In the presence of the European Commission (DG GROW, DG RTD, and DG CLIMA), the Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME), Regional Authorities, and Industry Representatives such as Plastics Europe and Cefic, ECRN hosted a Follow-up meeting of the European Sustainable Chemicals Support Service (ESCSS). The topic of sustainable chemical production has been attracting significant interest in European regions, which naturally raised the need to provide a place where stakeholders can meet and share each other’s experiences on their successes, challenges and most importantly the solutions to their challenges. The meeting was dedicated to three types of sustainable feedstock for the chemical industry: biomass, waste and industrial effluents that are explored through the EU-supported project – European Sustainable Chemicals Support Service. The focus of the meeting was on the regional role to attract investments and on real investment cases, taking place in regions already provided with support by the EC and beyond.
The Commission confirmed its vision for the regions as key actors in keeping the chemical industry in Europe and supporting its growth. DG GROW Head of Chemicals Unit, Luisa Prista, particularly pointed at the Commission’s efforts in 3 dimensions: encouraging the uptake of new feedstock that is regionally produced, focus on industrial symbiosis and the need to develop new business models and utilize the potential of ICT tools. From regional perspective, bioeconomy needs to be high on the political agenda in the regions, as a long-term commitment, and to be maintained as a priority through concrete projects, if the sustainable chemical production is to succeed. ECRN has been recognised as a strong partner of the European Commission in raising awareness about the potential of sustainable chemical production and in bringing stakeholders together. Our network has been referred to by DG GROW as a platform where other European regions can learn further about the project and the experiences of selected regions.