Wednesday, 31 December 2014

SusChem wishes you all the very best for 2015!


Best wishes for a prosperous and sustainable 2015 from the SusChem team! 2014 was a great year for SusChem and we are looking forward to even more success in 2015.

A date for your 2015 agenda is the SusChem Stakeholder event that will take place on 8 and 9 June in Brussels.

And early in the New Year will see the official publication of the new SusChem Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA). This will set out SusChem’s research and innovation priorities for the medium term under Horizon 2020 and other funding European, national and regional programmes. We expect the document to add value to the societal, scientific and industrial debate in Europe and help all SusChem stakeholders to concentrate on the significant challenges that we all face.

Keep in touch in 2015
There are plenty of ways to keep in touch with SusChem activities. As well as this news blog you can follow SusChem on Twitter (we already have almost 1500 followers - it would be great to pass this target early in 2015) and don’t forget to ‘like’ the platform on Facebook. You can find the SusChem Facebook page here.

And, of course, the SusChem website is full of information on our activities.

We look forward to a great 2015 for sustainable chemistry in Europe – and hope to see you at one of our events during the year!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Opinion: CO2 Conversion Technologies “No one size fits all”

CO2 conversion is set to play a critical role in the future for manufacturing and renewable energy storage. Pierre Barthelemy of Cefic Research and Innovation discusses what this means for a sustainable European chemical industry.

The utilisation of CO2 as a feedstock by the European chemical industry could develop into a key solution to reduce the use of fossil feedstock, reduce the EU’s dependence on imports of fossil resources, and improve the security of supply of carbon-based feedstock.

CO2 conversion is set to play a very important role in the future, not just for manufacturing chemicals but also for renewable energy storage.   Unfortunately the fragmentation of know-how and activities across Europe is a barrier to the fast development and uptake of CO2 conversion technologies.

CO2 is widely available, sometimes in localised and relatively concentrated streams, for example industrial flue gases, yet its conversion into higher value chemicals or fuels is challenging.  The very high thermodynamic stability of CO2 is a technical intrinsic hurdle that justifies the wide range of customised options being investigated worldwide by the scientific and industrial communities.

Biotech innovation and CO2 bioconversion
Funded by the European Commission, the BIO-TIC FP7 project was launched to develop an overview of the barriers to biotech innovation and to identify solutions to overcome these barriers. As part of this objective, several online surveys and stakeholder consultations have been conducted. One interesting finding from an online survey that preceded the recent BIOTIC Workshop on CO2 bioconversion confirmed the common view that chemical conversion of CO2 is a more mature technology compared to CO2 bioconversion technologies; respondents see chemical catalysis as the main CO2 conversion technology by 2020 but expect that bioconversion (especially using microalgae and fermentation) would become the main CO2 conversion technologies by 2030.  The most advanced biotechnological (bio-electrochemical conversion of CO2 and artificial photosynthesis) are promising in the long term but are currently at low technology readiness levels (TRL).

CO2 conversion technologies: “no one size fits all”
Due to the variety of CO2 sources and different requirements and limitations of the various CO2 conversion technologies, one may actually expect coexistence of various conversion routes, each of them representing an optimised solution to a specific situation.   In fact, hybrid solutions combining bioconversion and chemical catalysis for different steps in the entire process (purification, conversion, downstream processing) could enlarge the portfolio of options to solve the economic and technical equations for a given situation.

There is a significant amount of know-how in Europe on CO2 conversion technologies overall, however only a few projects are currently emerging at the pilot or demonstration scale level.   For CO2 bioconversion, all the emerging success stories are US-based.
 
The recent BIO-TIC workshop on CO2 bioconversion has provided more insight on the hurdles and possible solutions for the use of CO2 as a feedstock for industrial biotechnology processes, which is now being integrated in the final BIO-TIC roadmaps.  The latter will be available for public consultation early in the New Year.

