Saturday, December 29, 2012

Review: La Porta Ristorante and Wine Bar, Media, PA (Edgemont)

In June of 2011, before we discovered Anthony’s Coal-Fired Pizza in Wayne as the first top-shelf pie anywhere near West Chester PA and Philly’s Main Line, we read about Peter McAndrew’s plan to open a bistro/pizzeria in Edgemont, PA in the site of the old Locust Tavern. It’s been a long wait, but La porta is finally open and a large group of us headed there for lunch on a summer Tuesday.

IRA, SEP and 401k Investment in Denver Commercial Properties Gaining Momentum

Denver Investment Properties Historically, most retirement plans in the United States invest in securities of some sort, but gaining popularity over the last 4 years is the use of self-directed IRA administrators to facilitate real estate and lending deals. This concept is not widely known by either real estate or tax professionals, but continuing education classes are available to real estate brokers, CPAs, and other professionals. The result of this is a new source of funds for purchases and development.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Berkeley students seek Christmas ban on Salvation Army bell ringers

Leftists with  minds so narrow their brains are razor thin that breeds monumental stupidity.
“Allowing the Salvation Army to collect donations on campus is a form of financial assistance that empowers the organization to spend the money it raises here in order to discriminate and advocate discrimination against queer people,” it adds.

In a statement to Campus Reform, the Salvation Army adamantly denied these charges, saying the allegations are based solely on "internet rumors."

"The notion that we require those we help to 'accept and abide by the Salvation Army's doctrine and discipline which excludes homosexuality' to receive assistance is totally false," wrote Kathy Lovin, a spokeswoman for the Salvation Army.

She added that "the only requirement for service from The Salvation Army is demonstrated need and our ability to meet it."

According to the bill, the student government also wants to formally express “disapproval of the presence of Salvation Army donation containers on campus” because “queer students…may take offense to the presence of collection containers operated by a discriminator religious organization in their places of living.”

A CAL spokesperson told Campus Reform that school officials are reviewing the matter, but declined to state whether the charity would be banned from campus.

The bill was authored by an openly gay student, Matthew Enger. He could not be reached for comment by Campus Reform.

On his public twitter account, however, he has hurled similar attacks at other organizations for supporting traditional marriage, writing that the Boy Scouts “can go f**k themselves” for refusing to admit homosexuals into their organization.

Enger has also used the popular social media platform to profess that he “hates the Republican Party,” later adding he hopes all conservatives leave the country.

Report Bolsters the Case for Large U.S. Natural Gas Exports

I told you natural gas was the Next Big Thing.

In a finding that could help create a new industry of natural gas exports in the United States, a government study released on Wednesday concluded that the national economic benefits of significant natural gas exports far outweighed the potential for higher energy prices for consumers and industrial users of the fuel.

The study prepared by NERA Economic Consulting for the Energy Department, said that domestic prices would not rise sharply as a result of exports and that export revenue would generally help most Americans.

Energy companies have proposed more than a dozen projects to export gas in liquefied form to Europe and Asia, where the fuel is typically three to four times more expensive than in the United States. The Obama administration has been cautious on whether to embrace large exports of gas out of concern that consumers who rely on gas for heating and cooking could see their utility prices rise. Higher exports could also raise costs to manufacturers that now benefit from the nation’s glut of cheap gas, like chemical and fertilizer manufacturers.

But the huge gas export terminals, which cost billions of dollars to set up, would also generate thousands of construction jobs, spur further development of natural gas fields and generate lucrative export earnings.

The administration has only approved one export terminal so far, by Cheniere Energy in Louisiana, saying it was waiting for the results of the economic study before making decisions on the rest of the projects.
Yes, it would raise prices, but I would think, it would take a lot of natural gas siphoned away tn do that.

Citigroup to slash 11,000 jobs

I don't think this is going to be a good Christmas.  I have never been able to understand why companies lay people off around Christmas.  I think maybe we should move Christmas to another date away from the end of the year.  I would be devastated if this happened to me.
Citigroup said hundreds of jobs could be lost in California, but it wasn't immediately clear exactly how many might be eliminated statewide or in the Bay Area.

"In California, where we have nearly 6,000 employees, the number of positions impacted is proportionate with the global impact," Citigroup spokeswoman Janis Tarter said in comments emailed to this newspaper. Assuming 4 percent of those jobs are cut, that would amount to a reduction of 240 employees in California.

"For the overall economy this is painful," said Michael Yoshikami, chief executive and founder of Walnut Creek-based Destination Wealth Management. "A huge amount of jobs are being lost. It will have a negative impact on money centers such as California. But for Citigroup, this is a positive move."
My guess is this may be a phased layoff over time.  At least, that's what I hope.

Howard Dean: "The Truth Is Everybody Needs To Pay More Taxes, Not Just The Rich"

What a complete imbecile.  He looks into the cameras and into YOUR eyes and says that the government needs to confiscate more of YOU MONEY.  So they can do what?  Do what is constitutionally mandated?   Or do all that other stuff that has nothing to do with the US Constitution?

Again, I'll say it.  You earned it.  You are the one that is entitled to it.  Not the US Government.  And not other people who did nothing to earn it.  The word "entitlements" is completely misused.

Now, this doesn't mean that I'm against any money being given to the poor and those whose lot in life has not been good.  But that is not the Federal Government's role.

I've always thought it would be an interesting book or movie if Thomas Jefferson or one of the other Founding Fathers was suddenly transported into the present.  Once he were able to convince everyone he was the real deal, would anyone even listen to him?


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A New Low From The California Federation Of Teachers: Urine Indoctrination

Looks like the CFT has completely come out of the closet to announce to the world their love of Communism and Leftists.  What a sad, pathetic disgusting group.  And, CA'ians, you want to send your children to the schools run by these people?

I weep for you.  I weep for CA.  Such blatant display of love of Statism shows they have no fear of parents or the public.  they know no one will do anything.

This video is found on the CFT website.



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

California urged to assess energy reform

I think CA will do something.  After the SHTF.
Californians could soon face a "rate impact bomb" of exploding electricity prices as a result, the report found. The governor and the Legislature should refrain from adopting any big new energy initiatives until those costs are better understood, according to the report.

California Democrats begin rein with supermajority

A while back I posted a blog that talked about how since Schwarzenegger was gone, the Democrats were finally able to pass laws that he kept vetoing.  Now that the other part of the State Conscience is gone (That being the Republicans) there really isn't ANYTHING to stop the Dems.

I shudder to think of all the Leftist, Statist stuff that is coming down the pike for CA.  In fact, this quote is very, very ominous:

"The voters do not want us to burst out of the gate to raise more taxes," said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, who was re-elected by senators to that leadership post Monday.

But he added that "there is an equally compelling danger. It is the danger in being so cautious, so worried about creating controversy that we fail to take advantage of unprecedented opportunities. Power is, by definition, fleeting. Misuse it and you'll lose it. Fail to use it, and it withers away," he said.
This is what an addict would say.

Judge blocks California's controversial gay therapy law

Well, this is a start.
U.S. District Court Judge William Shubb made a decision just hours after a hearing on the issue, ruling that the First Amendment rights of psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals who engage in "reparative" or "conversion" therapy outweigh concern that the practice poses a danger to young people.

"Even if SB 1172 is characterized as primarily aimed at regulating conduct, it also extends to forms of (conversion therapy) that utilize speech and, at a minimum, regulates conduct that has an incidental effect on speech," Shubb wrote.

The judge also disputed the California Legislature's finding that trying to change young people's sexual orientation puts them at risk for suicide or depression, saying it was based on "questionable and scientifically incomplete studies."

