Tuesday, 24 April 2018

VERAM Final Conference showcases 2050 Roadmap for Raw Materials

The Final Conference of the VERAM Horizon2020 project took place in Brussels on 17 April 2018. This project brought together diverse stakeholders – including five European Technology Platforms (ETPs): Sustainable Minerals 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. The conference discussed the work of the project, its methodologies and its results including the report ‘Research and Innovation Roadmap: A Sustainable and Competitive Future for European Raw Materials’.

The VERAM approach covered all raw materials: both the biotic (for example forestry & natural rubber) value chain and the metal, minerals and aggregates value chain. It looked to reinforce and underpin greater sustainability, economic resilience and technology leadership in the EU. The Vision 2030-2050 sees increased EU production to ensure a base load supply of materials, development of globally competitive sustainable technologies, investment both in and outside Europe to ensure access to resources, the creation of new jobs across the raw materials sector, and contributing to the replacement of jobs lost in other parts of the economy and through automation. It was clear that there will remain a need for primary material resources despite the expected transition to a more circular economy.
Four priorities, 178 action areas
Four priority areas were identified and form the core of the Roadmap considerations:
  1. Fostering a sustainable supply of raw materials to feed new and existing value chains
  2. Resource-efficient processing for raw materials
  3. Raw materials in new products and applications, and
  4. Closing material loops by maximising the recycling of products, buildings and infrastructure.
The VERAM roadmap includes analysis of the five ETPs’ Strategic Innovation and Research Agendas (SIRAs), the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials SIRA, public consultations and workshops.

The project also had established an inventory of current Member State, EU and global raw materials policies and R&D funding calls and had surveyed EU Member State funding bodies with 13 Member States providing insights. The inventory database is available on the VERAM web portal.

This highly inclusive process resulted in the formulation of some 178 Research & Innovation Areas (RIAs) across the four identified priorities. Remarkably within the RIAs over 50% overlapped between the two categories of raw materials: biotic on one side and metals, minerals and aggregates on the other side.

Multiple speakers at the final conference applauded the work of the project; not least the integration of diverse input from such a wide range of major stakeholder highlighting the importance of raw materials issues to European competitiveness, jobs and growth. However, it was also noted that the sectors needed to do more to integrate societal interests.

This JRC video shows how lack of raw materials could inhibit the low carbon economy.

Wide dissemination
It is now vital that the results of the project are disseminated as widely as possible to ensure the recommendations and ideas are brought to fruition as soon as possible. The report will be presented to funding authorities at European, national and regional levels, including initiatives such as the BioBased Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) and the Sustainable Process Industries for Resource and Energy efficiency (SPIRE) PPP, to ensure inclusion of VERAM ideas in forthcoming research and innovation calls.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

BBI JU announces € 115 million of funding boost for the EU Biobased Industries

The BioBased Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) has just announced its fifth Call under Horizon 2020: H2020-BBI-JTI-2018. With a total budget of € 115 million, the 2018 Call is built around four strategic orientations: Feedstock, Process, Products, and Market uptake. This new Call moves away from a strict biomass feedstock ‘push’ approach based on historic value chains, towards a demand for biomass that enables processing in order to respond adequately to a ‘pull’ from end markets.

A total of 21 topics are included in the 2018 Call with 11 Research and Innovation Action (RIA) topics, 3 Coordination and Support Actions (CSA) and 7 Innovation Actions (5 DEMOs and 2 Flagships) while novel eligibility criteria have also been introduced.

BBI JU’s current project portfolio is well-balanced across the types of actions deployed, relevant value chains and has achieved an excellent SME participation of 38%. Like previous BBI JU Calls, the 2018 Call respects the Horizon 2020 principles of openness, transparency and excellence.

Commenting on the 2018 Call launch Philippe Mengal, BBI JU Executive Director said: "All of us in BBI JU, together with our founding partners the European Commission and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) are proud to see the development and the geographical spread of the projects covering all corners of our continent. Every Call is a step closer towards the creation of EU’s biobased sector and it is exciting to see sectors such as the primary one to start developing such a strong interest and presence on the field. This is a clear indication that more actors see the potential, the creation of a sustainable and competitive bio-based sector has for Europe and its citizens".

