Horizon 2020: €80 billion investment in research an innovation, to boost growth and jobs

Posted by innovationpartnerships on 30/11/11

Today (November 30), the European Commission published its proposal on Horizon 2020. The European Commission communication outlines an ambitious research and innovation programme of €80 billion.

More information
A press summary of the Horizon 2020 proposal can be found  here and a more detailed memo summary here. The full European Commission communications on Horizon 2020 proposal communication can be downloaded here from the Horizon 2020 website.


Smart Cities: Cefic supports Covenant of Mayors

Posted by innovationpartnerships on 24/11/11

As part of its work in support of the ‘Smart Cities’ policy area, Cefic has become an associated member of the Covenant of Mayors. The Covenant of Mayors is the mainstream European movement involving local and regional authorities that are voluntarily committed to increasing energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources in their urban areas.

The vast majority of Europe’s citizens live in cities and policy issues in urban areas represent a microcosm of the general issues facing society, but intensified and accelerated. These issues include reducing energy consumption, encouraging greater use of renewable energy sources, adaptations of transport and other infrastructure to meet changing needs whilst improving mobility of the population, amongst other objectives on health and education. And all achieved at competitive cost and in an environmentally sustainable manner.

To achieve true ‘smart living’ in the future will require major joint public and private efforts to tackle the significant technical and societal issues. To help address these issues a Smart Cities European Innovation Partnership (EIP) has been proposed that Cefic and SusChem have a strong interest to participate in.

What are ‘Smart Cities’?

Smart cities go beyond the EU’s “20-20-20” objectives (20% reduction in CO2 emissions, a 20% share of energy from low carbon sources and a 20% reduction in the use of primary energy through energy efficiency measures) for the deployment of cost-effective low carbon technologies.

Many cities across Europe are already committed to building tomorrow’s cities today – in particular the Covenant of Mayors. This group of city authorities is developing a sustainable development framework that will allow them to voluntarily go beyond the 2020 targets. To achieve this, the group works closely with the EU to drive innovation across a variety of sectors. In many ways city authorities have more power and opportunity to implement the Kyoto agreement than national governments.

The Smart Cities EIP was one of the topics discussed at Cefic’s public workshop on European innovation at the ‘Tomorrow Starts with Chemistry’ event at Palais des Academies, Brussels on 22 November.

For more information on Cefic/ SusChem’s involvement with Smart Cities contact Ed
d’Hooghe (edh@cefic.be) at Cefic.



Tomorrow starts with chemistry

Posted by innovationpartnerships on 23/11/11

Join us at this eye-catching exhibition that will highlight three societal challenges: mobility, housing and water.Tomorrow starts with Chemistry will emphasise the role that chemistry plays in providing all the necessary answers. The centerpiece will be a large see-through platform under which will be a series of transparent display boxes, each containing daily life objects or materials associated with high-tech development seen to be shaping our lifestyle and future.

The exhibition is open from 9.00 to 17.00 and takes place at the Palais des Académies, 1 rue Ducale, 1000 Brussels. The entrance is free.

For more information: http://www.tomorrowstartswithchemistry.eu

Innovation for Europe: Ready? Steady? Go?

Posted by innovationpartnerships on 23/11/11

At a time when our society is facing many challenges, now, more than ever, Europe needs industry and industry needs Europe. In order to be able to reach the ambitious objectives of a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, innovation has become instrumental to these efforts.

However, the road from new ideas (“inventions”) to their market uptake and their broad availability (“innovations”) is not as easy. A series of policy and funding instruments such as the Innovation Union, Horizon 2020 and Key Enabling Technologies, have been and are being articulated by the European institutions with the objective of providing a stimulating framework

It is therefore essential now to understand and discuss how the various actors, such as the public and private sectors (at EU, national, regional and local levels), the academia and the civil society, could put this framework into practice. We all have a responsibility and a role to play in better using the huge European innovation potential for the creation of value in and from Europe.

Today at the Tomorrow starts with chemistry exhibition held in Palais des Académies, Cefic took part of the debate about“Innovation for Europe: Ready? Steady? Go?”.

Four societal priorities were discussed: Water efficiency, Resource efficiency, Raw materials and Smart Cities. This discussion is meant to be both informative and challenging in terms of debating innovative and practical ways forward.

SusChem Brokerage Event breaks records

Posted by innovationpartnerships on 22/09/11

SusChem’s annual Brokerage Event, held on September 14th in the Silken Hotel in Brussels, saw a record number of registrations: with the attendance of over 120 European industry and academia representatives, the 2011 Brokerage Event was a great success.

SusChem, the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry, is continuously supporting participation in EC projects on Sustainable Chemistry. It has promoted collaboration across scientific disciplines, geographical boundaries and sought to bring industry and academia closer together to ensure SusChem can deliver result. SusChem’s annual Brokerage Event represented an opportunity to present and discuss research project ideas in line with EC’s Framework 7 Programme and to facilitate the creation of an invaluable research and innovation network.

