustainable at the same time? RoadToBio is a Horizon2020 project funded via the Biobased Industries JU that aims to pave the way for the European chemical industry towards a higher biobased portfolio and competitive success based on the benefits offered by the bioeconomy. The Project will deliver a roadmap for the chemical industry that will specify benefits as well as barriers towards a biobased economy to meet societal needs in 2030.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Start using the Funding & Tender Portal for Horizon2020

In case you missed it, the European Commission has recently launched a new corporate Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal. The new Funding & Tenders Portal will become the entry point (the Single Electronic Data Interchange Area) for participants and experts in funding programmes and tenders managed by the European Commission and other EU bodies including Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe.

The new corporate Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal replaces the previous Participant Portal for Horizon 2020 and will become the single entry point for finding and managing EU grants and procurement contracts. It will cover all centrally managed programmes by the start of the next EU multi-annual programme period in 2021.

The new portal includes all functions currently available on the Participant Portal, as well as a new layout and graphic design, and an improved keyword search function with new features and search behaviour. The new portal reflects its multi-programme coverage and integrates the calls for tenders.

What is on the portal?
Using the new portal, you can:

  • Search and apply for funding opportunities in calls for proposals
  • Search a call for tender and submit a tender 
  • Manage your grants
  • Register as an expert, manage contracts and payments online.

Start using it now!

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Cefic-LRI Innovative Science Award 2019 call now open!

European-based early career scientists can now apply for the 2019 Innovative Science Award, a €100.000 prize to support promising new research in the field of environmental toxicology.  This year’s call focuses on chemical substances that bind to soil and sediments very strongly, also known as non-extractable residues (NERs).

“There is uncertainty about the risks associated with NERs and their persistence in the environment. Chemicals released into the environment often end up binding strongly to terrestrial soil and aquatic sediments and remain trapped unless an event - such as degradation - significantly changes the nature of the compound or the structure of the matrix to which they are bound” says Dr OcĂ©ane Albert, Long-range Research Initiative (LRI) Programme Manager.

In 2018, the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) released a Technical and Scientific Report reviewing the state-of-science on the role of NERs and identified several technical challenges and directions for future research.

“Cefic-LRI aims to contribute to the research by supporting early career scientists with out-of-the-box thinking who can advance the science in this area”, concluded Dr Albert.

Innovative science
The Cefic-LRI Award is intended for a European-based scientist with less than ten years post-doctoral experience. Active involvement in interdisciplinary research, current academic track record, and access to appropriate networks will be considered in the selection. There is no age limit for applicants. Previous award winners are not eligible to apply.

The award is offered by the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), in conjunction with the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), the Association of European Toxicologists and European Societies of Toxicology (EUROTOX), and the International Society of Exposure Sciences (ISES). Application details are available through the Cefic-LRI website.

How does it work?
In January every year, the topic for that year's award is announced with a call for entries on the LRI website. This year, applicants must submit a  two-page proposal by 24 March 2019. Short-listed researchers are then requested to send in a more detailed description of their work, after which the three finalists are selected to present their proposal before a jury panel in Brussels. The LRI Innovative Science Award is officially presented at the LRI Annual Workshop in November, and the Awardee is invited to present the results of the research supported by the Award at the LRI Annual Workshop the following year.

Learn more about the Cefic-LRI Award by watching the video on the 2018 Award Ceremony below.

For more information on the topic and on how to apply, please visit the Cefic-LRI Award 2019 web page, or send an email to the LRI secretariat at Cefic.