Conservative groups rebel against Boehner

I hope Conservatives hold the line:
Huelskamp, who lost his seat on the Budget Committee, was particularly stung. The budget is his main issue, and he sent a blistering statement Monday evening, saying “the GOP leadership might think they have silenced conservatives, but removing me and others from key committees only confirms our conservative convictions.” Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/conservative-groups-rebel-against-boehner-84546_Page2.html#ixzz2E5jw7o7f

Do you want to send a strong message to Boehner?  The conservatives should all switch to the Libertarian Party.

I came up with a pretty good idea.  Let the taxes rise on the "rich" but lower them for middle class workers.  The move would be revenue neutral for the most part.  O'Bama gets his pound of flesh, but taxes would be lowered for the working stiffs.  I called my congressman and pitched the idea. However, I think all these guys are way to far gone.

If the Republican party loses the majority in the House, they deserve it.  This last election was an embarrassment.  I am sick and tired of hearing how I would throw my vote away by voting for a candidate that is not a Republican.  Well, I can tell you that I really threw it away this last election.  If I'm going to throw it away, I'm voting Libertarian.  At least I would have stood up for my convictions.  Unlike Republicans who appear to stand for nothing.



Monday, December 3, 2012

Party of Slavery accusing the Party that freed the slaves

Yes.  We call that BALLS.  There are other things we can call this.  Stupidity.  Irony. Delusional.  Pathological.  I could go on.  You have to really, really wonder what fantasy world these people live in.
"You're going to like this," MSNBC host Chuck Todd said this morning on TV. "So, I threw the Lincoln analogy at a close aide to the president last week, and he said, 'You know, with this Republican, with the way politics of Washington are today, there'd still be slavery. Lincoln wouldn't have been able to navigate the polarization between the media between this--' It was an interesting and depressing observation from this very smart White House aide."
The party of RACISM and BIGOTRY is accusing the party that freed the slaves of racism and bigotry.

The Democratic Party is the party of ENVY and HATRED.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

French go Dutch in Lyon

In early September the Dutch Top Chemistry sector was the guest of the French ‘pôle de compétitivité’ Axelera in Lyon. Axelera is a French innovation cluster for companies and knowledge institutes in the field of sustainable chemistry. This first example of Axelera's ‘International Thursday’ event welcomed representatives from the Netherlands and Belgium with a particular interest in the biobased economy. The meeting was facilitated by the SusChem national platforms in France and the Netherlands and held at the prestigious Hôtel de Région Rhône-Alpes Confluences on 6 September.

The event was introduced by Jean-Jack Queyranne, President of the Rhône-Alpes region, while Jean-Louis Gagnaire, Vice President of Economic Development, Industry and SMEs, concluded the plenary session focusing on the anticipated role of the Axelera cluster in the creation of economic value, especially for SMEs.

The Netherlands chemistry sector was represented by Janneke Carpenter from the Dutch government and co-secretary of the Dutch ‘Chemistry Top Sector’ team. She presented the Dutch top sector policy, the top sector chemistry and in particular the country’s ambitions for the Biobased Economy.

SusChem management team member Nelo Emerencia from VNCI is the other co-secretary of the Dutch top team chemistry and he presented the vision from the chemical industry viewpoint.

Jean-Marie Bassett, business development manager at TNO presented on sustainable process and Green Chemistry activities, while Andreas ten Cate of the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT) presented the work of this public-private research institute whose activities are closely linked to those of Axelera.

Research centre
Prior to the presentation the Dutch team visited to the joint CNRS/ Rhodia research centre where they saw work on innovation in the fields of process and material technology.

The cluster Axelera focuses on eight markets and presented its current interests in areas such as Clean Processes, Water, Air, Soils and Agri-Agro, Sustainable Buildings, Bio-Resources, Materials, Recycling and Waste, Transportation, Renewable Energies, and Electronics.

A speed dating session worked very smoothly and helped to establish some useful individual contacts.

Both sides hope that this initial ‘International Thursday’ event will lead to the beginning of more intense regular collaboration between France and the Netherlands on sustainable chemistry activities.

Friday, September 28, 2012

SPIRE supports Generation Awake

The A.SPIRE aisbl, the industry association behind the SPIRE Public Private Partnership (PPP) has become an official supporting partner of the European Commission’s “Generation Awake” Campaign. This DG Environment campaign is working to raise awareness on issues around using current resources sustainably.



“SPIRE is proud to be associated with the ‘Generation Awake’ campaign,” said Loredana Ghinea, Executive Director of A.SPIRE. “The campaign emphasises that all our futures depend on the choices we make about resources now. The SPIRE PPP is all about improving energy and resource efficiency within industry and through that for our entire society. And individual choices are as important as those made by corporations and institutions. Only together can be we reach our sustainability objectives.”

Resourceful Campaign
The Generation Awake campaign makes it clear that the choices you make individually can make a world of difference. The campaign is all about opening people’s eyes to the consumer choices they make and the consequences these have on the earth’s natural resources. By engaging with Generation Awake, citizens become more aware that these choices not only change their world, but our planet too.

Our future depends on how we use resources now and the campaign highlights the impact of our behaviour on natural resources such as water, fertile soils, clean air and biodiversity: as resources become scarcer, we put our future welfare at risk.

A.SPIRE's mission is to ensure the development of enabling technologies and best practices that will contribute to a resource efficient process industry. The ultimate goal is to promote the deployment of the innovative technologies and solutions required to reach long term sustainability for Europe and its process industries.

Resource efficiency
Resource efficiency is about using resources sustainably – doing more with less and minimising impacts on the environment. It is about making the right choices to ensure a good quality of life, not just for now, but for the generations to come.

Becoming resource-efficient means changing our way of thinking and patterns of behaviour and taking account of how our choices affect natural resources. It’s not about consuming less – it’s about consuming differently.

For more information on the ‘Generation Awake’ visit the website or download the ‘Generation Awake’ Guide that covers a wide range of topics including air, water, soil, minerals, timber, biodiversity, waste, reusing, recycling, transport/ travel and energy efficiency.

 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fourth European Innovation Summit

The Fourth European Innovation Summit (EIS) will take place on 9 and 10 October in the European Parliament in Brussels. Knowledge4Innovation (K4I) and its partners are organising the EIS under the motto “Building Bridges – Creating Synergies” and SusChem will be playing an active role.

The meeting will provide an excellent opportunity for innovation stakeholders from the public, private and academic sectors to meet with Members of the European Parliament, Commissioners and other high-level EU-officials. EIS is the ideal occasion to discuss the main challenges to Europe’s innovation performance and work towards an improved mutual understanding of goals and needs to the benefit of the EU and its citizens.

Lambert van Nistelrooij, MEP, President of the Knowledge4Innovation Forum of the European Parliament says: "Please join us in the 4th European Innovation Summit and share your ideas about Europe’s innovation policies. Together with the Council and the Commission, we look forward to discussing and analysing the future of Innovation in Europe, continue to build bridges among the different actors and create synergies between the various programmes and policies."

The Knowledge4Innovation Forum will continue the success story of the last three years, when more than 250 speakers, including the Presidents of the European Parliament and the European Commission, and some 2500 innovation stakeholders, from Europe and beyond, discussed how Europe can successfully build and improve its Innovation Ecosystem.

Programme
The K4I EIS programme can be downloaded here and you can register for the Summit here.

This year’s high profile speakers include the Commissioner for Innovation and Research Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, Chair of the “Friends of the EIT Group” MEP Maria Da Graca Carvalho, Director General of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) Dominique Ristori, COST President Ángeles Rodríguez-Peña, and representing Cefic and SusChem Gernot Klotz Executive Director Research and Innovation at Cefic.