SusChem’s contribution to CO2 conversion technologies
CO2 conversion technologies in general—including chemical catalysis processes— feature in the new SusChem Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) that will also be published at the beginning of 2015. The SIRA addresses the challenges of CO2 conversion via both chemical and biotechnology routes and identifies a series of research and innovation actions that will move the field forward. In addition to efficient conversion processes these actions include sustainable technologies to recover CO2 from flue gases and the integration of renewable energy and efficient technologies for H2 production.

For more information please contact Pierre Barthelemy at Cefic, read the SusChem blog or visit the SusChem website. One of the SusChem twitter account's areas of interest is news and information on CO2 capture and utilisation (CCU) using the hashtag #useCO2 to highlight tweets on the subject.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Season’s Greetings from SusChem

This year in June we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry “SusChem”. When we established SusChem in 2004 we knew that we had set the sustainable chemistry community in Europe a difficult task, but together over the past decade we have shaped a lively, creative organisation, open for all interested stakeholders: an organisation that has made a huge impact. 

Over the past 10 years SusChem has inspired research and innovation projects worth well over one billion euros: the vast majority funded via the European Commission’s FP7 programme. And with the launch of Horizon 2020 this year SusChem is proud to have inspired two major new public-private-partnerships (PPPs) that are already delivering real competitive advantage for Europe: the Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency (SPIRE) PPP and the Bio-based Industries (BBI) Joint Technology Initiative (JTI).

But there is more to do. At the June stakeholder meeting the new SusChem Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) was discussed. The SIRA sets SusChem’s research and innovation priorities for the medium term helping to bridge the “innovation valley of death” and address societal challenges. It will be published early in 2015.

Everything we do  is focused on ultimately improving societal conditions, in particular, with respect to sustainability for “People, Planet and Profit”. Our work will be fully justified if we can simultaneously create jobs, improve the environment and generate greater economic success and wellbeing.

SusChem’s momentum and success is based on the personal commitment of all SusChem members and stakeholders We are confident that our new SIRA will help and inspire us all to take SusChem to the next level.

To conclude, on behalf of the SusChem board and the SusChem secretariat, We  wish you all a very happy and relaxing holidays, and a happy, healthy and sustainable New Year. 2015 will be another great year for SusChem with the publication of the SIRA, the launch of some fantastic new SusChem-inspired projects and, a date for your diary, our next stakeholder event that will take place on 8 and 9 June.

Kind Regards,

Dr Klaus H. Sommer
Chairman of the SusChem Board
Head Consumer & Product Management Bayer Technology Services

Dr Jacques Komornicki
SusChem co-ordinator and secretary
Innovation Manager, Cefic

SusChem 2014 in Review

2014 was another great year for the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry: SusChem.  This year we celebrated our 10th anniversary with an extra special stakeholder event in Brussels. Over the past decade SusChem has inspired research and innovation projects worth well over one billion euros: the vast majority part-funded via the European Commission’s FP7 programme.

The launch of Horizon 2020 on 1 January 2014 saw SusChem proud to have inspired two major new public-private-partnerships (PPPs) that are already playing a major role in 2014 in delivering real competitive advantage for Europe via the new programme: the Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency (SPIRE) PPP and the Bio-based Industries (BBI) Joint Technology Initiative (JTI).

SusChem itself was also ‘quick off the blocks’ for Horizon 2020 by organising its first SusChem brokerage event on 31 January. The event attracted some 200 participants who heard about results from existing projects and started the process of initiating new consortia for the new Horizon 2020 calls.

On April 9 – 11 SusChem was at the Industrial Technologies 2014 event in Athens one of the highlights of the Greek Presidency of the European Union.

And on 6 May the European Commission gave the formal greenlight for the BBI JTI with the first calls for the Euros 3.7 billion joint venture announced on 9 July. Our other major PPP saw its second major call brokerage event on 23 May. The SPIRE Brokerage event was extremely successful and profiled its second wave of calls under Horizon 2020.

