Friday, 2 December 2016

SusChem Greece Kicks Off

SusChem Greece, the Greek National Technological Platform (NTP) for Sustainable Chemistry, will hold its kick-off event in Athens on 16 December 2016. The event, which will be held at NJV Athens Plaza Hotel will introduce this brand new initiative that aspires to steer Greek sustainable chemistry stakeholders towards a collective journey to innovation for the benefit of industry and society.

SusChem Greece looks to tap into the valuable and pragmatic insights, experience and knowledge of the Greek sustainable chemical community and explore the strategic expectations for a prosperous Greek industry endowed with prowess and social responsibility through sustainable chemistry.

Prior to the kick-off event a board meeting of SusChem Greece will be held. The launch event itself will start at 15:00 with presentations from SusChem Greece representatives Dr. Stelios Bikos and Prof. Antonis Kokossis both from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Anne-Chloe Devic, CEFIC Innovation Manager for Materials and SusChem NTPs, and Cristina Gonzalez Alonso of SusChem Spain.

This will be followed by a round table discussion on Sustainable Chemistry in Greece with representatives from SusChem Industrial Associations and a session on Funded Innovation in Sustainable Chemistry with speakers including Leda Ampatzi, an EU Co-Funding Specialist and representatives of the European Investment Bank and Pireaus Bank.

If you wish to attend the event please notify the SusChem Greece secretariat, Dr Stelios Bikos, by 14 December at the latest. More information on the event and the SusChem Greece can be found here:

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

New SusChem Branding launched at 8EIS

The new SusChem branding and logo were unveiled at an evening reception at the European Parliament in Brussels yesterday (15 November). The event was part of the Eighth European Innovation Summit (8EIS) organised by Knowledge4Innovation (K4I) and featured SusChem’s forward strategy plus a networking prize competition! Look out for the new SusChem clouds!

SusChem’s branding launch event was hosted by Lambert van Nistelrooij, MEP, Chair of the K4I Forum Governing Board (left), who praised SusChem for its commitment to collaboration and cooperation in research and innovation at the European and National level.

He looked forward to further contributions to address Europe’s common societal challenges combining sustainability and competitiveness.

Together for sustainability
Dr. Klaus Sommer of Bayer and Chair of the SusChem board introduced the new branding and logo. He stated that SusChem had been conceived in 2004 to shape one voice on innovation for the European chemical industry and had been very successful in promoting the chemical sciences and biotechnology in European research and innovation programmes.

“Sustainability and competitiveness are strategic priorities for SusChem,” he said. “Progress on sustainability, competitiveness and environmental protection are intimately linked; and chemical products and chemistry-driven technological advances provide critical answers to ensure the sustainable development of modern societies.”

Dr. Sommer described SusChem’s vision of “a competitive and innovative Europe where sustainable chemistry and biotechnology together provide solutions for future generations” and its mission is “to initiate and inspire European chemical and biochemical innovation to respond effectively to society’s challenges by providing sustainable solutions.”

There are three elements to the SusChem mission: 
  • Developing strategies and providing a coherent business-focused analysis of research and innovation bottlenecks and opportunities related to societal challenges and industrial leadership 
  • Mobilising industry and other stakeholders within the EU to work in partnership and deliver on agreed innovation priorities
  • Disseminating information and enabling knowledge transfer to a wide range of stake-holders across the Europe

Dr Sommer highlighted that “the breakthrough technologies needed to transform our society to a more sustainable future will be enabled through chemistry.” The work to achieve this is already underway in several domains including the development of:
  • Advanced materials for the sustainable production of renewable electricity,
  • Energy storage solutions, 
  • Energy efficiency solutions for buildings,  
  • More sustainable water management, 
  • More sustainable transport systems and mobility options
  • More efficient processes
The new logo was then launched via a short video (see below).

Scratch card prizes
After the formal presentation SusChem Secretary, Flavio Benedito, introduced a fun networking activity with the chance to win an iWatch prize! All the attendees at the event had been given scratch cards on arrival and each revealed a ‘sustainable motto’. Ten phrases matched the chosen criteria and from these two were drawn as prize winners!

Our two winners were Susan Robertson of Innovators magazine (above right) and Tatiana Ivanciuc a student from Hanze University. 

Attendees were also given SusChem cloud stress busters. These blue clouds will also be distributed to SusChem National Technology Platforms and will be the subject of a further promotional prize competition in the near future. More details soon!

