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1 Strengthening innovation in chemical clusters Andrea Tilche European Commission DG Research Head of the Unit « Environmental Technologies and Pollution.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Strengthening innovation in chemical clusters Andrea Tilche European Commission DG Research Head of the Unit « Environmental Technologies and Pollution."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Strengthening innovation in chemical clusters Andrea Tilche European Commission DG Research Head of the Unit « Environmental Technologies and Pollution Prevention »

2 2 The current economic downturn Not a cyclic crisis Need for a more strategic approach to design the recovery path Combination with the need to build a low- C economy Environmental Technologies and Eco- innovation become the key elements for future growth

3 3 All industry becomes green! eco-innovation, environmental technologies across all sectors Need fundamental transformations – not just add ons Make use of ecological principles: life-cycle, diversity, symbiosis, resilience, bio-compatible, networking, etc. All in all, in the future all innovation should also be eco-innovation Vision for Tomorrow

4 4 From Eco-Innovation to Innovation: assuring that green is really green The potential environmental impacts of an innovation should be already assessed at the phase of conceptual development (eco-design). This require the implementation of specific evaluation criteria based on Life Cycle Thinking. Before an innovation is scaled-up from pilot to demonstration scale, an assessment based on robust Life Cycle Assessment methodologies should be carried out in order to verify if the innovation is an eco- innovation.

5 5 Huge challenges for the European Chemicals Industry International competition Costs of feedstock Climate change Creating skills Financial markets...

6 6 What to do in Europe The Chemicals Industry in Europe is still the larger in terms of world market share with respect to other competing areas, but... Its market share is decreasing It is relocating in other parts of the world Its competitiveness is at stake

7 7 What is our competitive advantage Europe cannot compete for lower salaries, for cheap resources or for relaxed environmental quality standards Europa can compete for its knowledge base, its research potential, its skills, its potential of growing new skills, its organisational capability at regional level and along the value chain, its first class infrastructures

8 8 How to reverse the trend? INNOVATION is the only European asset that can make the difference More investments in high-tech sectors Start-up programmes in Universities linked to chemical entrepreneurship programmes Promotion of Public-Private-Partnerships and Open innovation schemes Better exploitation of funding opportunities along the innovation chain Focus on excellence – clusters and regions

9 9 The importance of clustering/networking 3 main types of innovation clusters and networks may exist: –At thematic level –At regional/local level –Along the value chain

10 10 Thematic clusters To share basic research costs To share costs of development in open innovation schemes To promote and share logistics To share production facilities …

11 11 Regional/local clusters To develop industrial Ecology schemes To improve energy and resource efficiency To share logistics To make better use of local/regional high education, training and research facilities and infrastructures

12 12 Clusters along the value chain To better target the specific needs To ensure product sustainability To maximise the resource use To ensure efficiency at all levels To maximise quality through specialisation

13 13 Is innovation facilitated by clustering? Succesful innovation is a complex process, based on a combination of factors where clustering may play a major role: –Scientific and Technological developments –Availability of skills –Market conditions –Regulatory environment –Business models –Risk capital availability

14 14 A new model: the EIT The European Institute of Innovation and Technology proposes a model of full integration of the knowledge triangle of research, innovation and education First Knowledge and Innovation Clusters (KICs) – on energy, climate change and ICT - to be launched within 2009, and new ones after 2012

15 15 Thanks for your attention! andrea.tilche@ec.europa.eu


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