Innovation and funding to create a sustainable future with safe and sustainable chemicals, products and processes


Our society is faced with its fair share of global issues: Climate change, a high inflation rate, the war in Ukraine, an energy crisis with gas prices bumping up, just to mention a few. “We have to find answers. For example, it is important to change our energy supply into more alternative and green programmes”, said Josef R. Wuensch, SusChem Chairman, and Senior Vice President, R&D Performance Materials, BASF, at the 2022 SusChem Brokerage event, on December 8th

To meet the Paris Agreement’s target and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, “we have to develop new concepts to keep carbon in the loop. The chemical space is one contributor to carbon dioxide emissions; however, the industry has also developed technologies to return the carbon to a second, or even third application. Making carbon circular is not an arriving pathway, but a transition pathway. We need to bridge until we have final solutions, enabling circularity”, Wuensch added.

European initiatives

From the legislative side, the European Commission has released a set of recommendations on Safe and Sustainable-by-Design chemicals, materials, and processes, for establishing a European assessment framework, under the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS). “Only what is safe and sustainable-by-design will have future. At the same time, only if we are competitive, we can establish safe and sustainable-by-design products”, complemented Wuensch.

Major initiatives endorsed by SusChem are there to support and accelerate the transition to safe and sustainable materials, chemicals and processes, such as the “Advanced Materials Initiative 2030” (AMI2030), and “IRISS project”,  which has the goal to create a global network on SSbD, and support the uptake and implementation of SSbD strategies and principles by industry and the different value chains.

SusChem offers tools for identifying the right funding opportunity

Following the opportunities offered by Horizon Europe’s Work Programme 2023-2024 calls, and in the effort to help Europe develop solutions for all these challenges, SusChem brought together experts and EC representatives to explain and reveal the potential of specific calls of interest on the following topics: digitalisation, innovation for advanced materials, Safe and Sustainable-by-Design, energy, and sustainable bioeconomy value chains.

SusChem has also developed a matrix with call topics of high relevance to the SusChem community, based on the Horizon Europe WP 2023-2024. Practical information on how to apply for funding under Horizon Europe, eligibility to apply, and evaluation criteria, is available on the EC portal “Funding and Tender Opportunities”.

More in the pipeline

Under the Sustainable Research and Innovation plan (SRIP), published in October, SusChem has been invited by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD), alongside with other European technology platforms, such as EMIRI, to contribute to the Advanced Materials manifesto, and translate the draft Materials 2030 Roadmap, released in June 2022 by AMI2030, into an actionable Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda. This roadmap addresses different innovation markets or value chains, such as packaging, construction, transportation, healthcare, agriculture, textile, electronic applications, among others.  

SusChem is also involved in the Transition Pathway initiative, a joint process led by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), to help accelerate and achieve the green and digital transitions.

The SusChem Brokerage event 2022 offered the opportunity for stakeholders to exchange project ideas, form consortia, and deliver future solutions. To watch the information sessions on the calls and relevant topics, click here.