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Chemical Regions for Resource Efficiency, R4R: Improving research and cooperation in the areas of resources and energy efficiency in the Chemicals Industry

Periodic Report Summary 1 - R4R (Chemical Regions for Resource Efficiency, R4R: Improving research and cooperation in the areas of resources and energy efficiency in the Chemicals Industry)

Project Context and Objectives:
Global chemicals and manufacturing industries are at the core of our modern industrial society, developing and producing the key chemicals, materials, medicines and products that allow us achieve ever better standards of living. A large part of these precious products are created by chemists using energy and a range of simple materials which come from nature, i.e. minerals, water, air, natural gas and petroleum. The current mainstream wave of societal concerns and innovation policies offer real opportunities to rejuvenate and transform chemical and process industries into eco-efficient high-technologies solution providers.

Switching to bio-based feedstock
Improving efficiency of processes
Recycle wasted materials
Looking at industry with an integrated approach ensuring synergies between sectors

Launched in November 2012 under the funded Research and Innovation Programme from the European Commission for a three years period, Chemical Regions for Resource Efficiency (R4R) is the project that will overcome the European fragmentation of ambitious and innovative regions. Through its methodology, R4R could lead the path to promising and positive impacts on resource efficiency.

R4R will achieve a major step improvement in regional and transnational cooperation among the participating regions and R4R will develop practices, tools and examples which shall be easily disseminated to and adopted by multiple European regions to improve regional and cross-regional collaboration in general, and on resource efficiency in the process industry in particular.

Last but not least, R4R will create the platform for international collaboration on resource efficiency with clusters in third countries to improve and accelerate innovation and promote European eco-innovative technologies globally.

Project Results:
The first phase of R4R was about to get to know each other and each other’s regions and to analyse the regions state of play and potential. The first 6 month of the project the partners have mainly been working with the analysis and therewith laid the basement for the next steps of the project and main objective of R4R: the formulation and implementation of regional and a Joint Action Plan (JAP) to make chemical regions more resource efficient.
In September 2014 we kick-started the next phase of R4R during our project meeting in Gothenburg 9th to 10th September 2013 and the WP3 cluster conference and workshop on the 11th September 2013 where the Definition of Joint Action Plan (JAP) was started. The JAP was finalised in April 2014 and the partners of R4R are now working with measures towards the implementation of the JAP. In parallel several partners are mentoring and supporting our Polish mentor region.

Potential Impact:
Through its core methodology, R4R will highlight and identify the good practices from 6 European regions to accelerate innovation in resource and energy technologies. By addressing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats from an economic, innovation, research and innovation and innovation policy perspective, R4R will boost business opportunities for regional SMEs by identifying and promoting successful innovation systems, mechanisms, processes and incentives.

Several ongoing SMEs initiatives at regional and European level involving key R4R partners will be selected for analysis, dissemination and integration in the regional Joint Action Plan. The successful and advanced initiatives identified with R4R will offer concrete efficient practices for chemical regions engaged in the project. In the long term, R4R will set a package of tools useful for SMEs to help them in identifying new business opportunities.

R4R will also open the floor to an international cooperation by connecting with relevant clusters outside Europe to ensure the development of a wide resource efficiency Community. Doing so, R4R will pave the way to improve and accelerate innovation and promote European eco-innovative technologies on global scope.

Breakthrough ambitions:
Reduce the dependency on fossil feedstock: a 10-fold increase in the use of bio renewable raw materials as feedstock by 2030.
A major efficiency improvement in the process industries CO2 footprint of up to 50% by 2030.
By 2030, a reduction of 20% in raw materials net use per end application versus current levels.
A 30% reduction in primary energy consumption from the current levels by 2030.

List of Websites: