On 11 December the European Commission’s much anticipated Horizon 2020 programme was launched with the announcement its first calls by Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science. Horizon 2020 will be the largest European Union Research and Innovation programme so far with a budget of almost €80 billion for the period 2014 – 2020. Chemistry is key SusChem sees Horizon H2020 as a key turning point for research and innovation in Europe and as a major opportunity for sustainable chemistry. The funding available for all aspects of chemistry research and innovation activities in Horizon 2020 will be greater than for its predecessor programme FP7 (2007 – 2013), which in turn was greater than its predecessor FP6 (2004 – 2007). The European Union has also demonstrated a major commitment to EU industry-driven research and innovation in Horizon 2020 through its support for significant Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs). These include the Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency (SPIRE) PPP - a Cefic-SusChem flagship programme - and the Bio-Based Industries Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) - a SusChem-inspired proposal. Sustainable chemistry is a key enabling technology to ensure competitiveness in Europe and a vital component of almost all value chains across the continent. Stepping up It is now vital that European chemistry-based industry and research institutions respond positively to this opportunity and challenge. In Horizon 2020 the portfolio of funding schemes has been simplified and the bureaucracy and other barriers to participation – especially for SMEs - have been significantly reduced. And Cefic and SusChem are here to help. During FP7 SusChem initiated and inspired sustainable chemistry projects with total funding in excess of € 1 billion. Following its very successful pre-brokerage event in October, SusChem has scheduled a further Brokerage event for 31 January in Brussels. Don’t miss out – register today! A specially created Grant-it web portal – a virtual gateway to all European Union funds for the sustainable chemistry sector – will be launched to SusChem stakeholders and Cefic members next week. The first relevant calls for Horizon 2020 are already being uploaded to this portal. Commenting on the launch Dr Gernot Klotz, Cefic executive director for research and innovation and SusChem board member, said: “The chemical industry welcomes Horizon 2020 and applauds this ambitious commitment to fund excellent science and innovation activities in Europe”. Horizon 2020 has an enhanced focus on innovation to ensure that more of Europe’s excellent research ideas are swiftly transferred into successful products and services in the global market. “This offers a huge opportunity to boost jobs and growth and increase the competitiveness of the European Union” continued Klotz.
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