The proposal focuses on the Speciality and Fines sector of the European Chemicals Industry. The 20,000 SMEs operating here represent 94% of all manufacturers and formulators, contributing 157bn pa to European GVA. Following a major review, these SMEs are under increasing pressure to produce, in a sustainable manner, chemical products which are ecologically safe and of low risk to health. In particular, the imminent REACH legislation (Regulation, Evaluation, Authorisation of Chemicals) seeks innovation in t he assessment and categorisation of all chemicals manufactured in Europe in terms of their toxicological and health impacts.
However, SME experience tends to revolve around traditional product lines and this group will experience difficulty and high costs in innovating their manufacturing in keeping with the new imperatives. Survival may be threatened, particularly in Speciality and Fines where a large grouping produces a multiplicity of products, all needing attention. Research will be focused here, on the Sustainability issues surrounding REACH. Green Chemistry alternatives will be introduced and innovative supply chain configurations developed around them, offering enhanced approaches to Sustainability.
A methodology will be developed to provide support t o SMEs in migrating towards REACH-compliant and Sustainable Futures. It will be the basis of an online, self-help Toolbox incorporating the research knowledge generated above. It will provide an entry point to identify gaps in their current level of preparedness and signpost approaches and tools to enable them to move cost-effectively to the more sustainable supply chains essential for the future. Dissemination and Training will be key aspects of TESS, leading to awareness of the issues and stimulating take -up and use of the Toolbox by SMEs. Initial industrial use is planned for the later stages and the partners will support more intensive exploitation for an extended period after project completion.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCollective - SMEs-Collective research projects