The debates will bring together innovation practitioners, including those that participated in the ‘Innovation Reality Check’ online survey, and EP Rapporteurs currently dealing with innovation-related Commission proposals including “Horizon2020”, the Cohesion Policy Framework, the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (COSME) and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).

The Closing Reception on Wednesday 10 October will address in particular the “Challenge of Aligning Needs and Means, Policies and Instruments.” This will be a great opportunity to check whether the new instruments really meet practitioners’ needs. Gernot Klotz is one of the speakers in this closing debate.

For more information on K4I EIS please contact the K4I secretariat.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Swiss SusChem seeks Stakeholders

During the SusChem Brokerage event on 18 September a proposal for a SusChem Switzerland National Technology Platform (NTP) was launched. The important role for National Technology Platforms was highlighted by Ger Spork from the SusChem secretariat in his introduction, in light of the new Framework programme Horizon 2020, where alignment of National and EU priority areas will be of increasing importance.

Greet van Eetvelde of Ineos spoke about the idea with support from Paul Dyson and Francois Marechal of the Ecole Federale Polytechnique de Lausanne (EPFL) and called for participation from interested parties.

A particular focus of the Swiss NTP will be on three 'C's': chemistry, carbon and clean. Safe sustainable methods of energy production and use are research priorities together with chemical methods for CO2 abatement and use as feedstock.

The initial supporters of the concept had been looking for a platform model that involved both industry and academia with synergy at the EU level - and they found SusChem had similar context and priorities and offered established links into pan-European networks and programmes. A ready-made solution!

To find out more about the nascent Swiss NTP contact via SusChem secretariat.

SusChem Brokerage Big Success

SusChem's last FP7 brokerage event on 18 September was a great success. Well over 100 attendees at the Sheraton Hotel in Place Rogier, Brussels got briefed on SusChem relevant calls for 2013, IPR issues in collaborative research and heard about dozens of new project proposals and expressions of interest - all wrapped up with an afternoon of 'speed dating'!

Opening proceedings Ger Spork from the SusChem secretariat reminded delegates that "research remains a strategic area for SusChem." He also described how SusChem's involvement in project and programme implementation had evolved over the past few years.

Initially our brokerage events were all about SusChem enabling information sharing and supporting consortia formation. This evolved to SusChem being actively engaged in strategic project proposals and driving consortium building. Now and going forward SusChem will aim to be proactive in consortium creation and implementation in SusChem inspired programmes and priority areas (such as SPIRE) and this will require the brokerage process to be initiated earlier in the project proposal process to further strengthen the industry engagement.

Ron Weerdmeester from PNO Consultants outlined how follow-up support will be provided through pro-active project building for strategic topics such as the project on New Indicators and Tools for Resource Efficiency in the Value Chain that PNO is currently building on behalf of the SPIRE community, and through on-line tools such as the SusChem brokerage database.

2013 call
All delegates were issued with summaries of SusChem relevant projects from the 2013 FP7 calls as part of conference pack. Frederic Gouarderes from the European Commission's DG Research presented the 2013 call and reminded his audience that during the five years of FP7 so far some 14 223 grant agreements had been signed, involving 79 167 participants and attracting over €25 billion of Commission funding.

He saw sustainable chemistry as a driver for collaborations to more sustainable products and services and highlighted a number of SusChem inspired projects that had already had tremendous impact.

The 2013 call in FP7 plays a linking role with the next framework programme: Horizon 2020. This programme scheduled to start in 2014 will more closely couple research and innovation and look to get even greater involvement from industry and SMEs. Its proposed budget is €80 billion.

Twenty project ideas for the open calls were presented by industry and academia, with concrete invitations to large industries, SMEs and research organisations to join with their proposals to the EU. Following these presentations partner search requests, various network events, expressions of interests and speed-dating fostered the consortium building on the spot. All project ideas and expression of interests (over 50) are available in the on-line SusChem database for follow-up and further partnering activities towards the open calls.

IPR important
The basics of IPR (intellectual property rights) management in EU projects were outlined by Jeorg Scherer from the European IPR helpdesk . He emphasised the need to consider IP issues at all stages of project formulation and implementation.

Jeorg indicated that with more emphasis on innovation in Horizon 2020 IPR issues will be more important than ever - especially at the proposal stage. He also highlighted that the ownership of IP stays with the partners that developed it. This is a basic element of managing IPR within the consortium agreements.

The IPR Helpdesk is a free service funded by European Commission. The Helpdesk offers a variety of services via personal training, its website and a telephone helpline – the helpdesk can even check articles in consortium agreements.

SusChem hopes to initiate an IPR workshop in early 2013 to examine best practices in IPR management in Public-Private projects.

Building Up
Delegates were also briefed about the Building Up cross technology platform FP7 project on the future construction and energy. SusChem had been involved with this excellent example of value chain collaboration. Laszlo Bax of Bax & Willems Consulting, who had been involved in the project as SusChem representatives, described the project that was now nearing its conclusion.

Its objective was to identify and elaborate cross-sector priorities on materials research and innovation for energy efficient buildings. The end result would be medium term (2020) and long-term (2050) roadmaps detailing cross-ETP collaboration on relevant topics. These outputs will feed into calls and roadmaps issued by the Energy Efficient Buildings PPP, including the targeted extension of this PPP in Horizon 2020. The project also contributed to a SusChem position paper on the Smart Cities EIP in Spring 2012.

Goodbye Ger
One of the final sessions of the day was ‘speed dating’, in which short one-to-one meetings between potential collaborators were arranged. This was a particularly popular part of the event (see picture below) with many more meetings taking place than originally planed.

The meeting was wrapped up by Ger Spork and Ron Weerdmeester giving a reflection of the required evolution of SusChem’s Brokerage role towards Horizon 2020. With the expected first calls for this new EC framework programme for Research and Innovation in early 2014, the brokerage activities will start sometime in mid 2013 on themes from the roadmap basis for the calls. During the SusChem 11th Stakeholder Event, scheduled for 23 – 24 April 2013 in Brussels, more details will be shared on this extended SusChem Brokerage activity.

This meeting was the last SusChem stakeholder event for Ger who is returning to Dow Chemical after four successful years leading the SusChem secretariat and during the closing session Ger introduced his successor, Jacques Komornicki (left below), seconded from Arkema.

In the very near future SusChem News will be publishing an interview with Jacques and Ger to mark Ger's departure and explore Jacques' aspirations for his new role with SusChem.

Ger aims to remain in close contact with SusChem in his new role as New Business Development Director for Dow. The networking cocktail after the Brokerage event was an opportunity for delegates to wish Ger well for the future and welcome Jacques to the SusChem community.

Monday, September 17, 2012

BIO-TIC makes a Solid Start

Despite the many significant drivers for applying industrial biotechnology to tackle the major challenges facing our global society today, including climate change, dwindling fossil fuel resources and the need to develop a more sustainable and resource-efficient industry, many hurdles continue to hamper the full exploitation of its potential. This is where BIO-TIC, a SusChem-inspired FP7 project that launched last week, comes in and the project is looking for your input.

The BIO-TIC project is “a solutions approach” centered on an extensive roadmap development process that will comprehensively examine the many barriers to innovation in industrial biotechnology across Europe and formulate action plans and recommendations to overcome them. The project’s kick-off meeting took place in Brussels on 6 September 2012.

Hurdles
BIO-TIC aims to establish an overview of the barriers to biotech innovation and design a clear action plan. This solid roadmapping exercise requires the involvement of stakeholders from industry as well as from knowledge organisations and other stakeholders including governments and NGOs.

