IHS Chemical Week


Chemical Industry Weekly Innovation News Round-up, Dec. 15

7:46 AM MST | December 15, 2011 | By ALEX SCOTT

Innovation was at the heart of discussions at the hugely successful closing ceremony for the International Year of Chemistry (IYC) which took place earlier this month in Brussels. At the meeting there was feeling of optimism among senior industry executives that policy makers now appreciate that the chemical industry is key to a sustainable future through technological development, and that the industry also presents a stable platform for jobs and economic growth.

Maire Goeghegan-Quinn, EU commissioner for research, innovation and science, in a presentation during the IYC closing ceremony put meat on the bones of the announcement that the EU will spend a staggering €80 billion ($108 billion) on its Horizon 2020 innovation and R&D program. Horizon 2020, which will provide funding for a broad range of projects with a chemical component, is set to become the largest research program in the world. The program is set to have a significant positive impact on chemistry research in Europe.

In other news, Yale University chemists have founded a renweable surfactants firm making a new class of surfactants.

Shell has provided an update on its diphenyl carbonate technology - the firm is to build a demonstration plant for the process in Singapore. The technology has significant commercial potential.

Chemtura has begun commercial production of Emerald 1000, a new flame retardant.

Look out for a cover story in the print edition of Chemical week on R&D which will be published online shortly. The feature, titled 'R&D: Spending Goes Up' ranks the 50 chemical companies spending the most on R&D. Spending among the top 50 companies - as the research shows - is on the up.

Beyond Chemical Week...

Speaking at the launch of the U.K.'s National Centre for Biorenewable Energy, Fuels and Materials (NNFCC)’s annual report, Jeremy Tomkinson, chief executive of NNFCC, says that biorenewables can buck the trend and beat the recession by creating prosperity, jobs and delivering sustainable solutions to a wide range of environmental and social issues; factors which will be key to the success of a low-carbon Britain.

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