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Eight European Nations Collaborate on Catalysis Research for Sustainability

Six transnational research projects in the area of catalysis for sustainability have been created through ACENET, the ERANET for Applied Catalysis in Europe.

Six transnational research projects in the area of catalysis for sustainability have been created through ACENET, the ERANET for Applied Catalysis in Europe. All the projects have one common aim: to extend European knowledge and capability bases in the key area of energy and carbon-efficient catalytic manufacture of fuels and chemicals. Each project is an interdisciplinary industry-university collaboration involving at least 3 countries. Research ministries and funding agencies of eight EU Member States allocated € 4.5 mio from national funding to the initiative; in all, 21 research groups in academia and industry will be funded, with 14 associate industrial partners contributing to the research. The research consortia comprise researchers working as far apart as Barcelona and Lublin, or Delft and Thessaloniki. They will work on such diverse aspects such as the production of hydrogen from bio alcohols or the conversion of solid biomass to renewable fuels and chemicals, to the development of a technology which will allow the low-temperature conversion of the greenhouse gases methane and carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide and hydrogen, important starting materials important for the production of liquid hydrocarbons. This will strengthen Europe’s position in an increasingly competitive global environment in line with the objectives of the Lisbon Agenda. Prof Rodney Townsend, Chairman of the SUSCHEM European Technology Platform, endorsed the strategic importance of the initiative. “SusChem was delighted by the high quality of the project proposals that have been funded. Catalytic processes will be at the core of new sustainable technologies. The activities of ACENET provide leadership to support breakthroughs in this area of Innovations. We are therefore looking forward to continue our working relationship with ACENET in the future in the key areas for our industry and society.“ The six projects were chosen from some 30 funding applications received, on the criteria of outstanding scientific excellence, potential impact on sustainable industrial enterprise, and the quality of the consortium. ACENET has also established plans for monitoring and steering the projects through to fruition. Prof Krijn de Jong, of Utrecht University, praised the project application and selection process: ”In contrast to other European calls for proposals, the ACENET call provided funding opportunities for relatively small project consortia via a quick, clear and simple process.“ Catalytic technologies are used in every aspect of manufacturing of fuels, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals, as well as food production, cleaning products, and pollution control. Applied Catalysis is a highly interdisciplinary science encompassing not only chemistry and chemical engineering, but also materials sciences, reaction engineering and other fields. It has a large potential to address many areas of socio-economic activity and the key challenges facing Europe today: challenges such as sustainability and sustainable production, renewable energy and climate and environmental protection. Applied Catalysis therefore has a major on-going impact on world-wide economic and social prosperity and is a vital enabling technology for Europe. ACENET, the “Applied Catalysis European NETwork” which was launched in 2004, is a prime example of the ERANET scheme, which the European Commission created within its Sixth Framework Programme to improve the coordination of national research activities between European States. Ministries and agencies from France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom are collaborating within ACENET, co-ordinated by ACTS, the platform for Advanced Chemical Technologies for Sustainability of the Netherlands’ Organisation for Scientific Research NWO (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek), ACENET’s programme will continue through to 2010. During these two coming years there will be a second call for transnational research projects, developments in the network’s education programme, and a joint roadmapping initiative aimed at further strengthening the collaboration between the national ministries and funding agencies.For further information about any aspect of ACENET, including the full list of granted projects, please consult “” or please contact: ACENET Coordination and Secretariat Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) Dr. Louis Vertegaal ACENET Coordinator Director Chemistry Council, Council for Physical Sciences and ACTS Dr. Arlette Werner 51, Anna van Saksenlaan P.O. Box 93223 NL-2509 AE The Hague The Netherlands Tel: +31 (0)70 3440835 Fax: +31 (0)70 3440787 E-mail: Disclaimer This press release contains forward-looking statements pertaining to ACENET. There are a number of factors that could affect the future operations of ACENET and could cause these results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements included in this press communiqué. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this disclaimer. Results could differ materially from those stated, implied or inferred from the forward-looking statements contained in this press communiqué and readers should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of this press release.


Transnational research projects


Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal