08 March 2007 15:38 [Source: ICIS news]
BRUSSELS (ICIS news)--Chemical producers are in a much better position to benefit from funding through the European Unions’s (EU) 7th Framework Programme on research and innovation (FP7), an industry figure said on Thursday.
This had been achieved through the efforts of the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Development, said Alfred Oberholz, deputy chairman of the management board of Degussa and chairman of the SusChem board.
The European Commission (EC) had listened to the industry’s proposals but only because SusChem had broken down the “artificial separation” between chemicals and biotechnology, Oberholz noted.
“Cefic and EuropaBio are working much closer together and if we had gone separately to the commission, success would have been much more limited,” he said at SusChem’s fifth stakeholder meeting.
The SusChem technology platform was created in 2004 by Cefic and EuropaBio, with the support of the EC, to set the agenda for sustainable chemistry in the EU.
Last year, the EU issued its Implementation Action Plan, which sets out the themes and project areas the industry identified as priorities for collaborative research and public funding. The EU’s FP7 initiative runs from 2007-2013 and has a budget of €54bn ($71bn).
Although chemicals is not explicitly a priority for FP7, Oberholz said that the industry had convinced the commission that they are fundamental to many of its priority areas such as health, energy, agriculture and IT.
SusChem was now progressing three major projects - the Smart Energy Home, the integrated biorefinery and the Future, Fast, Flexible (F3) factory - and would seek the involvement of other technology platforms such as biofuels, forestry, fuels cells and steel among others.
($1 = €0.76)
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