SusChem#10
June 11 and 12 saw the event of the year for SusChem - SusChem#10 - our 10th anniversary stakeholder event. To mark the occasion a series of videos were produced to celebrate our first decade.



At the June stakeholder meeting as well as celebrating our 10th birthday we discussed and augmented the new SusChem Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA). This new agenda shows how the platform can help Europe to bridge the so-called ‘innovation valley of death’ and tackle some of the societal challenges addressed Horizon 2020.

You can access a series of seven videos produced around SusChem#10 to celebrate our achievements and look forward to the next ten years here on the SusChem YouTube channel.

Material innovation
At the end of September the SusChem FP7 project MatVal held its closing conference within the large LETS 2014 event in Bologna, Italy. SusChem and SPIRE were also featured in many other LETS 2014 sessions.

Bringing an exciting year to a very successful end SusChem had a big role in Knowledge for Innovation’s (K4I) Sixth European Innovation Summit at the European Parliament in Brussels from 17 - 20 November. As well has organising and participating in many of the conference sessions the SusChem stand in the exhibition area was a big hit with two 3D printing machines showing how chemistry is supporting the next industrial revolution: additive manufacturing.

A short video (below) gives a brief overview of SusChem’s involvement and the excitement generated at the event.



Great job!
When SusChem was established in 2004 the sustainable chemistry community in Europe faced a difficult task: to bring stakeholders in the chemical and the biotechnological industries, along with other important European industries, research organisations and academics together to formulate a strategy and a plan. This strategy and plan outlined how we could rejuvenate our industries through research and innovation and improve the competitiveness of our industries.

This was not an easy job, but together over the past decade we have shaped a lively, creative organisation, open for all interested stakeholders, that has made a huge impact.

But there is more to do. In early 2015 the full SIRA will be published setting out SusChem’s research and innovation priorities for the medium term under Horizon 2020 and other funding programmes. The document will add value to the societal, scientific and industrial debate in Europe and help all SusChem stakeholders to concentrate on the real challenges that we all face. Our work will be fully justified if we can simultaneously create jobs, improve the environment and generate greater economic success and well-being.

We look forward to working together to take SusChem to the next level in 2015.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Commission calls for Pilot Project Ideas

The European Commission has just launched an open consultation on part of the 2016-2017 work programme for Horizon 2020. It covers the societal challenge 5 “Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials” (SC5) and concerns ideas for relevant large-scale pilot or demonstration projects.

The new call for ideas is intended to:

  • Help identifying which research and innovation areas attract most interest from innovators and innovation users, and 
  • Stimulate developers and providers of innovative solutions to engage in projects of greater ambition in terms of scope, scale and impact

Ideas are invited at this stage for possible pilot/demonstration projects in the following areas:

  • Systemic eco-innovation for a circular economy
  • Climate services
  • Nature-based solutions
  • Water

The Commission will carefully examine all ideas received with a view to:

  • Designing its 2016 – 2017 work programme and ensuing calls for proposals, and 
  • Defining and implementing a supportive EU research and innovation policy framework

The Commission may use some, all or none of the ideas that are proposed in future calls and no grants will be awarded as a direct result of this call for ideas.

More information 
For more information, please go to the survey webpage or contact Avelino Gonzalez-Gonzalez at the European Commission. The deadline for submission to the call survey is 28 February 2015.



Wednesday, 17 December 2014

BIC publishes new practical guide to Combined Funding

SusChem stakeholders all know that in theory there are now numerous synergies between sources of European Union (EU) funding for innovation and research. And EU leaders are promoting combined funding to maximise impact when tackling societal challenges. Now a practical guide has been published by the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) focusing on Combining BBI funds under Horizon 2020 with European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).

The new guide  (below) is is a very useful tool for anyone applying for funds in the Biobased Industries JTI calls and interested in creating synergies with European regional funds. And the guide is also an excellent primer for anyone interested in the practicalities of combined funding for research and innovation.