The final aim of the project will be to draw up a set of recommendations for overcoming the identified innovation hurdles within a selection of European business and societal opportunities. The process used to develop the roadmap and recommendations will engage with all the relevant value-chain partners, promoting and facilitating active discussion groups across all industrial biotechnology sectors and leaving a partnering platform that will make a major contribution to continuing accelerated take-up of industrial biotechnology once the project is completed.

In addition, the project will develop and market test a set of shared indicators and a methodology to measure the growth of biomass use and industrial biotechnology in the market as metric to evaluate the impact of the project.

Examples of the hurdles facing the deployment of biotechnology include:

  • Lack of awareness among industrial stakeholders about the potential benefits of industrial biotechnology,
  • The high level of investment required for proof-of-concept and piloting of new biotechnological technologies,
  • Lack of knowledge regarding migration paths from established manufacturing bases to alternatives based on industrial biotechnology,
  • Insufficient insights into Life Cycle Impacts of industrial biotechnology,
  • Lack of standards and agreed certification schemes in industrial biotechnology
  • Lack of private finance for new business developments and demonstration plants in the area.

Some of these hurdles are connected to technological bottlenecks; others are related to funding, policy regimes or societal acceptance. To overcome these hurdles requires a clear perception of their nature and the way they interrelate.

Link into BIO-TIC
BIO-TIC wants to take into account visions and interests from all relevant stakeholders to form a coherent plan. A number of communication tools are being developing, including a project website to be launched later in the year, but if you want to get involved with BIO-TIC right now then you can join its BIO-TIC LinkedIn group.

This new Linked-in group will establish a virtual discussion forum to debate BIO-TIC issues and is open to anyone interested in the transformative potential of industrial biotechnology. Visit the BIO-TIC linked-in group now!

The BIO-TIC project is funded via the European Commission’s FP7 research programme and its full title is ‘The Industrial Biotech Research and Innovation Platforms Centre – towards Technological Innovation and solid foundations for a growing industrial biotech sector in Europe’. The project is coordinated by EuropaBio.

Friday, September 14, 2012

BIO-PPP Consultation Launched

A crowded meeting in Brussels on 10 September saw the launch of a widespread stakeholder consultation on the proposed BIO-PPP. Some 170 delegates met in the Renaissance Hotel to find out more about the proposal and listen to views from various industry sectors, academics and national government speakers.

BIO-PPP is a proposed Public Private Partnership (PPP) on the Bio-Based Industries which aims to lead the transition in Europe towards sustainable alternatives to our current petroleum/ fossil fuel-based society. The aim of the initiative is to help establish a new European bioeconomy encompassing all stages in the value chain from biomass harvesting and logistics via efficient conversion processes to the manufacture of bio-based products. The industry group behind the initiative comprises major companies from a cross-section of sectors including forest, agricultural, paper, chemical, energy, fuels and biotechnology.

The aim of the Brussels meeting was to increase the visibility of the initiative and initiate a consultation process on a draft strategic research and innovation agenda. The meeting was organised by the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) who are hosting the BIO-PPP secretariat. The presentations made at the meeting are now available from the CEPI website.

Status
Marco Mensink of CEPI described the current status of the BIO-PPP. The initiative had been started in February 2012 with the launch of the European Commission's Bioeconomy Communication and an initial recruitment of partner organisations (including SusChem).

The BIO-PPP vision document was now finalised and following the consultation process it is hoped to finalise the Research and Innovation Roadmap in late September/ early October. An Impact Assessment will be undertaken by December 2012 and the initiative is aiming to become a legal entity at around the same time. The PPP would build further during 2013 with the final goal to be ready by January 2014 for the commencement of the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme.

Speakers from the German Ministries of Agriculture and Research welcomed the initiative to support the growth of a sustainable bioeconomy. They recognised that there was a need to get the right implementation structure for a harmonised EU-bioeconomy strategy and that research and development activities were key.

The initiative complemented the recently published German National Research Strategy Bioeconomy 2030 that is funded to the tune of some €2.6 billion already (from public and private sources) and was working from an entire value chain creation approach.

SPIRE – BIO docking?
During questions the issue of the need to avoid overlap between the BIO-PPP and the SPIRE (Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency) initiative was voiced by a number of delegates. Clearly both PPPs have their own identities and cover distinct and far reaching fields of activity with extensive industry participation in each. They also share a number of organisations as partners including Cefic, EuropaBio and SusChem.

Although each PPP represents a roadmap towards delivery of benefits and improvements to different areas of EU industry, the environment and the economy, there are nevertheless areas of communality and a space where both PPPs meet, adding value to one another’s potential deliverables.

There have been extensive discussions between the two initiatives to ensure duplication and redundancy are avoided and that the two PPPs offer clear benefits to Europe by complementing each other in developing comprehensive innovative and sustainable solutions. Clear docking points between the two proposed PPPs have been described to avoid unproductive overlap and to reinforce mutual supporting activities.

More information
To obtain more information on the BIO-PPP, including copies of the Vision and Research Roadmap documents and to find out how to get involved with the consultation process, please contact the consortium secretariat at CEPI.

The consultation process for the SPIRE Roadmap is also still open until 1 October. So far well over 200 individual responses have been received. To access the SPIRE consultation click here, to download a copy of the draft SPIRE roadmap click here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

One week to go to the BIOCHEM Accelerator Forum Bilbao

Time is counting and your business opportunity as a biotechnology SME is getting closer. The upcoming BIOCHEM Accelerator Forum scheduled as part of BIOSPAIN 2012 on September 20 and 21 in Bilbao, Spain is still open for your participation. Registrations can be made until September 13 here.

The BIOCHEM Accelerator Forum combines technology transfer, partnering and venture capital events in one single location. Participants will gain more knowledge about the biobased industry in Europe, the BIOCHEM toolbox that will enable bio‐based companies to grow and the best practices of established business angels and academics.

“BIOCHEM Tools Workshop” to be held on September 20 will be the starting point when forum attendees will have the opportunity to learn from expert coaches through hands on experience of four useful business tools developed by the project: Business related issues including investor search, Life Cycle Analysis, Sustainable Design Guide and Market Assessment.

On September 21 participants will be offered a panel discussion on Technology trends in biobased and sustainable chemistry where five expert speakers will share their personal experiences and the challenges they have encountered in commercializing biobased technologies and products, either as researchers or as experts involved in this process.

Venture capital
Also on September 21, to close the event, two Venture Capital review sessions will be held where the audience will have the opportunity to watch 12 selected companies present their goals and objectives followed by an evaluation by expert reviewers who will provide feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of each case. Confirmed reviewers include representatives from: Aggio Partners, Caixa Capital Risc “La Caixa”, Dynomics Biomedtech S.L., Mitsui Global Investment, MSD, BASF Venture Capital GmbH, European Investment Fund, Knowledge Capital Fund IUCT, and Sofinnova Partners.

A complete programme for the event is available on either the SusChem Spain and BioSpain 2012 websites.

About BIOCHEM
BIOCHEM, was launched on February 2010. It is a European initiative with the participation of 16 partners, two of which are Spanish: Feique and Madrid Network‐Biocluster. The project is co‐financed by European Commission’s INNOVA programme to support companies who wish to access the growing biotechnological based chemicals products market.

For more information visit BIOCHEM’s Website and to register with the BIOCHEM collaboration platform visit this webpage.

For a detailed list of Reviewers and details of presenting companies click here.

Further information is also available in the project section of the SusChem Spain website.

For communication enquiries please contact either Annie Mutamba (Europe) or Ángela López (Spain).

Monday, September 10, 2012

Steering the Water EIP

Last week was a big week for the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Water with the first meeting of its High-level Steering Group on 4 September. This initial meeting was chaired by European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potocnik and representing SusChem and the chemical industry on the Steering Group was Anton Valero, Dow Country Manager for Spain and Portugal.