Monday, 31 October 2016

LRI Innovative Science Award 2016 to be revealed at Red Carpet Gala Dinner

Join us at a Red Carpet Gala Dinner organised by Cefic-LRI on 16 November 2016 to find out the winner of the 2016 LRI Innovative Science Award. The 2016 awardee will be officially revealed at the glamorous Cefic-LRI Annual Workshop dinner during the first day of the 18th Annual Cefic-LRI Workshop. The Cefic-LRI Red Carpet Gala Dinner will start with a networking poster session at 17:30 followed by the Gala Dinner at 19:30 at Le Plaza Hotel in Brussels.

The LRI Innovative Science Award is an initiative of 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), the International Society of Exposure Sciences (ISES) and Chemical Week. It offers a €100 000 award to support promising new research in the field of novel approaches to the characterisation of molecular initiating events (MIEs), or other key events, in pathways of human and environmental toxicity.

The 2016 award winner will be presented by Dr Nicolas Cudre-Mauroux, Group Head of Research and Innovation at Solvay.

Out of the box
The objective of the LRI Award is to stimulate innovative research, ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking and new approaches, which will advance the development and application of new and existing data in the assessment of chemical safety. The initiative seeks to foster inventive research, focused either on human health or environmental safety that is pioneering new approaches to identifying and characterising MIEs and other key events/biomarkers relevant for important new Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs).

Places are filling quickly so if you would like to be part of this special evening on 16 November, please register for the Red Carpet Gala Dinner now here or by 4 November at the latest.

Please note that separate registrations are required for both the Gala Dinner and the Annual Workshop.

If you haven't registered yet for the 18th Annual Cefic-LRI Workshop, click here. On 17 November, the 18th Annual LRI Workshop will be held at The Square, in Brussels – you can find the programme here. For enquiries related to the workshop, please contact Dr. Bruno Hubesch, LRI Programme Manager, or the LRI Secretariat.

Join us to launch the new SusChem logo and brand at 8EIS

SusChem will be launching its new logo and branding at a cocktail reception on Tuesday 15 November. The event takes place during the Eighth European Innovation Summit (8EIS) organised by Knowledge4Innovation. The theme for the evening event is ‘Together for sustainability’ and the launch takes place from 18:00 to 19:30 in the Members´ Restaurant of the European Parliament in Brussels. 

Please come and join us to learn how sustainable chemistry is inspiring the change of pace and mind-set needed to make a sustainable, smart and inclusive society real. Get first-hand insights of SusChem’s vision for a competitive and innovative Europe where sustainable chemistry and biotechnology together provide solutions for future generations.

This launch event is an excellent opportunity to begin the dialogue and engagement needed to tackle the most significant global challenges we face through the co-creation of sustainable chemistry solutions.  This is at the heart of SusChem’s work.

The event is hosted by Lambert van Nistelrooij, MEP and the main speaker will be Dr Klaus H. Sommer, Chair of the SusChem board (left). The 8EIS event will feature the launch of SusChem's new brand identity and logo.

You can find a detailed agenda and list of speakers on the 8EIS webpage. The event is free, but registration is required. The event will also include a number of exciting activities and present important new developments for the SusChem community. If you are interested in attending please register here no later than Friday, 4 November. We will update you with further details closer to the date - stay tuned via our twitter feed @SusChem!

8EIS programme - innovation for business
On the 8EIS webpage you can also register for other events during the 8th European Innovation Summit including the Opening and Closing events, as well as 8th EIS Conference and Parallel sessions.

The 8th European Innovation Summit comes at a time of major challenges and opportunities requiring bold decisions. Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things; innovative business models for the sharing economy; disruptive technologies such as autonomous driving or genetic engineering – are some of the big game changers that have a profound impact on the way we live and work.

Innovation as the response to major societal challenges is not only about technological developments executed by researchers in their labs. It requires the involvement of the users from the beginning and equally important a better connection and communication between science and society.

This year’s EIS debates cover a great variety of hot topics such as:
  • The mid-term review and post 2020 discussions: Next Framework Programme, European Innovation Council, Structural Funds, etc. 
  • People: STEM education, next generation innovators and entrepreneurs
  • Disruptive technologies and business models
  • Circular economy
  • The effect of digitisation on society
  • Bi-annual INPACT meeting - Pact for Innovation initial working groups
SusChem interest
Of particular interest to SusChem stakeholders will be a debate on the Mid-term review and post-2020 preparations on Tuesday 15 November from 9:00 to 11:00. In context of the midterm evaluation of Horizon 2020 and the planning for the upcoming Framework Programme 9, the debate will cover key questions on how to assess the success of EU research funding and its instruments, and what lessons to draw for the future.