New funds
New European funding programmes to strengthen research and innovation in Europe have come available in the 2014 – 2020 Financial Framework of the European Union. A myriad of different programmes are available for beneficiaries throughout Europe to co-fund innovation and market developments. These include:


Many of these funds can be combined to boost the European bio-based economy.

In June 2014 the European Commission (EC) has published a European Guide on synergy possibilities between ESIF and other (centrally managed) EU funds including Horizon 2020. The Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) guide complements this and provides guiding principles, synergy scenarios and illustrative practical examples on how the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI) funding from Horizon 2020 can be combined with ESIF (and other) funding.

The 'BIC specific' practical guide is particularly useful as the BBI aims to build new biobased Value Chains from different kinds of (regional) biofeedstocks to new biobased products, aiming to bridge currently different worlds and sectors. Synergies are targeted to maximise the impact of public policies and support in bridging regions, sectors and value chain stakeholders towards new biobased business, new and better jobs and benefits for the environment.

The 38 page guide includes a number of case studies, many SusChem related, that illustrate how funds have been combined. These include:

  • Bio Base Europe: one of several pilot facilities funded by ESIF (INTERREG IV 2007-2013 programme).
  • Novamont: an industrial company integrating chemistry, agriculture and the environment that has various relevant experiences with both EU and regional funding.
  • Biochemtex: its proprietary PROESA(R) technology received funding under FP7, NER300 (a financial instrument of the EU Commission and EIB for renewable demonstration plant) and national funds.
  • R4R: The FP7 funded project is a good example of regional smart specialisation activities receiving funding from FP7, ERDF, INTERREG (ESIF) and national/regional funding.

Commission guide 
A guide on the practicalities of combining funding was published by the European Commission.
The European Commission guide published in June is entitled ‘Enabling synergies between European Structural application: and Investment Funds, Horizon 2020 and other research, innovation and competitiveness-related Union programmes’ and describes the synergies now available between ESIF (European Structural and Investment Funds) and Horizon 2020 and other EU programmes for innovation and competitiveness.

The 125 page guide contains explanations on the basic rules and principles for obtaining synergies and combining the different funds, and contains recommendations for relevant actors. It is accompanied by descriptions of the various programmes (Annex 1) and guidance via a set of scenarios designed to “inspire programme designers and implementers” with respect to the potential to combine schemes (Annex 2).

More information
To download the BIC guide visit the website and for more information on BIC and BBI activities, or you can contact the BIC secretariat.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Eighth CRM_InnoNet Newsletter published!

The latest (eighth) issue of the CRM_InnoNet newsletter (below) has just been published and is available to download from the project website.


The December 2014 issue includes the following features:


Please feel free to share the newsletter with your networks and colleagues.

More on CRM_InnoNet
CRM_InnoNet is a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) funded under FP7 that is creating an integrated community to drive innovation in the field of critical raw material substitution for the benefit of EU industry. SusChem is a

The European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials aims to play a major role in securing a sustainable supply of raw materials for Europe and has set itself an ambitious list of targets to achieve by 2020. CRM_InnoNet’s goals complement those of the EIP on Raw Materials and the project will seek to align its outputs with those of the EIP.

The CRM_InnoNet consortium is comprised of recognised and experienced key actors across the value chain of substitution of CRM representing academic, research and industry bodies of relevant sectors that will ensure a wide European coverage and high potential to engage other necessary players across the ERA.

For more information on email the project secretariat at the UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) and you can also follow the project on Twitter.

Friday, 12 December 2014

SusChem presents at ERRIN and WssTP Brokerage Event

WssTP, The European Water Platform, together with ERRIN, the European Regional Research and Innovation Network, organised the annual brokerage event on water-related topics last 26-27 November in Brussels. The main aim was to present the Horizon 2020 calls on water-related topics for 2015 and, of course, SusChem was there.