More information
Details of the BBI JU Call for proposals 2018 can be found here. The deadline for submission of proposals to the BBI JU 2018 Call is 6 September 2018 at 17:00 CET.

More information about the 2018 Call will be provided during the BBI JU Info Day on 17 April in Brussels. The morning sessions will provide information about the BBI JU initiative and all aspects of the Call process. While in the afternoon participants will have the opportunity to hold face-to-face meetings in a brokerage/ partnering session.

Registration for the Info Day is now closed, but the event will be web-streamed and the link will be made available online on 16 April via the BBI JU website.

The BioBased Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) is a €3.7 billion Public-Private Partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC). Operating under Horizon 2020, this EU body is driven by a Vision and Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) developed by the industry. The initiative is a direct result of SusChem activities.

The BBI JU is dedicated to realising the European bioeconomy potential and contributing to a sustainable circular economy, by turning biological residues and wastes (from agro-food, forestry and municipal) into greener everyday products, through innovative technologies and biorefineries, which are at the heart of the bioeconomy.

The BBI JU is the largest and most ambitious initiative in the EU to develop competitive and sustainable biobased industries. The ambition that drove its creation was to bring about the systemic change needed to develop a European biobased industry allowing investment to remain in Europe: creating new jobs and providing clear value for all EU citizens.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

UN Global Chemical Leasing Award

In January 2018, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) launched the Global Chemical Leasing Award 2018, which will take place on 6 November in Vienna, Austria.  The award will be part of the Green Chemistry Conference 2018 within the Trio Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) programme, “Smart and Sustainable Europe”, to be held during Austria’s EU Presidency.

Companies and individuals are invited to submit applications to the Global Chemical Leasing Award 2018 award under three categories:
  • Case studies (implementation in companies) that is open to users and suppliers of chemicals. To be eligible for application, the company must have already started to implement Chemical Leasing concepts.
  • Special innovation for case studies with technical solutions that have demonstrated the potential to define a new state of the art for a certain use of chemicals (i.e. Circular economy, non-tox-solution, etc.), and also including Start-ups, implemented business plans, etc.
  • Research and development activities including new products, new processes, patents, business concepts papers, lectures, curricula, etc. that drive adoption of Chemical Leasing forward. Possible topics are widespread and could address Green and Sustainable Chemistry, Sustainable Industrial Parks, Sustainable Cities, but also business management and legal issues, etc.
The 2018 award is jointly sponsored and supported by UNIDO, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism (BMNT), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), and the German Environment Agency (UBA).

The deadline for the applications is on 15 August 2018. You can find all the information in the awards webpage or download a leaflet on the award here.

What is Chemical Leasing?
Chemical Leasing is a service-oriented business model that shifts the focus from increasing sales volume of chemicals towards a value-added approach. The producer mainly sells the functions performed by the chemical and functional units are the main basis for payment.

Within Chemical Leasing business models, the responsibility of the producer and service provider is extended and may include management of the entire life cycle.

Chemical Leasing strives for a win-win situation. It aims at increasing the efficient use of chemicals while reducing the risks of chemicals and protecting human health. It improves the economic and environmental performance of participating companies and enhances their access to new markets.

Key elements of successful Chemical Leasing business models are appropriate benefit sharing, high quality standards and mutual trust between participating companies. See the UNIDO video below.

For more information about Chemical Leasing, please visit the UNIDO Chemical Leasing website and become part of the Chemical Leasing Community on Facebook  and on LinkedIn where you can read their latest article: ‘Chemical Leasing – The Solution to Managing Chemicals Sustainably: 12 Things You Need to Know'.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Making EU industry less energy intensive and more competitive

The Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) Working Group 6 on Energy Efficiency in Industry is organising a Workshop on “Continuing efforts to make EU industry less energy intensive and more competitive” on 27 and 28 June 2018 in Brussels.

The Implementation Plan of the SET Plan Action 6 on "Continuing efforts to make EU industry less energy intensive and more competitive" was endorsed by the SET Plan Steering Group on 29 September 2017.  It describes the future activities that will contribute to reaching the targets defined earlier in the Declaration of Intent.