The EIP Steering Group provides strategic guidance for the development of the partnership’s Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP). Discussion at this first meeting of the Steering Group focused on four questions:

  • Which enabling factors are required to develop a strategic agenda for water and innovation?
  • Which do you consider to be the key priority areas of action and what do you consider to be a realistic number of priorities for the EIP on Water?
  • What are the key crosscutting themes which the EIP on Water should address?
  • Which assessment criteria do you consider to be relevant to judge the success of the EIP on Water?

Commissioner Potocnik outlined some of the outcomes of the meeting during a session of the European Parliament’s Water Group that followed the Steering Group kick off meeting. In particular he highlighted priorities including the water-energy nexus, water governance, financing for innovation, resource efficient urban water supply and wastewater treatment, balancing supply and demand, integration of rural water management and land-use planning, water supply and sanitation for small rural communities, and best practices in industrial water management.

The definition of priorities to be addressed will be an important step in the preparation of the SIP.

Task Force
The Steering Group consists of 30 members and a Task Force consisting of 45 members representing a wide cross-section of Stakeholders engaged in various areas of water management has also been set up. The nomination of Task Force members was one of the actions carried out during the 4 September meeting. SusChem will be represented in the Task Force by Gernot Klotz and Anton Valero has appointed Markus Busch, also from Dow, as his representative on the body.

The first Task Force meeting will take place on 25 September and the body has the specific task of writing the SIP. The document should be finished by the end of November and approved by the Steering Group before the end of the year.

Chemical viewpoint
At the initial meeting Anton Valero outlined the role of the Chemical Industry in the EIP. The chemical industry thinks the EIP should be considered as a framework to boost know-how, innovation and job creation across the EU on water related technologies and solutions.

Water is on the one hand a valuable and necessary resource for our industries’ activities, future growth and investments depends on the availability of water; while on the other hand the industry uses water in its products and manufactures products for water offering new solutions to the market.

The chemical industry has identified four key water-related challenges in Europe:

  • Water as a resource: Quantity and Quality
  • Waste water treatment: more sustainable
  • Water – Energy resources nexus
  • The development of the bio-based economy and eco-industries

The industry fully supports the overarching objectives of the EIP to develop innovative solutions bringing benefits for the whole society and to fully exploit the commercial opportunities for these water related innovative solutions inside and outside Europe building a more sustainable and competitive European industry.

Background
The background to the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Water is outlined in the European Commission Communication of May 2012. The EIP will be a tool to support the Blueprint to safeguard Europe's water resources, which will be presented by the Commission in November 2012 as the water milestone of the European Commission’s Resource Efficiency roadmap.

For more information on SusChem activities in the water sector contact Antonia Morales Perez, Innovation Manager at Cefic.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Agrobiobase: the bioproducts database and more

The Agrobiobase website, developed by the IAR Cluster, is a major promotion tool for biobased products. Its main feature is the Agrobiobase database that covers both biobased chemicals and biomaterials from raw materials to finished products. But the site has a wealth of other valuable information for anyone interested in the biobased market. The site is available in both French and English. The Agrobiobase database itself covers over 250 bioproducts and is accessible for free.

Biobased products and materials registered in Agrobiobase are displayed with the producer’s details and detailed specifications of the products, including their environmental advantages.

The database can be accessed via searches of its Biobased Chemicals Database (covering chemical intermediates, additives, lubricants, solvents, surfactants etc.) or the Biobased Materials Database (including plastics, fibres, composites etc). In both cases users can find information including suppliers, a specific bioproduct, technical information (e.g. plant origin, environmental impact), and relevant articles and studies.

Agrobiobase helps provide better understanding of plant material potential and its practical industrial aspects. The database helps to identify better technical solutions and promotes networking between organisations currently involved in the biobased market and those considering entry.

Companies with products registered in the Agrobiobase have found the database is a unique showcase where they can promote their products and win over new clients.

Bio-tool
As well as being a bioproduct database, Agrobiobase also offers industrial players a valuable source of other information. The website helps business people to facilitate sourcing of biobased products and to obtain key data such as the percentage of biobased material in a product, technical information sheets, and environmental impact etc..

For example the website gives access to two sets of data sheets on bio-products:

  • PRIV data sheets, giving an update on plant chemistry and non-food applications including regulatory context and detailed formulation and raw material aspects.
  • VegeReach data sheets, presenting plant alternatives to substances of concern, as listed by REACH regulations. The sheets describe the main components for each use and market, backed up by economic data.
The Agrobiobase is also a rich source for the latest strategic news and special features to keep you up to date on the dynamic world of bioproducts.

IAR Cluster
The IAR Cluster brings together over 220 member organisations involved in developing biobased products and technology from plant production. The IAR Cluster is supported by the French government and two regions: Champagne-Ardenne and Picardie. These two regions are areas where agricultural and industrial interests are closely intertwined giving a boost to competitiveness for both sectors. For more information on Agrobiobase email the IAR Agrobiobase team direct.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

SusChem Brokerage: IPR ticket to Innovation

As well as the usual networking, presentations on project concepts and expressions of interest a significant highlight of the 2012 SusChem Brokerage event will be a session on ‘IPR Management in EU projects’ by Sabine Albrecht and Jörg Scherer from the European IPR helpdesk.

The IPR Helpdesk believes that knowing how to manage intellectual property (IP) and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is the ticket to improved innovation and competitiveness in Europe. The Helpdesk offers free, fronline support on IPR issues to participants in EU-funded research projects and EU SMEs involved in transnational partnership agreements.

At the brokerage event that takes place at the Sheraton Hotel, Place Rogier in Brussels on 18 September, Sabine and Jörg will outline the sorts of IPR issues that EU projects participants need to be aware off and to consider their consortia agreements and they will describe the services that the IPR Helpdesk can offer. And they will be available to answer your questions throughout the day.

Who will be there?
Registrations are growing fast for the brokerage event. Amongst the organisations already registered are numerous universities and RTOs including the Dutch Polymer Institute, Fraunhofer Institute, Tecnalia, TNO, and VITO; and major companies such as BASF, DSM, INEOS, P&G, Rhodia and Solvay.

And don’t forget this year’s brokerage event also sees the participation of a portfolio of partner technology platforms EUMAT, MANUFUTURE, WssTP and ESTEP, and the European Engineering Industries Association (EU-nited).

Clearly the SusChem Brokerage Event is the place to be on 18 September! Register today!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Gernot Klotz on the Horizon 2020 website

SusChem board member and Executive Director R&I at Cefic, Gernot Klotz, has contributed his views on the benefits of participation in European collaborative research and innovation projects on the Horizon 2020 website. You can watch his video below (copyright European Commission). Today (4 September) Gernot's video is the featured interview on the Horizon 2020 site.

If you want to participate in the next wave of European research projects on sustainable chemistry, the best place to start is at the SusChem brokerage event on September 18!

Registration is open until 11 September - so reserve your place now!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Help shape the Water EIP - ChemWater Three - 5 September

The SusChem FP7 project ChemWater will be holding its third workshop next week (5 September) in Brussels. Please note the meeting venue will now be the Brussels offices of Spanish Science and Technology organisation SOST (Española de Ciencia y Tecnología) at Rue du Trone 62. The workshop will further develop the vision for what a water sustainable process industry should look like by 2050 and identify the necessary tools and methodologies needed to realise that vision.
The workshop will focus on those processes, materials and technologies needed to reach the vision that were defined in the previous two ChemWater workshops. Active discussions on allocation of skills, competencies, coordination and funding needed to reach the vision will be discussed focusing on the following topics:
  • Chemical process engineering, reaction and process design
  • Emerging water treatment technologies
  • Identification and development of (nano) materials
The output of the ChemWater project will be directly linked to the forthcoming European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Water, and will provide information to set the priorities for research and innovation in the Strategic Implementation Plan of the EIP and therefore the reference for future calls. The aim of the EIP on Water is to position Europe as the world leader in sustainable water management by boosting innovation.

