Last week, the European Commission, the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), and the European Association for Bioindustries (EuropaBio) joined forces to launch a new initiative on sustainable chemistry.
The initiative--an industry-led technology platform on sustainable chemistry--brings together leading chemical industries and the emerging biotechnology sector. The aim is to attract investment in chemistry R&D and innovation in Europe through a strategic research agenda that will include collaborative research in selected technology areas.
"The European chemical industry has an impressive track record of developing new products and manufacturing processes," European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin said. "But the challenge is to improve the transformation of laboratory ideas into new sustainable products and services to boost [European Union] competitiveness."
The group will tackle barriers to innovation, as well as constraints such as skill resources, public acceptance, and access to risk capital. It will also address research on health, safety, and environmental aspects of new technology, including alternatives to animal testing. Three subplatforms will be featured: industrial biotechnology, materials technology, and reaction and process design.
The technology platform will be a main feed for the chemical sciences into the EC's planning for its new Research Framework Program, scheduled for publication next year. It is also expected to help mobilize additional and dedicated funds from the EC's ongoing research framework programs.