The event brought together different speakers from National Contact Points, the Enterprise Network and the European Commission, who shared their experiences with regards to the project calls in 2014, either as participants or as evaluators, respectively.  A special emphasis was given to the cooperation among the different European Technology Platforms as a better way to address the challenges in the water sector. No single sector can solve the problem alone. SusChem, the European Technology Platform of Sustainable Chemistry, was invited to present its views in the event, explaining the chemical sector perspective as a water using sector as well as a solutions provider.

At the event, Antonia Morales, Head of SusChem National Technology Platforms (NTPs) and Innovation Manager at Cefic, presented the barriers and bottlenecks to innovation in water in Europe and addressed the role of European Technology Platforms and the chemical sector in mitigating non-technological barriers and bottlenecks to innovation. Morales stressed the importance of industrial symbiosis and the need to push for the integration of industrial-urban and rural water management in order to achieve a more efficient use of water.

Water priority
Water is a priority area for SusChem and as part of the event, SusChem offered insights into new technologies, presented chemical sector solutions to tackle water quality and water quantity issues, and provided examples of innovations that are leading to the development of less energy demanding technologies.

The collaboration between WssTP and SusChem has been long-standing. Back in May 2012, during the closing session of the Water Innovation EU conference, the two organisations renewed their formal agreement, which set the support of the European Innovation Partnership on Water amongst its priorities.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Sixth European Innovation Summit: Passion and 3D Printing

Sixth European Innovation Summit ran from 17 to 20 November and SusChem, Cefic and other sustainable chemistry stakeholders were heavily involved with the event. In total 40 Members of the European Parliament, led by the K4I Forum Chair Lambert van Nistelrooij and Vice-Chair Jerzy Buzek, attended the event and 900 registered participants took part in the 30 conference sessions that featured some 150 speakers gathered under the patronage of the President of the European Parliament.

 ‘A Mandate for Innovation in Europe’ was the topic of this year’s summit summarising a common ambition of making innovation the top strategic priority in the new institutional cycle. The continuing inability of Europe to successfully bring great ideas to the market remained the key issue raised by the summit participants. Better regulation, change in the educational system, risk acceptance and management were discussed as the key steps, necessary for Europe to move forward.

A particular focus was put on the importance of a strong engagement of the member states on the innovation front.  There was a broad agreement on the need to clearly assess the potential impact EU legislation has on innovation across all sectors.

Advanced manufacturing
On Tuesday morning The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) organised a breakfast debate on "Advanced Manufacturing for a new European Industrial Renaissance." The debate was hosted by Christian Ehler, MEP. Much of the discussion was focused on the ongoing European Commission budget negotiations and the threats to Horizon 2020 funding that could – according to Ehler - lead to a € 10 billion reduction in funds.


Rudolf Strohmeier (above), Deputy Director-General at DG Research and Innovation, European Commission described the proposed budget cuts rather bluntly as “Intellectually incoherent” and joined Ehler’s call for industry and other stakeholders to raise their voices to preserve research and innovation funding.

He stated that the programme itself had got off to a good start in particular praising the success of the new PPP initiatives such as SPIRE. But he said the Commission needed to better understand what is hampering innovation in Europe: what inhibits private investments in Research and Innovation and he called on stakeholders to talk to the Commission about their experience.


Gernot Klotz, Executive Director (above), Cefic talked about the new processes that chemistry could bring to enable a circular economy in particular via the SPIRE and BioBased Industries initiatives. He described Project Phoenix a proposed flagship project of common European interest led by the chemical industry that would work to bring breakthrough innovation to use CO2 to make chemicals and fuels for Europe.

Obstacles to innovation
The debate was continued at the first plenary session on Tuesday that was hosted by Neena Gill, MEP and moderated by Gernot Klotz.


