Stakeholders of the Technology Platform on Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem) today unveiled their Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) and three future scenarios demonstrating the value of innovations in chemistry.
Based on a common vision, the SRA aims at responding to the challenges faced by the chemical sector in the next 20 years, while shaping solutions to critical societal demands.
According to a statement, the SRA outlined chemistry and industrial biotechnology’s contribution to sustainable European growth and competitiveness. The future products of chemistry, including areas such as nanomaterials, biotechnology and environmentally benign processes, will be central to the development of solutions to today’s and tomorrow’s main societal needs and challenges.
“Innovation in chemistry is key to answering the needs of tomorrow’s society,” said Alfred Oberholz, Chair of the SusChem Board and Member of the Board of Management, Degussa AG. “This research agenda will help focus European research spending on the areas of chemistry that have the most potential to positively impact Europe’s competitiveness, growth and sustainable development.”
In three detailed future scenarios, the SRA described concrete outcomes of sustainable chemistry in health care, energy efficient housing and industrial bioprocesses.
The energy-generating home scenario showed how smart materials and energy management can, for instance, help reduce heat loss, improve energy efficiency and transform kinetic energy into electricity. These technologies will turn tomorrow’s home into an independent mini power plant capable of exceeding its own energy requirements.
Personalised health care to meet the growing demands of an ageing society are another application of SusChem’s SRA. Using future nano and biotechnologies and materials, sustainable chemistry will help accelerate intervention using remote monitoring and intervention systems, improve diagnostics through advanced medical imaging techniques, and reduce the intrusiveness of the medical treatment overall.
And to help reduce the dependence of manufacturing on fossil resources, industrial biotechnology will transform biological inputs into energy and materials, thereby also potentially reducing emissions and waste in the industrial process.