Participation in the workshop is your chance to bring forward your ideas for research and innovation programmes in this important strategic area and give direction to a roadmap on sustainable water use.

More information

Please feel free to forward details of the workshop to colleagues who may be interested in the event. If you need more information on the workshop, please contact either Nienke Koeman or Albert Jansen at organisers TNO.

To register for the workshop please send an email to Inge Huiskes with your name and affiliation (as you would like it printed on a name badge) as soon as possible. Participation in the workshop is free of charge.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Register now for SusChem Brokerage Event

Don't forget to register for the next SusChem Brokerage event taking place on 18 September 2012 in Brussels. The 2011 event saw a record attendance (see below) and the 2012 event promises to be even more popular with the participation of a number of other technology platforms and organisations. Places are already going fast!

The 2012 SusChem Brokerage event will cover the final calls under the European Commission FP7 programe and underlines SusChem's continuing support for European Commission projects on sustainable chemistry.

The event will take place at the Sheraton Hotel on Place Rogier in Brussels on 18 September 2012 and you can register here. Registration is open until September 11. The provisional programme for the event can be found here.

This year's event will also engage with a number of SusChem value chain partners including the technology platforms EUMAT, MANUFUTURE, WssTP and ESTEP, and the European Engineering Industries Association (EU-nited). In addition Stefanie Mielke from the European IPR helpdesk will present on IPR management in EU projects.

The SusChem Brokerage event is the ideal venue to present your research ideas on SusChem relevant FP7 calls, network with potential partners or launch an expression of interest (EOI). 'Speed dating' sessions will be part of the event programme.

If you want to present your own EOI or project idea at the Brokerage event then please fill in the EOI template or project idea template and send them to Frederik Vandecasteele at PNO before September 11.

Start with Database
To get ready for the brokerage event and the 2013 calls visit and join the SusChem Brokerage database. There you can find out about calls, upload your profile and project details.

The SusChem Brokerage Database provides SusChem stakeholders with the opportunity to present research project ideas relating to SusChem relevant calls in the European Commission’s Research and Innovation Framework Programmes and other similar initiatives. The Brokerage Network facilitates the creation of collaborative partnerships between stakeholders to respond to relevant calls.

SusChem members can join the Brokerage Network by requesting access to the Brokerage Database through the my accesses menu. If you would like to join the Brokerage Network and you are not a SusChem member yet, you must first register here. The process is simple and free.

If you would like to have more information on the Brokerage Database and Network, please do not hesitate to contact SusChem. Or consult our Brokerage Database micro manual!

See you there!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Get involved with the SPIRE Roadmap Consultation!

The European Process Industry, through its newly-created Association SPIRE (A.SPIRE), has launched a public consultation on the strategic multi-annual research and innovation roadmap developed for the proposed SPIRE Public-Private Partnership (PPP). SusChem is a major supporter and contributor to the SPIRE initiative.

This public consultation is a unique opportunity for all interested parties to have their say on this initial 92 page, cross-sectorial research and innovation roadmap. The document provides the pathway for Europe to decouple resource consumption from human well-being and achieve increased competitiveness in the European process industry. The consultation process will run until 1 October 2012.

The consultation survey must be undertaken online but a pdf preview of the questions can be downloaded here.

The consultation on the proposed SPIRE PPP is also accessible via the European Commission’s Industrial Technologies webpage on Public Private Partnerships in Research together with other open consultations on current PPPs Factories of the Future and Energy-efficient Buildings.

What is SPIRE about?
The realisation of SPIRE is essential in order to rejuvenate the European process industry and to ensure that economic growth is decoupled from resource impact – a key factor to enable sustainable economic growth.

The sectors, including the chemical industry, united in the SPIRE initiative represent a major part of the manufacturing base in the European Union involving more than 450,000 individual enterprises with over 6.8 million employees and generating more than €1.6 trillion annual turnover.

The cross-sectorial research and innovation roadmap produced by SPIRE provides the pathway for the European Process Industry to decouple resource consumption from human wellbeing and achieve increased competitiveness in the Europe. The roadmap is the result of an extensive process of collecting input from the eight process industry sectors actively participating in SPIRE, in consultation with other sectors such as glass, paper and pulp, and the European Commission through a provisional Ad hoc Industrial Advisory Group (AIAG).

The roadmap represents the collaborative efforts of public research and technology organisations and academia as well as industry stakeholders throughout Europe, along and across the value chain.

The SPIRE research and innovation roadmap was developed with two key resource and energy efficiency targets in mind and a time horizon of 2030:

  • A reduction in fossil energy intensity of up to 30% from current levels by 2030 through a combination of, for example, cogeneration-heat-power, process intensification, introduction of novel energy-saving processes, energy recovery, and progressive introduction of alternative (renewable) energy sources within the process cycle, and
  • Upto 20% reduction in non-renewable, primary raw material intensity compared to current levels, by increasing chemical and physical transformation yields and/ or using secondary (through optimised recycling processes) and renewable raw materials.

For both targets a full life cycle cost analysis is required to consider all effects along the value chain and to prove the sustainability advantage. In addition both targets will make a significant contribution to the political and societal objectives of drastic efficiency improvement in CO2-equivalent footprints of up to 40% by 2030.

Key components, key actions
SPIRE will implement its research and innovation roadmap through six Key Components that are at the core for a resource and energy efficient process industry:

  1. Feed: Increased energy and resource efficiency through better preparation and product mix of raw materials, higher levels of alternative and renewable feedstock (including waste and waste water), as well as better managing increased quality variations in material resources.
  2. Process: Solutions for more efficient processing and energy systems for the process industry, including industrial symbiosis.
  3. Applications: New processes to produce materials for market applications that boost energy and resource efficiency up and down the value chain.
  4. Waste2Resource: Valorisation and re-use of waste streams within and across sectors, including recycling of post-consumer waste streams and new business models for eco-innovation.
  5. Horizontal: underpinning the accelerated deployment of the R&D&I opportunities identified within SPIRE through sustainability evaluation tools and skills and education programmes as well as enhance the sharing of knowledge and best practices.
  6. Outreach: Reach out to the process industry, policy makers and citizens to support the realisation of impact through awareness, stimulating societal responsible behaviour.

Key Actions have been developed for each Key Component, enabling an ambitious, realistic and measurable agenda driven approach towards fulfilling the SPIRE objectives and consequently achieving impact overcoming technological and non-technological barriers.

The SPIRE roadmap will be updated through an open and consultative process during the lifetime of the PPP to reflect progress as well as possible changes in priorities. You can take part in the initial public consultation by clicking the survey button below.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Investment Forum for Biotech Enterprise at BioSpain 2012

The SusChem supported European project BIOCHEM will be at BioSpain 2012 in Bilbao on 19 to 21 September to hold an industrial biotechnology investment forum. This is the first time BIOSPAIN has organised such a forum, which has the objective of presenting start-up projects or SMEs in an initial development phase, or having high potential, to an audience of international investors and financiers who are specialised in the bio-based market segment.

Participation in the investment forum at BioSpain 2012 is free and will allow entrepreneurs to present their projects to an international panel of expert investors and industrial representatives who will be able to asses and evaluate their ideas, increasing the chances of finding the right investor and partners. You only need to complete a short profile of your company to participate. The registration and profile form can be found here.

