Friday, May 25, 2012

SusChem Spain Annual Assembly

On June 19, SusChem Spain will celebrate its Annual Assembly at the Ministry of Economy and Competitively in Madrid. The main theme of the meeting will be current and future Public-Private cooperation opportunities as a way of improving the competitively of science and technology based business.

Following a welcome address from a ministry speaker, delegates will debate public-private cooperation opportunities in the context of both national and European initiatives. The role of SusChem in stimulating public-private initiatives will be presented and then specific opportunities coming up under the new Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme will be discussed.

The SusChem-led SPIRE Public-Private-Partnership will be presented as well as the Energy Materials Industrial Research Initiative (EMIRI) and also the Biobased Industries PPP.

Registration for the Annual Assembly is free for SusChem members. For non-members of SusChem Spain there is a participation fee of €100 (VAT not included). For more information and registration, please visit the SusChem Spain website.

SusChem at Green Week 2012

The 12th edition of Green Week, Europe’s biggest annual conference on environmental policy, took place 22 to 25 May in Brussels and with this year’s theme of ‘Water - Every Drop Counts – The Water Challenge’ SusChem was a prominent participant.

The message from Green Week was clear: water is a valuable resource that needs to be used properly and sparingly. We must make sure that we have enough for all of its uses and we must avoid polluting our rivers, seas and oceans. Along with all other natural resources, water is one of the most vital for our continued existence on this planet.

SusChem founding partners Cefic (above) and EuropaBio (below) both had stands in the exhibition area together with partner organisations such the Water Technology Platform (WssTP).

ChemWater event
SusChem, WssTP and the European Membrane House (EMH) held an important workshop as part of Green Week on 24 May for the ChemWater FP7 project. The all-day event focused on identifying new tools and methodologies, technology gaps and the needs of other sectors that will be required to reach a water sustainable process industry vision by 2050.

The workshop attracted a good number of participants (see below) and the outputs will be used to revise the ChemWater vision, and as a basis for the European R&D Agenda, in programmes including Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP), European Innovation Partnerships (EIP), and Horizon 2020.

In particular the output of the ChemWater project will be directly linked to the recently adopted EIP on Water, and will provide information to set the priorities for research and innovation in its Strategic Implementation Plan 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.

Participants got an update on the potential timetable for the Water EIP. The implementation plan was likely to start the drafting process in August with the aim of adoption by December 2012 and the first calls from the EIP being announced in January 2013. Up to €40 million was available for funding of FP7 projects under the EIP and to accommodate the call process the deadline for these FP7 project submissions would be extended into April 2013.

Global tool
Another feature of the workshop was a presentation on the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Global Water Tool. This tool helps companies and organizations map their water use and assess risks relative to their global operations and supply chains.

Find out more about the WBCSD Global Water Tool – and assess own organisation’s water situation – by downloading the tool for free from the WBCSD website.

Other highlights
Two other highlights caught SusChem’s eye at the Green Week exhibition.

Firstly the wealth of knowledge on Water issues to be found in the European Commissions Joint Research Centre (JRC). JRC has just published the first of a series of Science for Water thematic reports. You can find out more here.

Secondly the United Nations European Ad Competition on Water has produced some fantastic images and ideas. See the top 30 finalists in this competition here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Official Opening for Bio Base Europe

On 11 June 2012, Bio Base Europe will be officially opened by Flemish Minister Kris Peeters and Dutch Minister Maxime Verhagen. Bio Base Europe is Europe’s first open innovation and education centre for the bio-based economy.

The aim of the Bio Base Europe project is to facilitate scale up and optimisation of bioprocesses at pilot plant scale and run pilot production quantities of new bio-based products for testing, and to provide a facility for education and training for process operators for the bio-based industries. At the heart of the project are the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant in Ghent, Belgium and the Bio Base Europe Training Centre in Terneuzen, the Netherlands.

In 2009 the €21 million INTERREG project Europe was proclaimed best inter regional project in Europe.

The inauguration ceremony will cover both sites: starting at the pilot plant in Ghent and then moving to the training centre in Terneuzen. In both locations there will be guided tours for participants.

The ceremonies kick off at 15.00 with a reception at the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant in Ghent and speeches by ex- SusChem board member Wim Soetaert of Ghent University, Sas van Rouveroij President of Bio Base Europe and Flemish Minister-President and Minister of Economy, Foreign Policy and Agricultural and Rural Policy, Kris Peeters who will officially inaugurate the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant.

The party then travels to Terneuzen for a second reception at the Bio Base Europe Training Centre with presentations by Gert-Jan van der Brugge, President of the Bio Base Europe Training Centre Foundation, Ben de Reu, President Bio Base Europe and Dutch Vice-minister-President and Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Maxime Verhagen followed by the ceremonial inauguration of the facility.

For more information on Bio Base Europe and the opening ceremony visit the project website.

Friday, May 18, 2012

SusChem at IndTech 2012

It is just a month until the doors open for the Industrial Technologies 2012 event in Aarhus, Denmark and SusChem will be involved throughout the proceedings. The three-day event that begins on 19 June will see high profile speakers from industry, government and research debate the future of European research and industry, consider how Europe can succeed in the face of global competition, and discuss the form and impact of the forthcoming European Commission Framework Programme for Research and Innovation: Horizon 2020.