The objectives of this plenary session are to gain insights in existing models and tools for measuring science and innovation impact, share experiences, identify lessons learnt and make recommendations for research and innovation policy and future programme design. The session will be moderated by Gernot Klotz President, K4I with contributions from Ronald de Bruin, Director, COST Association, Bert De Colvenaer, Director, Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, Pedro de Sampaio Nunes, Head of Secretariat, Eureka, Andreas Klossek, COO, EIT KIC Raw Materials and Pierre Barthelemy, Executive Director, Research & Innovation, CEFIC

Also on Tuesday 15 November from 16:00 to 18:00 there is a conference on the Circular Economy with speakers including Dr Detlef Maennig, from Evonik Degussa, Sira Saccani, Director of Sustainable Production Systems, Climate KIC, and Andreas Klossek, COO, EIT KIC.

And Cefic and Knowledge4Innovation are holding an invitation-only EIS Lunch Debate on Wednesday, 16 November, from 12:30 to 14:30 with the topic 'Turning CO2 into value for Europe: Opportunities and challenges'.  During this session a range of opportunities will be discussed, such as renewable hydrogen and CO2 utilisation, which can help Europe towards its objective of a more sustainable economy, and the steps we have to take to insure investments and industrial deployment right here in Europe. Speakers include Alexis Bazzanella, Head of Research & Project Coordination, Dechema, Pierre Barthelemy, Executive Director Research and Innovation, Cefic, and Philippe Tulkens, Deputy Head of Unit, DG RTD, European Commission.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

SSERR facilitates move from Research to Business

A new Support Services for Exploitation of Research Results (SSERR) initiative for completed and ongoing research projects in the field of energy has been launched by the European Commission. SSERR offers on-demand services to FP7 and Horizon 2020 energy projects to help maximise their value added and impact and to support and advise project partners in the exploitation of results.

Project partners can request support for project risk analysis, exploitation strategy seminars, business plan development, getting assistance for patenting and organising brokerage events, as well as ad hoc assistance. SSERR’s aim is to bridge the gap between research and business.

The aim of the service is to support exploitation of research results. This might result in the creation of a product, process or service; it might mean the establishment of new standards; or the delivery of new training courses or curricula.  Appropriate exploitation leads to innovation, new business, jobs and growth. Exploitation is a crucial element of EU research programmes and SSERR is here to help!

SusChem also supports its stakeholders to exploit the results of SusChem inspired projects through our brokerage events that help consortia building for Commission calls, our support to SMEs through SME workshops and our  Guide to Innovation Funding for SMEs in Europe and our dedication to help bridge the ‘innovation valley of death’ in general and for Key Enabling Technologies in particular.

Who and what of SSERR
There are many reasons to contact SSERR:

  • If you have your potentially exploitable results but don’t know how to protect them
  • If you need to develop a viable plan for the exploitation and dissemination the research results
  • If you want to develop a business plan but don’t know all the items to be considered
  • If you are you looking for businesses and investors

SSERR can provide the answers you need using a series of tailored, on demand, free services including:

  • Project Risk Analysis to identify the risks and potential obstacles to the future exploitation of project results
  • Exploitation Strategy Seminars to brainstorm on key results, and how to address the risks and obstacles associated with exploitation
  • Business Plan Development service to assist project partners in commercialisation of results
  • Assistance for Patenting and the protection of intellectual property rights
  • Brokerage Events to allow projects to present their exploitable results to key investment actors

SSERR services can be accessed at any time during a project life cycle, even after the project has been completed. All that is required is an email from the Project Coordinator to requesting SSERR assistance. The Project Coordinator and relevant Commission department then agree on the services and the Commission proposes a consultant who will deliver the service(s). The details are agreed between the Project Coordinator and the consultant under a confidentiality agreement. And all for free!

More information
For further information download the initiative's leaflet, visit the SSERR website, or contact the Commission via email.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Commission launches public survey on Horizon 2020

The European Commission is inviting researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators to share their views on the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme via a new public consultation launched today (20 October). The public survey will run until mid-January 2017 and there is also a separate consultation on Euratom, the nuclear research and training programme funded under Horizon 2020. In addition some early hints on the orientation for the next EU research and innovation programme have been made.

