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Wednesday, 27 March 2019

SusChem and ISC3 sign MoU to advance Sustainable Chemistry

The European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem) and the International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre (ISC3) signed a new cooperation agreement to foster their common mission of advancing Sustainable Chemistry at a European and global level at the recent SusChem board meeting on 14 March 2019 in Brussels.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlines the role of each organisation and proposes long-term collaboration in the following areas: research agenda development, fostering breakthrough Innovation, education & skills development and stakeholder dialogues on Sustainable Chemistry. Through this agreement, both parties aim to maximise the impact of relevant activities, build on synergies and complementarities, and create added value for their members.

Markus Steilemann, Chairman of the SusChem board (pictured above, left), said:
“The memorandum reflects the commitment of both sides to work together towards advancing sustainable chemistry innovation to address EU and global challenges. In the course of 2019, we look forward to collaborating on the new SusChem Strategic Research and Innovation agenda (SIRA), and on the ISC3-led ‘Global understanding of Sustainable Chemistry’ consultation. Here,  SusChem brings in the European perspective sharing the benefits of our SusChem network of National Technology platforms.”
Friedrich Barth, Managing Director of ISC3 (pictured above, right), said:
“We join forces with SusChem to promote sustainable innovation in the chemical sector, leveraging a multi-stakeholder approach that involves Academia, SMEs, start-ups, the large Industry and society. Working with SusChem means having on board such a European forum, building on existing knowledge and advancing Sustainable Chemistry, not only at a European level but at a global scale, which is our main mission.” 
A key 2019 priority of this agreement is the bilateral input on Research Agendas. 

The new SusChem Strategic Research and Innovation agenda (SIRA), is currently being revised and will be structured in line with the next EU research and innovation framework programme: Horizon Europe (HEU). The SusChem SIRA will also address the impact of Sustainable Chemistry on global challenges, as part of HEU, and therefore the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). ISC3 will provide input on all relevant technology priorities, and the potential impact of such innovation in Sustainable Chemistry with regards to global challenges. ISC3 will also provide key input on priorities under education and skills, a horizontal topic that will be covered in the new SusChem SIRA.

SusChem will provide input to the ISC3-led ‘Global understanding in Sustainable Chemistry’ consultation with a strong focus on Europe. SusChem will also involve the SusChem NTP network (17 countries) to provide a national perspective.

About SusChem
SusChem ETP, founded in 2004, is a European Technology Platform, with the main objective of contributing to revitalising research & innovation in Sustainable Chemistry and Industrial Biotechnology in Europe. As a multi-stakeholders networking forum and a technology solutions provider, SusChem works towards advising on technology priorities, at a European level, with a long-term strategic research and innovation agenda (SIRA). Connection to National priorities is achieved via its network of  National Technology platforms. SusChem engages, consults and brings together representatives from larger Industry, SMEs, Universities and research technology organisations – being open to the wider society. SusChem technology focus areas include:  Advanced Materials, Advanced Processes, Catalysis, enabling Digital technologies as well as Horizontal topics.

About ISC3
ISC3, founded in 2017, was established by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the German Environment Agency (UBA). ISC3 has a structure supported by a Research & Education Hub (Leuphana University, L√ľneburg) and an Innovation Hub (DECHEMA, Frankfurt) with the aim to also establish regional hubs outside of Europe. It is a globally acting institution, a multi-stakeholder platform and think tank that engages with the private sector, civil society and politics to contribute to international chemicals policies and the formation of a global network for collaboration, innovation and education on Sustainable Chemistry. Activities to achieve such objectives are: dialogues amongst stakeholders, building on a global start-up service and funding, developing a Sustainable Chemistry curriculum, and also working towards a research agenda outlining a common understanding on Sustainable Chemistry, sustainability assessment and cross-sectorial topics.

Both platforms share the intent of contributing to a more sustainable world and a circular economy, and to the transformation of the chemical sector towards sustainable chemistry, responding to global challenges.

Horizon Europe on track: EU institutions reach political agreement

On Wednesday 20 March 2019, the European Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on Horizon Europe. This political agreement, under the current Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU, puts the EU institutions on track for a timely launch of Europe’s most ambitious Research and Innovation programme to date.

SusChem welcomes this political deal and fully supports the central role given to the innovative and enabling role of industry and sustainable chemistry in Horizon Europe.

Sustainable chemistry provides the building blocks for many of the Key Enabling Technologies and is a key solution provider for societal and UN sustainability goal challenges.

SusChem is committed to ensuring that Sustainable Chemistry technology priorities are fully considered in the ‘Global Challenges & European Industrial Competitiveness’ pillar of the new programme as well as the Public-Private-Partnership programmes and R&I Missions.

Dialogue and consultation with SusChem Stakeholders is already underway for the revision of technology priorities covered under the SusChem Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA), which will serve as its input into Horizon Europe.

For a more detailed analysis of the deal please read this Science Business article.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Employment and Careers for Chemical Scientists in Europe

Did you know that the vast majority of chemical scientists work in research and innovation, with some three million jobs in chemistry across Europe? This and many more interesting facts on the chemical science workforce can be found in the results of the recent EuChemS Employment Survey.

Employment conditions and career opportunities were the focus of the new Employment Survey for European Chemists (ESEC2). Conditions and opportunities for chemists are individually analysed for all countries where a statistically significant number of responses were received.

The results provide important clues for careers in these countries and in Europe as a whole. The importance of the various employer sectors varies significantly between European countries. A full chapter of the report is devoted to career planning of students and new graduates. The survey provides a wealth of details about the chemistry workforce in Europe and its development.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Choose LIFE!

Apply now for LIFE Funding! The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. LIFE contributes to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental and climate policy and laws by co-financing projects with European added value. Since its creation in 1992, LIFE has been through a number of different funding periods. The current funding period 2014-2020 has a budget of EUR 3.4 billion and the 2019 LIFE Call for project proposals will be launched at the beginning of April and published on the LIFE Calls website.

To help potential project partners to prepare for the 2019 call the European Commission is organising an Information & Networking Day on the 2019 LIFE call for project proposals on 30 April in Brussels - #EULife19 - at the Charlemagne Building. The event is open to potential applicants presenting project proposals on green technology, nature protection and climate action and registration is open now.

Participants will be invited to a morning information session on the 2019 LIFE call, covering the significant changes to the programme compared to previous years.

The afternoon will be dedicated to networking with fellow participants to share experience, match with potential new partners and meet representatives of the LIFE programme from the European Commission.

The main topics in the 2019 call will cover:

  • Environmental technologies and solutions including water, waste, air quality, soil, forest, health
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Nature conservation and biodiversity
  • Climate and environmental governance and information initiatives

The agenda
The #EULife19 event will open with a review of the policy drivers of the LIFE programme led by Julien Guerrier, Director of EASME (the European Commission's Executive Agency for SMEs) before the 2019 programme call for action grants: priorities and novelties will be outlined.

There will be an opportunity for questions on the programme calls before a session on tips for a successful application.

After lunch an afternoon of  networking  and consortium building is foreseen with participants interested in applying for LIFE funding having the chance to find potential project partners or seek advice from EASME experts and National Contact Points in one-to-one meetings.

Why should you participate?

  • To find and meet potential partners for your next LIFE project
  • Take the chance to meet experts from the EASME)
  • To get advice from LIFE National Contact Points