New Suschem Agenda Cefic Sees Chemical Industry as an Enabler for Sustainable Growth

Editor: Dominik Stephan

Climate protection, food security, clean water, new energy sources, health and transport: The European Chemical Industry Association Cefic has presented an ambitious agenda for its initiative for sustainable chemistry Suschem.

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Clean air, healthy food, green energy and more - the chmical industry holds the key to a sustainable economy, the European chemical association Cefic believes.
Clean air, healthy food, green energy and more - the chmical industry holds the key to a sustainable economy, the European chemical association Cefic believes.
(Picture: Emilian Robert Vicol (CC0))

Brussels/Belgium – The new new Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) of SusChem sets the chemical sector’s priorities for research and innovation. In particular, it focuses special attention on how to bridge the gap between research and innovation to ensure that excellent research results are transformed into business opportunities. It also describes how sustainable chemistry will contribute to tackling the societal challenges addressed under the European Commission’s (EC) Research Framework programme Horizon 2020.

Pierre Barthelemy, Cefic executive director for research and innovation, said: “the new SusChem SIRA is a comprehensive document and highlights the chemical industry’s role as a real game changer for EU competitiveness, jobs and growth. Suschem is a unique enabler for Europe to take technology leadership in solving critical challenges, including breakthrough innovation areas such as 3D printing and the utilisation of CO2.”

Chemical Value for Sustainable Growth

The new SIRA introduces major changes from the past SusChem Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) by addressing new topics such as ICT and manufacturing, the value chain impact, mobility and health. It also outlines the crucial links between SusChem’s priorities and the Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) that Europe has been pushing forward.

“This is especially important because the chemical industry plays a major role in the development and deployment of four out of the six KETs (advanced materials, nanotechnology, industrial biotechnology, and advanced manufacturing) which the EC has identified to be essential building blocks to strengthen Europe’s industrial and innovation capacity” added Barthelemy.

The SIRA is organised around five of the seven key societal challenges described in Horizon 2020 and highlights a portfolio of potential sustainable chemistry solutions. Each challenge is covered in a dedicated SIRA chapter:

  • Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials (SC5) addressing issues around the circular economy, raw materials and feedstock, water and waste management, resource and energy efficiency, and process intensification for the chemical plant of the future.
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture and the bioeconomy (SC2) contributing solutions along the full bioeconomy value chain from growing bio-mass to new biobased products and fuels.
  • Secure, clean and efficient energy (SC3) shows benefits for energy efficiency gains (due particularly to new materials) within industry and in wider society and contributes to low carbon energy production and advanced energy storage technologies.
  • Health, demographic change and wellbeing (SC1) illustrates SusChem’s potential to enable personalised healthcare and advanced diagnostic techniques.
  • Smart, green and integrated transport (SC4) shows how sustainable chemistry will contribute to greener vehicles providing mobility with low or no emissions.

Two further SIRA chapters cover Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), describing how more sustainable processes can be enabled by ICT and how sustainable chemistry itself enables advances in ICT, and Horizontal Issues illustrating SusChem’s ambitions to build skills capacity, better assess sustainability in manufacturing, address issues of societal uptake of technologies, and promote innovative business models.

The Agenda can be found online at the initiative's website

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