The consultation, which should take no more than 20 minutes to complete, is part of a broad Commission initiative on the Horizon 2020 mid-term review that will evaluate the achievements of the €72 billion, seven-year Horizon 2020 programme so far and recommend any “course corrections” that could increase its impact through the last calls.

The results of the consultation will also feed into planning for Horizon 2020’s successor programme (aka ‘FP9’) for 2021 and beyond. The Commission will publish a summary of views from the consultation by mid-2017.

The Commission is also gathering views on the European Institute of Innovation and Technology until 20 November and a consultation on public-public and public-private partnerships under Horizon 2020 will also be launched in the near future.

Bohemia for FP9
The European Commission has launched the Bohemia Study, a foresight exercise aiming to ensure the next EU research programme (FP9) is equal to the challenges of the 2030s. The study taskforce will consult with stakeholders and sketch out which emerging technologies and new fields of research should be funded.

“We have asked experts to do a stock take of the different foresight studies by the likes of the OECD and the World Bank,” Robert Jan-Smits, Director-General for Research at the European Commission last week.

The foresight exercise, which will be completed in the second part of 2017 is led by Matthias Weber of the Austrian Institute of Technology. The group has started to work on two scenarios, which are based on a “broad review” of forward-looking reports and analyses.  One scenario sees Europe and its research and innovation investment as one of the key global drivers of change in climate and energy policy, urbanisation, digital healthcare and disease prevention, and security and resilience, while the second scenario is slightly more pessimistic tone and foresees the “perseverance” of current trends and the intensification of existing challenges.

The Commission’s foresight exercise will look at how key individual sectors will evolve by 2030, to identify potential and challenges ahead. These sectors include healthcare, mobility, energy, and controversially the future of security and defence. One cross-cutting area for focus could be autonomous systems.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

E4Water report demonstrates EU Chemical Industry's water eco-efficiency

Today (18 October 2016), the results of the 'SusChem inspired' E4Water project - a ground-breaking water sustainability initiative - were presented by Cefic during a joint task force meeting with the European Commission in Madrid. The project, which was sponsored jointly by the European Commission under the FP7 Research Framework programme and industry stakeholders, produced real-world outcomes in industrial contexts where companies used less energy, less freshwater, and produced less waste water.

Designed to give a major boost to the water efficiency of the European chemical industry, the E4Water project aimed to demonstrate the benefits of integrated, cost and energy efficient water management. Including 19 partners across nine EU countries, and with six pilot sites the total project investment was € 19 million and the project ran from 2012 to 2016.

“Although the European chemical industry is a standard-bearer for eco-friendly measures like cutting greenhouse gas and increasing energy efficiency, this project identifies important new potential for increased water efficiency. This not only helps safeguard the planet by saving water and energy but also costs for industry”, said William Garcia, Cefic Executive Director. “We hope to see the model this project demonstrates scaled up in other industries to make important gains for the climate.”

Pilot examples
Six pilot cases were conducted to demonstrate what is possible if the recommendations from this project are taken up by other industry stakeholders and integrated into their processes. The potential benefits shown in the pilot studies included:
  • Reduction of 3 million m3 of freshwater per year
  • Reduction of 2.5 million m3 of produced wastewater per year
  • Reduced wastewater discharge by 4 million m3 per year
  • Reduced resource use through more efficient processes
  • 20% less energy used by implementing low energy technology
  • A drop in operating expenditure of 30% for every m3 of saved freshwater/year
  • Eliminating need for incineration (5,000 tonnes/annum/plant)
More information on the project and its outcomes can be found in the E4Water brochure with a more detailed report available on the project's website.

Water efficiency is a huge part of tackling climate change. The EU chemical industry – Europe’s fifth largest manufacturing sector – relies on water for many industrial processes. For example, processing, washing, heating, cooling and transporting products. To cut the amount of water required for these processes, the E4 Water project applied new research and development concepts to boost its eco-efficiency and sustainability.

The ‘Economically and Ecologically Efficient Water Management in the European Chemical Industry’ (E4Water) project addressed crucial process industry needs to overcome bottlenecks and barriers for an integrated and energy efficient water management. The main objective was to enable more efficient and sustainable management of water in chemical industry sector and identify possibilities to share the models developed with other industrial sectors.

The E4Water project consortium united large chemical industries, leading European water sector companies and innovative RTD centres and universities active in the area of water management with and collaborators from national and regional water authorities. The project received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).