BIOCHEM uses the term “Accelerator Fora” for these events that are targeted at biotechnological SMEs, researchers and entrepreneurs. As part of Accelerator Fora activities a Business Plan Competition, technological transfer sessions and bilateral meetings with International representatives will also take place. for more information, please visit the BIOCHEM page on the BioSpain 2012 website.

Support to Entrepreneurs
BIOCHEM is a European Project that offers a unique promotion and financing opportunity to entrepreneurs and researchers who plan to start a business in the biological product sector. This is enabled via ‘Accelerator Fora’ events that bring together potential partners from industry, academia, venture capital and laboratory facilities throughout Europe.

BIOCHEM was launched in February 2010. It is a European initiative with the participation of 16 partners, two of which are Spanish: Feique and Madrid Network‐Biocluster. The project is co‐financed by the European Commission’s INNOVA programme to support companies who wish to access the growing biotechnological based chemicals product market. For more information visit the BIOCHEM website or to register with the BIOCHEM collaboration platform visit the dedicated site.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Carbon Dioxide as Feedstock

Increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions due to human activity are seen as largely responsible for the greenhouse effect and thus for inducing climate change. Reducing global CO2 emissions is an international political priority. And chemistry is playing its role in exploring how CO2 may be used as a chemical feedstock to make a range of useful materials and products. The 'Carbon Dioxide as Feedstock for Chemical and Polymers' conference in Essen, Germany will showcase recent developments and emerging technologies.

At first sight it may seem paradoxical to wish to use energy-poor, inert CO2 molecules as a chemical feedstock. But considerable research and development efforts in recent years have led to new and innovative CO2-recycling technologies and a possible vision of a sustainable CO2 econoly.

The conference, that takes place in the Haus der Technik in Essen on 10 and 11 October 2012, will highlight a range of advanced research projects and commercial solutions that are pioneering possible pathways to using CO2 as a feedstock for the chemical industry. Participants at the conference will gain an invaluable overview of the current successful processes, as well as learning about the solutions international leading companies, universities and research centres have envisaged for the short and medium term.

Chemicals and polymers
The conference will focus on chemical and polymer production based on CO2 gases (including PPC/PEC production, polyols and polyurethanes), CO2 fermentation, carbonation of glycerol and other chemicals, bioelectrochemical CO2 conversion and other techniques. Presentations will not only give a complete picture for these themes, but will also cover topics such as solar fuels (both photovoltaic and CO2 conversion to fuels), use of algae and much more.

The conference will consist of six main sessions covering:
  • The CO2 economy – Vision, drivers and framework
  • CO2 purification and technical preparation: how to render CO2 a suitable feedstock
  • CO2 as carbon source for innovative chemistry
  • CO2 fixation for polymer synthesis
  • Innovative fermentation strategies using CO2 as carbon source
  • CO2 reduction as starting point for renewable and sustainable fuels.
The Essen event will be the biggest conference on this important topic this year.

For more information download the Conference flyer which includes a preliminary programme. The conference will also host an associated exhibition and an extensive poster session. SusChem founding partner Cefic is also a partner for the conference and Cefic members can receive a 10% discount on registration.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A.SPIRE for Sustainable European Competitiveness

Today (July 18) saw the establishment of the legal entity that will manage and implement the proposed SPIRE Public-Private Partnership (PPP). The A.SPIRE AISBL was launched at a signing ceremony (picture below) at Cefic offices in Brussels.

"Today marks a very special day in the history of the European Process Industry and the overall European industrial scene," said Ed d'Hooghe, Executive Director A.SPIRE. "We believe that never before has such a large group of representatives from such a broad cross-section of industrial sectors formally organised themselves to participate in an innovation programme of the European Commission."

"The initiative signals the commitment and expectations that these sectors have for the SPIRE Public-Private Partnership to provide the innovations that will make Europe the most sustainable region in the world from social, ecological and economic perspectives," he continued. "A.SPIRE looks forward to welcome additional partners that wish to play an active role in re-shaping the European Process Industry landscape through innovation to once again be the most competitive region in the world."

A.SPIRE signatory party

Significant achievement
Commenting on this significant point in achieving the SPIRE initiative. SusChem Chairman Dr. Klaus Sommer said: "The process industry in Europe represents 20% of production, jobs and sales. The European Commission is setting up Horizon 2020 to give industry more room to shape the framework programme for the next seven years so that important issues that directly influence the competitiveness of Europe are focus areas of the programme. The process industry has used this opportunity and designed and promoted SPIRE. We have attracted very good support from stakeholders, national institutions, European Commission and the European Parliament."

"Today marks a significant milestone because we are formally implementing the structure that can carry us through the next 1+7 years. It is a very happy and proud moment to see the strong representation from industry, academia, and research and technology organisations. And as always with milestones we should use the opportunity to pause for a moment and celebrate what we achieved so far. We still have a lot of work in front of us but we are confident that through hard work and joint efforts we can reach our goal."

What is A.SPIRE?
A.SPIRE AISBL is an association formed to represent the private sector as a partner in a new Innovation Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to be launched as part of the Horizon2020 framework programme.

The Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency (SPIRE) PPP proposal has the objective of developing the enabling technologies and solutions along the value chain that are required to reach long term sustainability for Europe in terms of global competitiveness, ecology and employment.

A.SPIRE is an open association that represents more than 45 industrial and research process industry stakeholders from over a dozen countries spread throughout Europe. A.SPIRE was founded through the joint efforts of the chemical, steel, engineering, minerals, non-ferrous metals, cement, ceramics and water sectors.

To find out more about the SPIRE PPP initiative visit the SPIRE website.

Monday, July 9, 2012

FP7: SusChem welcomes €8 Billion Call for 2013

Today, 9 July, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, announced the final and biggest work programme of the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme for research and development (FP7). The call’s work programme will inject over €8 billion into Europe's research and innovation system to stimulate competitiveness and boost Europe's prospects for growth and jobs.

Announcing the call Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: "Knowledge is the currency of the global economy. If Europe wants to continue to compete in the 21st century, we must support the research and innovation that will generate growth and jobs, now and in the future. The high level of competition for EU funding makes sure that taxpayers' money goes to the best projects that tackle issues that concern all of us."

The calls will target both innovation and a range of societal challenges, building a bridge to Horizon 2020, the next funding programme for EU research from 2014-2020. In total €4.8 billion is dedicated to thematic research priorities. Industrial innovation will be supported through close-to-market activities such as piloting, demonstration, standardisation and technology transfer. Special attention will be given to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in a package worth up to €1.2 billion.

SusChem support
SusChem welcomes this challenge-based approach that brings together resources and knowledge across different fields, technologies and disciplines, including social sciences and the humanities. The platform particularly welcomes the reinforced focus on innovation-related activities, such as piloting, demonstration, test-beds, and support for public procurement and closer-to-market activities in Horizon 2020.

SusChem will be running a dedicated FP7 Brokerage day on September 18 at the Sheraton Hotel, Place Rogier, Brussels covering these calls. SusChem will be joined by a range of other Technology Platforms and research associations to make this SusChem's biggest brokerage event yet.

Some calls of particular interest to SusChem and partners are innovative technological solutions to address the challenge of managing fresh water resources, which will be supported with €98 million of funding including some €40 million to be devoted to a Water European Innovation Partnership in 2013 where SusChem is heavily involved. Enhanced investment on research and innovation is critical for the European water industry to consolidate its position in the global market.

In addition, €75 million is dedicated to maintaining a sustainable supply of raw materials to the EU for its industry and society as a whole and with a budget of €358 million, the 2013 FP7 work programme also promotes efficiency in the processing of biological resources, development of bio-based products and processes with the aim of building a bio-resource efficient Europe.

Around €365 million is also available for technologies that will transform urban areas into sustainable "Smart Cities and Communities".

