Europe is at a crossroads, we need transformational actions to boost competitiveness, jobs and inclusive growth.
At the same time, we need to deal with the consequences of climate change and resource depletion that affect European society in far-reaching ways.
These challenges can only be tackled by placing sustainability at the heart of all solutions, and sustainable chemistry has a central role to play. We need technological breakthroughs if we want to:
- significantly cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants;
- develop sustainable and renewable energy sources;
- find alternatives to scarce raw materials;
- embrace the concept of a circular economy and increase our recycling and reuse of waste;
- ensure the quality of our water supplies;
- improve our quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
Sustainable innovation – our priority for a low-carbon economy
Chemistry is a central science at the core of all value-chains. The world leading European chemical sector is a critical driver of innovation and sustainable development.
Guided by its vision and in consultation with its stakeholders and European Commission partners, SusChem sets innovation priorities for the chemical sector and outlines a portfolio of sustainable chemistry research and innovation actions that can provide sustainable solutions to Europe’s big challenges and help the transition to a sustainable low-carbon economy.
In 2015, SusChem updated its innovation priorities actions in its updated Strategic Innovation and Research agenda. They are centered around five of the seven key societal challenges described in the EC’s Horizon 2020 programme and highlight the sustainable chemistry and industrial biotechnologies solutions needed to address these five challenges, while preserving the sector’s industrial competitiveness.
In 2016, the Board approved a set of specific working priorities where SusChem’s community is in a position to lead and foster large-scale innovation initiatives that can provide these much needed solutions, and help our transition to a sustainable low-carbon economy.
SusChem’s innovation working priorities include: catalysis, information and communication technologies (ICT), materials for energy, a sustainable bioeconomy, and water.
A transformational agenda is needed to help Europe speed up its innovation processes and move towards a sustainable low-carbon economy. European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs) based on the Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) model are part of this new thinking and have been designed to tackle the challenges faced by European society: need for raw materials, a viable bioeconomy, water efficiency, resource and energy efficiency, smart cities, agricultural sustainability, and active and healthy ageing.