The Cooperation Workshop in June aims to contribute to the realisation of the Implementation Plan by enhancing cooperation between national programmes and further developing the activities into concrete projects.

Cooperative model
Country representatives will meet and discuss existing forms of cooperation, not necessarily in the field of energy efficiency in industry, to identify the best cooperation model(s) for the future. The identified cooperation models will then be shared with the full workshop audience in relation to Action 6 priorities.

In addition, parallel brokerage sessions, open to country representatives and stakeholders, will focus on further developing the activities into potential cooperative projects: presenting ideas of projects, looking for possible cross-border cooperation between similar and/or complementary ideas, and identifying specific actors and potential financing sources for collaborative projects.

To ensure effective and efficient workshop, the number of attendees for the workshop will be limited to 150 persons maximum. In particular, stakeholders will be invited to submit "idea(s) for projects" (or draft projects) before the workshop. In the case of over-registration, priority will be given to stakeholders who have submitted a project.

Plan and programme
Details of the Implementation Plan and the Workshop Programme, including its rationale and objectives, who should attend and why, plus practical information on the organisation of the sessions and a preliminary agenda can be found here.

Registration and the call for "Project ideas" is now open, but will close at the end of April. Confirmation of participation will be announced at the end of May.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

SusChem-Spain Stakeholder Event celebrates Sustainable Circular Economy

The SusChem-Spain Stakeholders Event took place on 14 March in Madrid and concluded that the chemical sector is key to the sustainable and circular productive model that both Europe and Spain are seeking.

The event was attended by a wide range of experts, coming from both public and private entities, such as the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, the Centre for Industrial Technology Development (CDTI), the Spanish Chemical Industry Association (FEIQUE), the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), SusChem-Europe, Gómez-Acebo & Pombo Lawyers and Linknovate.

During the official opening, SusChem-Spain’s chair, Javier Brañas, highlighted the importance of public-private collaboration in Sustainable Chemistry, as the way to multiply the existing opportunities that innovation in science and technology offer to move towards a circular economy model.

In this context, the Chemical Industry plays, and will play, a key role as an example of productive and economic development. FEIQUE’s General Director, Juan Antonio Labat, highlighted the effort the Chemical Industry is making in order to position themselves as the 1st industrial R&D&I investor in Spain (25%), bearing in mind that 57% of the Chemical companies are innovative, twice the industrial average, and the sector’s clear support for talent and quality employment, since 23% of researchers working in industry are employed by a chemical company.

Director General of R&D&I of the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Clara Eugenia García, emphasised the job of the Chemical sector as a strategic one, that contributes in a direct way to sustainable development and competitiveness, since its activity has a clear impact in other sectors, making it a key player when developing the next EU Framework Programme (FP9), under discussion already in Europe, as the roadmap to reach a sustainable future. She also wanted to highlight that the future will inevitably need to move towards circular economy, “Or the future is circular or there will be no future”, as she expressed it.

During the presentation of the recently approved National Scientific & Technical Research and Innovation Plan (2017-2020), García stressed the need for public – private collaboration and the enhancement role that relies on the Administration since “industrial policy goes hand on hand with research policy and vice-versa”. This was the reason why both parameters need to be considered globally as well as promoting the elimination of the sectorial barriers. Following this statement, CDTI representatives, Francisco Marín, Director General, and Cecilia Hernández, Manager of Health, Bioeconomy, Climate and Natural Resources, announced some of the new funding instruments of CDTI within the new Plan

Pictured below are (from left to right): Javier Brañas (SusChem España), Clara Eugenia García (MINECO), Francisco Marín (CDTI) and Juan Antonio Labat (Feique).

The new Framework Programme: FP9
Following the publication of the Horizon 2020 Work programme 2018-2020, work is already being done to prepare for the next European Framework Programme, also known as FP9, that will cover the period 2021-2027. This was one of the key topics of the Stakeholders’ event, in which priority areas for the Spanish Chemical sector were debated with participants.

Juan Antonio Tébar, Head of European Programmes Division (Horizon 2020) from CDTI, made a call for collaboration between public and private entities working in the field of sustainable chemistry, so that all interests can be collected, either through CDTI or through SusChem-Spain.

