What is SusChem?
SusChem is the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry. It was created in 2004 as a joint initiative between Cefic, DECHEMA, EuropaBio, GDCh, ESAB and RSC with the main objective to revitalise and inspire European chemistry and industrial biotechnology research, development and innovation in a sustainable way.
Creating solutions together
A European Technology Platform (ETP) is, in essence, a mechanism to bring together all interested stakeholders in a particular sector to develop a long-term vision addressing specific challenges, creating a coherent, dynamic strategy to achieve that vision, and steering the implementation of an action plan to optimise benefits for all parties and society.
SusChem addresses challenges that are specific to the European chemical and industrial biotechnology industry, but also addresses challenges that apply to European society as a whole. We see a European chemical and industrial biotechnology industry that is highly ecologically efficient and competitive through technology leadership and innovation. We see an industry that is seen as a reliable, safe and responsible partner in society. To achieve this vision, SusChem brings together people from across the chemical community and wider society to formulate research and innovation roadmaps.
Sustainable innovation – our priority
Chemistry is the central science. The European chemical sector remains world leading and is already a critical driver of innovation across other industrial sectors. This puts the chemical community in a position to lead large-scale innovation initiatives that can provide sustainable solutions to Europe’s grand challenges.
SusChem fully supports the Innovation Union and the goals of the EUROPE 2020 Strategy. The SusChem priority areas follow therefore the path laid by the Innovation Union with four of them addressing direct technical innovation areas and two supporting areas.
Resource and energy efficiency – the chemical industry has a long track record of ‘doing more with less’. By developing an integrated resource efficiency strategy throughout the process industries, input resources (including raw materials, renewable feedstock, energy, water), all processes, all output materials (including products, by-products, waste streams) and recycle options can be significantly optimised.
Water – as one of the biggest water consumers and one of the largest providers of water treatment materials, chemistry can help boost innovation in various sectors by improving efficiency and management of abstraction, consumption and recycling of water for its urban, rural and industrial uses.
Raw materials – to secure future supplies of raw materials requires increased reuse, recycling and intelligent substitution with new materials: all areas where sustainable chemistry is an essential element.
Smart cities – improved quality of life in urban areas can be achieved by deployment of low carbon and eco-friendly technologies, by boosting innovation in buildings and in energy generation, storage and use and by looking into innovative mobility concepts.
Enabling technologies – SusChem’s three enabling technologies (Industrial Biotechnology, Materials Technology, and Reaction and Process Design) will be essential to support sustainable innovation in all areas of the Innovation Union.
Education – developing programmes to ensure the European workforce has the right technical, business and personal skills is an essential step to delivering smart inclusive economic growth. These strategic priorities can help deliver the boost to future competitiveness and sustainable growth that Europe needs.