Ger Spork (Cefic) opened the day by welcoming a literally standing room full of industry and academia representatives. During the morning session, many innovative project ideas were presented. The main focus of the afternoon session was networking, which was facilitated by pre-consortium meetings and a ‘speed-dating’ session, which, with over 80 coordinated conversations, proved very useful. There was also time reserved to present SusChem’s new online networking tool, the Brokerage database, which is a valuable addition to project formulation and consortium building.

SusChem and Innovation
SusChem is uniquely placed to develop and drive comprehensive European innovation initiatives in sustainable chemistry. SusChem’s unique position enables it to work naturally across sectors and along value chains. Its successful collaborative, collective way of working can accelerate innovation and inspire others.

For more information on SusChem, visit http://www.suschem.org/. For a full report of the Brokerage Event and to keep up with SusChem’s latest news, visit the SusChem blog or follow SusChem on twitter.


SusChem Stakeholder event 2011-report available now!

Posted by innovationpartnerships on 27/05/11

During the recent Amsterdam SusChem Stakeholder meeting our media partners for the event, Icis Chemical Business, made video interviews with many of the participants.

Three of these videos have now been uploaded:




Further coverage of the event can be found via the special issue of Icis interactive published earlier in the week.

We hope you enjoy our coverage of the Amsterdam event! You can keep up to date on all SusChem activities by:

• Visiting the SusChem website
• Following @SusChem on Twitter

The Suschem Amsterdam Stakeholder event was an offical event of the International Year of Chemistry.

Small material, big impact

Posted by innovationpartnerships on 15/02/11

Nanotechnology is one of today’s most promising technological developments.

The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) has just launched the first European repository of nanomaterials with a representative range of 25 different types of reference nanomaterials. This will support safety assessment to ensure consumer protection and confidence in many innovative applications and products.

Nanotechnology will clearly play a pivotal role in our future: think of lighter/stronger materials in the auto, space, and military industries, and the introduction of molecular manufacturing. Revolutionary change is in the air for solar, fuel cell and hydrogen storage technologies within the next few years.

By enabling a harmonised risk assessment the repository can contribute to the success of nanotechnology and its products.

See JRC press release.

Finally! A comprehensive approach to EU research & innovation funding

Posted by innovationpartnerships on 10/02/11

Simpler and better EU funding to make every Euro count…

A Green paper which proposes radical changes to EU research and innovation funding was presented yesterday by EU Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn. The proposals are out for consultation until 20 May and the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem) intends to respond positively.

The new rules would make participation easier, increase scientific and economic impact and provide better value for money for EU taxpayers.

These ideas are very much in line with current SusChem thinking both in terms of the continued emphasis on research and our strategic work programme on innovation along the value chain and in close cooperation with other related European Technology Platforms,” commented Ger Spork, Innovation Manager at Cefic and SusChem coordinator. “The indicated simplification commitments are crucial to ensure more private engagement and show confirmation of increased trust in public private collaborations.”

For more info on this topic, visit the SusChem blog.

Europe brings chemistry to schools during International Year of Chemistry

A subject often overlooked in the classroom, chemistry will be back on the map through a series of events directly coordinated by Cefic – the European Chemical Industry Council – its member federations from throughout Europe and its member companies.

Cefic activities include Xperimania, an educational programme organised with the body representing ministries of education in 31 European countries. The programme is a school-based initiative designed to breathe new life into chemistry through interesting experiments and a Europe-wide competition between schools.

The chemical industry sees a growing need to put chemistry back on the map in ways that attract more people to the field, especially to bridge the gender gap in chemistry in Europe. In Germany, for example, Europe’s largest chemical industry job market, women represent only 27.6 per cent of the workforce, according to the German employers association BAVC. Total employment in the chemical sector in Europe is around 1.2 million workers.

LRI Innovative Science Award 2011: Competition is open!

Posted by innovationpartnerships on 24/01/11

A €100,000 award will be given on June 14 to Europe’s best early career scientist who presents the most promising research project in the field of environmental and ecological risk assessment. Deadline for submissions is March 18.

Every year, the LRI Award offers a young European scientist with less than ten years post-doctoral experience the chance to put into practice his research ideas in the field of environmental and ecological risk assessment. 

The presentation of the three LRI Innovative Science Award finalists and the selection of the winner will take place in Brussels on June 14, 2011.  The selected scientist will present the results of their award-supported research at the LRI Annual Workshop on November 17, 2011.

Award recipients receive greater visibility for their work, which often leads to additional support from other sources and more interaction with other researchers and research institutions”, Gernot Klotz, Cefic Research & Innovation Executive Director said.

Previous awardees explain in a video what the LRI award has brought to them – watch them here:

More information about the LRI Awards: http://www.cefic-lri.org/awards.