Amongst the speakers Vicky Ford (above), MEP stated that “We must be positive – we can do it” and saw the key as sectors working together for innovation. But she saw a skills shortage as an issue.

Vladimir Sucha (below third from right), Director-General, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre thought that we needed to break things down and understand the building blocks of innovation. In fact a general misunderstanding of innovation was one of our biggest bottle necks to progress.


Joanna Dupont-Inglis (on left above), Director of Industrial Biotechnology at Europabio described initiatives to build a European bioeconomy a development that would “require bold political moves, clarity of long-term strategy as well as legal certainty and stable conditions.”

Klaus Hoffmann, President of Dow Corning Europe (second right above) agreed with the need for stability. He thought that conditions are important. “Make it easy for me to say yes to invest,” he said. An attractive environment that was predictable and flexible was important.

Horizon 2020: First impressions
The budget discussion was revisited in this final session Tuesday morning. Rudolf Strohmeier called for a wider participation for experts – in particular for industry - to evaluate call responses in Horizon 2020. He also said there was a need for “concrete examples of use of structural funds in combination with Horizon 2020 funds – how it is done

And concluded with a warning that if the European Council get the budget they are proposing then the net effect will be to return European research and innovation back to the level of FP6.


Andreas Förster (above), Director, Dechema said his members thought that Horizon 2020 was working well, in particular in the cross sectorial and value chains initiatives such as SPIRE and BBI working well and more could be done in this area.

He thought that more explanations of calls with higher technology readiness level (TRL) would be good especially for academics who rarely operated at this level. He also thought wider adoption of two-stage assessment process would be useful in reducing workload and standardisation is an issue.

Innovation for energy
Prof. Jerzy Buzek, MEP introduced the debate on energy stated that an upgraded European energy community with new technology for low emission fossil fuels as well as renewable sources.

David Salisbury, President of GERG (the European Gas Research Group) said that we need to think differently about the future. Must avoid ruling out the options keep things open. He observed that existing European gas networks deliver much more energy than the electric grids: “[Europe] must use the existing networks better and smarter,” he said.


Gernot Klotz (above, with Jerzy Buzek) talked about the chemical industry’s contribution to innovation in energy as a major users of energy and also a supplier of materials for energy use and production. There was a need for a strategic continuum for energy technology development, he said.

He also described the three areas of the proposed Phoenix project that all impacted on energy: using CO2 to make chemicals; use of CO2 chemistry for large-scale chemical storage of energy; and the longer-term ‘artificial photosynthesis’ conversion of CO2 into chemicals and fuels.

3D highlights
One of the highlight of the event for many people was a visit to the Cefic SusChem stand and our 3D Printing machines in the Exhibition Space on the third floor gallery of the Parliament in Brussels. The Cefic team is pictured below.


K4I President Lambert van Nistelrooij made a particular reference to the SusChem exhibit in the closing press conference stressing the “need for” and the new materials needed for 3D printing. “We need to not only build new industries, but also rejuvenate traditional and existing industries,” he said. He was also scanned for a ‘mini-me’ figurine (see below).


He had been impressed with the 3D Printing demonstration and saw “a real change coming [in manufacturing] and it was imperative that the EU remains at the core of advanced manufacturing.”

The scanning and 3D printing of figurines was a very popular feature with a number of MEPs being scanned (below) and reproduced in plastic.


Also at the press conference Gernot Klotz emphasised the need for clear stability of policies for innovation. Trust is important in attracting innovation. He also said there was a need for structured research and development advice in all European Institutions and he hoped that the recent abandonment of the Chief Scientific Advisor role at the European Commission was not a sign of a future trend to disregard scientific advice in policy-making.

Passion for innovation
At the opening ceremony on the evening of 17 November Commissioners Carlos Moedas (Research, Innovation & Science), Corina Cretu (Regional Policy), Phil Hogan (Agricultural and Rural Development) and Günther Oettinger (Digital Economy & Society) had made their first public appearance.