Most of the calls for proposals will be published tomorrow (10 July), with some further specific calls to follow in autumn 2012.

Stimulating growth
It is expected that the €8.1 billion announced today will leverage an additional €6 billion of public and private investment in research. This in itself will generate 210,000 new jobs in the short-term and boots growth by an estimated €75 billion over a 15 year period.

When it was launched, FP7 was the largest research funding programme in the world with a budget of €55 billion for 2007-2013.

For further information a press release on the funding announcement and an associated memo are available.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

ChemWater Workshop Three in Brussels

The SusChem FP7 project ChemWater has announced that it will hold its third workshop on 5 September in Brussels. The venue will be the offices of ACQUEAU. The workshop will further develop the vision for what a water sustainable process industry should look like by 2050 and identify the necessary tools and methodologies needed to realise that vision.
The workshop will focus on those processes, materials and technologies needed to reach the vision that were defined in the previous two ChemWater workshops. Active discussions on allocation of skills, competencies, coordination and funding needed to reach the vision will be discussed focusing on the following topics:
  • Chemical process engineering, reaction and process design
  • Emerging water treatment technologies
  • Identification and development of (nano) materials
The output of the ChemWater project will be directly linked to the forthcoming European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Water, and will provide information to set the priorities for research and innovation in the Strategic Implementation Plan of the EIP and therefore the reference for future calls. The aim of the EIP on Water is to position Europe as the world leader in sustainable water management by boosting innovation.

Participation in the workshop is your chance to bring forward your ideas for research and innovation programmes in this important strategic area and give direction to a roadmap on sustainable water use.

More information
The preliminary programme for the meeting is available on the ChemWater website and a flyer for the event is also available.

Please feel free to forward details of the workshop to colleagues who may be interested in the event. If you need more information on the workshop, please contact either Nienke Koeman or Albert Jansen at organisers TNO.

To register for the workshop please send an email to Inge Huiskes with your name and affiliation (as you would like it printed on a name badge) preferably before 15 August 2012. Participation in the workshop is free of charge.

Friday, July 6, 2012

BIOCHEM goes Bilbao

BIOCHEM, the European Bioeconomy Innovation project, offers unique promotion opportunities to entrepreneurs and researchers considering launching a business in the bio-based product sector. BIOCHEM facilitates introductions to European investors and other industrial stakeholders that can enable budding bio-entrepreneurs to find the financing and advice they need. And the next BIOCHEM event takes place in Bilbao.

BIOCHEM Accelerator Fora combine several activities, including bilateral meetings to bring together and introduce potential partners from industry, academia, venture capital investors, and test facilities based throughout Europe.

BIOCHEM has organised four events specifically focused on biotechnology sector SMEs, researchers and entrepreneurs. The first of these events took place in Milan in October 2011, the second happened during Achema in Frankfurt in June 2012 and the next will take place in Bilbao from September 19 to 21. The final event is scheduled for London during January 2013.

The Bilbao Forum is organised within the framework of Spain’s largest biotechnological event, BioSpain 2012. This should promote attendance and synergies amongst a wide spectrum of experts and offers a three day programme that will include BIOCHEM’s Business Plan competition final, Venture Capital Sessions and bilateral meetings for potential partnering.

Three days, three activities
The first activity is the Business Plan competition that will award and promote the most promising ideas to stimulate the creation of biotechnology businesses. The competition is open to universities, research centres and technological transfer offices.

In addition, six of the Business Plan Competition finalists will have the opportunity of presenting their projects to a venture capital investor expert panel during the second day of the Forum.

The Forum will also offer the opportunity to celebrate bilateral and technological transfer meetings to help identify potential partners from industry, academia, venture capital investors, and test facilities throughout Europe and share knowledge.

BIOCHEM, was launched on February 2010. It is a European initiative with the participation of 16 partners, two of which are Spanish: Feique and Madrid Network-Biocluster. The project is co-financed by European Commission’s INNOVA programme to support companies who wish to access the growing biotechnological based chemicals products market.

For more information on BIOCHEM visit the project website. There is also more information on the project section of SusChem-Espana website.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Economic and Efficient Water Management

The European chemical industry is constantly striving to improve its water management by making it economically and ecologically more efficient. As competition for water grows in Europe, due to the effects of climate change and growing demand, a step change in efficiency is required. The recently launched E4Water FP7 project will help the chemical and other sectors make that change.

Water challenges – scarce fresh water resources, stress on aquatic ecosystems and the like – are high on the European and international agenda. Economically and environmentally efficient water management is seen as one of the main strategies for environmental protebtion in many European countries. And innovative solutions in industrial water use can help further decouple production growth from water use - always taking into account the local environmental and economic context.

The chemical industry is a cornerstone of the European economy, converting raw materials into thousands of different products. It is both a major water user and a solution provider for process industry sectors such as mining, industrial biotechnology, health, food, electronic, pulp and paper, and energy. As such, the chemical industry offers significant potential for increasing eco-efficiency in industrial water management throughout the value chain.

The E4Water project unites in its 19 member consortium large chemical industries, leading European water sector companies and innovative RTD centres and universities active in the area of water management. Together they will work to address crucial process industry needs to overcome bottlenecks and barriers for an integrated and energy-efficient water management.

E4Water is a European Commission-funded FP7 project jointly developed by SusChem and the European Water Platform (WssTP). E4Water was launched in May 2012 and will continue for four years. The project is coordinated by Dechema.

Develop and test
The main objective of E4Water is to develop and test integrated approaches, methodologies and process technologies. At the heart of the project are six industrial case study sites that are expected to achieve a reduction of 20-40% in water use, 30-70% in wastewater production, 15-40% in energy use and up to 60% in direct economic benefits. In addition to the chemical industry, the project will seek opportunities for cross-fertilisation with other industrial sectors.

To achieve these aims will require technological breakthroughs integrating across industrial, urban and agricultural water streams, bringing the chemical industry into the water value chain and interacting with other sectors. Tools will be provided that will allow industrial decision-makers to decide on how best to apply E4Water developments in Europe and beyond.

The project builds on state-of-the-art and new fundamental R&D concepts. E4Water will:

• Develop and test innovative treatment technologies for complex (concentrated) wastewater streams

• Develop selective treatment technologies and treatment systems that unlock barriers to the recycle and reuse of industrial water streams

• Integrate eco-efficient water management more strongly into industrial processes

• Integrate water management networks to reduce fresh water withdrawal

Case studies
The six case studies will demonstrate and evaluate innovative water management options on selected industrial sites. The six chosen examples are the result of an extensive stakeholder dialogue during the preparation of the project.

The six case studies are:

• Mild desalin`tion of water streams for optimum reuse in industry or agriculture at affordable cost led by Dow in the Netherlands and will involve the design, construction and start-up of a demonstration facility to enable the use of more streams in the regions such as rain water, agriculture, municipal and industrial waste water.

• Enhancement of water reuse by global management and synergy identification on a multi-company site led by Solvic in Belgium.

• Ensuring process continuation by closing the water loop and minimising fresh water use led by SolVin Iberica in Spain on a PVC process site.

• Enhancing in-process water loop closure by integrating biocidal with wastewater treatment technologies led by PGB in Belgium to help recycling of wash water from cleaning and sanitation processes in liquid operations.

• Towards integrated water management system in a petrochemical site led by Total in France. The objectives are the enhanced recycling in cooling circuits, wastewater reuse for cooling water make up and other operations, reduction of water abstraction by more than 40%, and improving process reliability.

• Bioextraction technology in a symbiotic industrial wastewater treatment concept creating added value led by CBD in Denmark.

You can find out more about the E4Water project on their website.