SusChem will be providing speakers for a number of the conference sessions on each day of the conference and will be present in the exhibition area throughout. SusChem is an official Media Partner of the event.

SusChem programme
Industrial Technologies 2012 includes five plenary sessions covering ‘Visions for 2020’, ‘European Industry in 2020’, ‘Innovation in Industrial Technologies’, ‘International Cooperation’, and ‘NMP in Horizon 2020’. In addition, some 18 other conference sessions and 15 workshop sessions form a packed programme.

SusChem highlights for the first day will see Pierre Joris, Chief Science & Innovation Officer at Solvay will contribute on behalf of SusChem to the second plenary session on ‘European Industry in 2020’at 11:00. An interview recorded with Pierre at the SusChem 2012 Stakeholder is available below.

Pierre Joris at SusChem 2012

SusChem’s public private partnership innovation initiative SPIRE will be the main focus of the ‘Resource Efficient Process Industries’ session on the afternoon of 19 June. Speakers will include SusChem board member Peter Nagler of Evonik and Jean Pierre Birat from Acelor Mittal.

SPIRE and this session were the topic of the first ‘Hot Topics’ bulletin issued by the Industrial Technologies 2012 organisers and highlighting the potentially huge positive impact of this SusChem inspired initiative on European industry, the environment and competitiveness.

Further SusChem contributions on the first day will be to sessions on ‘Low Emission Transportation Industry’ and ‘Fostering European Competence and Competitiveness through Innovation’.

Day two and three
On June 20 SusChem contributes to four sessions. In the morning Gernot Klotz of Cefic will address the session organized by NANOfutures. In the afternoon Gernot will also address the session on ‘Reducing Time to Market’, while Michael Roeper of BASF will contribute to the session on ‘Critical Raw Materials’ the subject of a proposed European Innovation Partneship (EIP). SusChem will also contribute to the presentation of the EIP on Water to the afternoon session on ‘Quality of Life improving the availability of water’.

On the final day SusChem education initiatives including the Educate to Innovate project will be presented to the session on ‘Competence Building for Industrial Competitiveness’ session and a couple of speakers are contributing to the ‘Industrial Symbiosis’ session.

Finally SusChem chairman Klaus Sommer will be speaking during the closing plenary covering how NMP is likely to be reflected in Horizon 2020, in terms of the approaches, funding and developments that will affect this area. The session is described as an ‘Industrial Technologies Declaration’.

One-stop shop
Industrial Technologies 2012 takes place in the Concert Hall in Aarhus and offers a one-stop shop for integrated coverage of nanoscience and nanotechnology, materials, and new production processes (NMP). The programme highlights the knowledge intensive products and processes driving European growth to 2020 and will help to identify solutions to improve the framework conditions for innovation in Europe.

Several sessions will look at those products and processes where Europe can build or maintain global leadership in the next decade; these may include mass producing low emission vehicles, making new buildings net energy producers, or offering new therapies enabled by developments in nanomedicine. These areas will require input from all areas of NMP, and will bring together researchers and industry to address both technical and non-technical challenges.

Industrial Technologies 2012 will point to specific, actionable solutions that will ensure that European industry can achieve its full potential for innovation.

SusChem contributed to the steering group which developed the programme content.

Industrial Technologies 2012 is supported by the European Commission DG Research and Innovation and its Industrial Technologies Programme and is a highlight of the Danish Presidency of the European Council.

More information
More in formation on the programme for Industrial Technologies can be found here and details of registration here. Visit the Industrial Technologies 2012 website for the full details and insights on the numerous sessions taking place.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

SusChem, WssTP alliance signed

The new collaboration agreement between SusChem and the European Technology Platform for Water (WssTP) was formally signed during the closing session of the Water Innovation EU conference held in Brussels on 15 and 16 May.

The agreement was signed in the presence of European Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik (middle above). Gernot Klotz Executive (left) Director of Research and Innovation at Cefic signed on behalf of SusChem and Thomas Michel (right) the recently elected President of WssTP signed for the Water platform.

Earlier Commissioner Potocnik had spoken about the priority of water issues in DG Environment policy communications. He saw the recently announced European Innovation Partnership on Water as a great opportunity. Facilitating implementation of the EIP is one of the primary objectives of the collaboration agreement.

Water will be the main focus of next week's Green Week event, the annual showcase for the environemnt organised by the European Commission DG Environment. Both SusChem and WssTP will be taking an active role in Green Week 2012 in particular the FP7 project ChemWater is holding a satelitte event on 24 May.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Oman International Bank set to exit businesses in India, Pakistan

Oman International Bank, which is merging its operations with HSBC Holdings, said its shareholders approved exiting its businesses in India and Pakistan.
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Jura Energy to Acquire Spud Energy from Eastern Petroleum

Jura Energy Corporation (Jura Energy) agreed to acquire all the issued and outstanding shares of Spud Energy Pty Limited (Spud Energy), a private oil and gas company, from Eastern Petroleum Limited (Eastern Petroleum), a private investment holding company, in a reverse takeover transaction as Eastern Petroleum Strengthens its Presence in Pakistan.
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