Observers described Commissioner Moedas’ speech as “impassioned” and showed a very clear understanding of the issues. Here is an excerpt:
"Over the next five years, I know the new Commission will be tireless in its efforts to create the right conditions for European innovation to flourish.
 Research, science and innovation are not just the sum of a Commissioner's portfolio. They are not just the domain of multinational corporations or elite academic institutions.
They touch every tiny aspect of our lives. From the way we heat our homes, to the way we run our businesses. From the way we heal our bodies, to the way we construct our buildings.
Nothing has greater power to bring about economic prosperity. Nothing will enable us to contribute more to an increasingly interconnected, global society. Nothing has greater power to secure our place on the world stage, as a continent that leads: that eats, sleeps and breathes excellence.
Nothing has more power than research, science and innovation to change lives, to change the status quo, to wake us up, to disrupt! To unleash an outpouring of transformative energy."
You can read the full text of his speech here.

More about K4I
Knowledge4Innovation is an open, independent, non-profit platform with a wide variety of stakeholders including small and large companies, universities and research centres, regions and cities, trade organisations and think tanks. As such, it is the leading Brussels based innovation platform operating within the environment of the EU Institutions. K4I members are from the private, academic and public sectors and include large networks such as EUREKA, COST, Cefic, ECPA and EFPIA as well as universities, regional development organisations, cities, think tanks and small enterprises.

Jacques Komornicki speaks to International Innovation

In an exclusive interview with International Innovation SusChem Secretary Dr. Jacques Komornicki (pictured below) talks about the sustainable solutions to key challenges facing the European chemical industry that SusChem is working to address. He explains how, by bringing together industry, academia, governmental policy groups and wider society, the SusChem is inspiring European chemical innovation. We reprint an excerpt from the International Innovation article below.
Could you describe the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem)’s purpose in the wider context of the European technology landscape, and outline its vision? SusChem is an industry-led platform that brings together stakeholders interested in sustainable chemistry. Its vision is a chemical and biotech industry which fosters innovation in many industrial sectors by providing products and solutions in an open innovation mode. In the broader context of European Technology Platforms (ETPs), achieving this vision means working together and maintaining strong relations with the other Platforms. This is visible with the Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency (SPIRE) roadmap established with seven other ETPs. 

How did you become involved with SusChem and what is your academic background? I became involved in SusChem when I accepted an Innovation Manager position at the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC). Part of this role was to become the new SusChem secretary. My educational background is in chemical engineering, with a PhD in Chemistry. I am currently seconded from industry, with a long history of R&D experience in advanced materials and chemical processes. Nanomaterials were part of the domains in which I worked; in the field of materials we also worked on nanostructuring materials, which are not nanomaterials per se but do provide specific high performances.
Why does SusChem regard Horizon 2020 as a key turning point for research and innovation in Europe, and a major opportunity for sustainable chemistry? The new Horizon 2020 framework programme provides an holistic view, integrating the why (the needs) and the how (the technologies) without being too prescriptive. This leaves the innovation field open. Horizon 2020 is also geared towards more near-to-the-market solutions, which is what is needed to promote growth and jobs in Europe. SusChem’s vision and the technologies proposed in its roadmap (the Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda) come with solutions to the main challenges facing Europe and are certainly part of the best answers to the issues. SusChem is therefore attuned to the Horizon 2020 spirit on a global scale.
You can download the whole article as a pdf from the SusChem website or access the article on the International Innovation website. To access the article in this way you will need to register (for free) with the International Innovation website.

About International Innovation
International Innovation is a global dissemination resource that provides insight and analysis on current scientific research trends, as well as funding and policy issues. Focusing on environmental science, technology, healthcare and regional research, II works with researchers to capture the essence of their projects to transform complex science and technology into digestible, design-rich and articles with impact. Reaching a worldwide scientific and lay audience, with a reach of over 30,000, International innovation is available both on-line and in print.