In a more sectorial approach, José Manuel García, Chemistry and Chemical Technologies Coordinator from CSIC, underlined the relevance of both national and international basic Research in the different areas of chemistry as a sample of talent to generate economic and social impact.

Anne Chloé Devic (pictured above on the left), Materials and National Technology Platforms Manager from CEFIC/SusChem Europe, encouraged all participants to send success stories showing the impact of European funding, to acknowledge the results of European funded projects carried out in the country and to contribute to the future “missions” of FP9.

About SusChem-Spain 
Spanish Technology Platform of Sustainable Chemistry, SusChem-Spain, is an Industry led public-private initiative, with the participation of all agents, that promote Research, development and innovation in Chemistry and Industrial Biotechnology. It promotes collaborative activities, knowledge and information Exchange and Technology transfer to provide solutions to future challenges.

Define Technology Priorities for Sustainable Growth at #suschem2018

Registration is now open for the 2018 SusChem Stakeholder Event, The Future of Research and Innovation in Europe: Defining Technology Priorities for Sustainable Growth, which will be held at the Thon Hotel City Centre in Brussels on 20 June 2018.

In light of the forthcoming European Commission (EC) communication on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the overall structure of the next R&I Framework programme (FP9), this year’s stakeholder event happens at a critical moment in the EU’s policy cycle. This presents a significant opportunity for SusChem  stakeholders to voice their reactions and expectations to the Commission on the strategy and direction of the key policies that have direct implications for the priorities of chemical sector.

The exciting programme for the 2018 SusChem Stakeholder event will give participants opportunities to voice their priorities and help shape SusChem’s input into FP9 and our next Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA).

Event highlights include:

  • Two parallel breakout sessions on priorities for Advanced Materials and advanced process technologies  (download details)
  • A lively high-level panel debate to discuss first insights on the upcoming Framework Funding Programme (FP9) and how it can accelerate breakthrough innovation in Europe, and
  • The impact of innovation around Europe presented by SusChem National Technology Platforms
Register today!
You can access the draft agenda for the 2018 SusChem Stakeholder event here and you can register for the event from the event page on the SusChem website.

See you in Brussels on 20 June! Spread the word using #suschem2018

Thursday, 22 March 2018

BioLinX Online Brokerage: Biobased Business Partnering made easy!

The EU-funded project BioLinX is organising an online brokerage event for the European bioeconomy community on 25 and 26 April. Participation in the brokerage event is free and it can help you to easily identify, contact and meet potential bioeconomy cooperation and business partners. All you need to do is register! 

To do good business means finding the right partners. The BioLinX Online Brokerage is an innovation exchange and a matchmaking platform serving academia, SMEs and large companies. If you are looking for new business partners, exciting inventions, new products and services or investments, BioLinX will connect you with the right people from the European bioeconomy community.

The third BioLinX Online Partnering and Brokerage Event takes place on 25-26 April 2018. Pitch your products, services and technologies and make new contacts in live bilateral online meetings in this international two-day event.

Matchmaking has never been easier 
  • Upload your profile and cooperation offer on the brokerage platform.
  • Present your business ideas and projects in live bilateral online meetings to CEOs, business developers, technology scouts and potential investors.
Or more effective
  • Learn about the latest offers & requests of leading universities, research centres and SMEs.
  • Identify promising innovators, contact them and let BioLinX automatically schedule your online meetings.
What are the advantages?
  • Saves time and costs.
  • Avoids unnecessary business trips.
  • Enables experts from all over Europe to participate.
  • Makes it quick and easy to pinpoint offers and requests.
Interested? Join the BioLinX Online Brokerage event and find new cooperation and business partners. You can register now for free here.

What is BioLinx?
The Horizon 2020 project BioLinX supports participants in FP7 and Horizon 2020 projects to commercialise their innovative ideas and connects them to markets and regional networks. Don't let your projects' research and development results be shelved- translate them into innovativebioeconomy solutions and products!

Contact BioLinX to find out more via Andreas Scriba at DECHEMA e.V.