Participation of ECRN in a workshop on “the Future of Industry in Europe - Challenges and Instruments for Local and Regional Authorities”, 2nd of May in Brussels
ECRN will be represented by its Executive Board Member Mr. Daniel Collet in a workshop organised by the Committee of the Regions on 2 May 14:15-18:00 o’clock at the premises of the CoR.
Mr. Collet will be a speaker in Panel 1 “Challenges and opportunities in the industrial modernisation process”, having by his side representatives from the European Commission, Committee of the Regions and the European Policy Centre. The second panel will be devoted to instruments supporting industrial development – the importance of network – where DG GROW, ERRIN and Interreg Europe representatives will be among the panellists.
Regions and regional ecosystems are identified as crucial to voice the key gaps and opportunities on which policy could focus when charting a strategic vision for European industry. Thus, regional and local actors are warmly invited to participate. The registration for the event is now open and you can save your spot and see the preliminary agenda following the link. The registration deadline is 27 April.
Getting closer to the regions: Regional visits of ECRN Secretariat continue with a visit to Province of Limburg and Brightlands Chemelot Campus.
ECRN Director Ms Krcova together with the CEO of AMIBM, Mr Richard Ramakers
In line with her attempt to better understand regional challenges and best practices, the new director of ECRN participated in a visit to Brightlands Chemelot Campus and the Aachen Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM), organized in cooperation with the regional government of Province Limburg, the Netherlands, on 30th March. Among the invited guests were also Mrs Katrin Budde, member of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), and rapporteur on CoR’s Position Paper on Bioeconomy; as well as Mr Thomas Wobben, Director for Legislative Works in CoR. The field visit was combined with a dinner hosted by Minister Twan Beurskens responsible for Economy and Knowledge infrastructure in Province Limburg.
Province of Limburg represents an inspiring case for regional development and competitiveness based on a cluster approach supporting triple-helix cooperation between the regional government, knowledge institutions, start-ups and corporations. Among the success factors that drive the world-class position of Brightlands Chemelot Campus, located in the Province, is its open innovation ecosystem, including talent development (education near industry) and development of campus community of scientists, students, entrepreneurs, facility managers, etc. This environment is supported by state-of-the-art facilities such as laboratories, pilot plants, conferences centers, as well as business support service.
The Province of Limburg has been one of the partners providing funding for SMEs and innovations in the campus, for example through the Limburg Innovation Fund and the initiative LimburgMakers where the regional government partnered with the Chamber of Commerce, and the Limburg Development and Investment Company (LIOF). The campus also receives contribution from the European Regional Development Fund.
More information about the Brightlands Chemelot Campus can be obtained from the presentation of Mr. Frank Schaap, Director Business Development and Acquisition and about AMIBM from the presentation of Mr. Richard Ramakers, AMIBM CEO here. More details about Limburg’s campus support initiatives and regional innovation strategy are available here.
ECRN General Assembly 2017 convenes in Brussels
The ECRN members came together to review past activities and approve general guidelines for the next months.
During the first months of 2017, ECRN has already contributed to the European Commission’s REACH REFIT evaluation, finalised a position paper on EU ETS and is currently following up on the
discussion with Member States’ Permanent Representations and MEPs in the European Parliament.
Moreover, the network cooperates with the Committee of the Regions on bioeconomy. ECRN has contributed to COR’s upcoming opinion on
the local and regional dimension of the bioeconomy and the role of cities and regions and will be bringing more regional voices to the discussion in an event organized in Brussels in June.
Bioeconomy and circular economy will also be featured on the agenda of ECRN members’ ongoing S3Chem-project’s dissemination conference, which will take place on 17 May in Milan.
Other issues currently on the network’s agenda include industrial policy and digitisation of European industry, which were discussed at an event with representatives from industry and European
institutions just before the General Assembly.
Regions and EU Officials exchange views on Digitising European Industry
In order to highlight the perspectives of the chemical regions in the context of the ongoing discussions in the European Parliament on Digitising European Industry,
ECRN organized a thematic roundtable on “Digitising European Industry – Unlocking the potential of industrial transformation in the regions” in the European Parliament on 22 March 2017.
The event was hosted by MEP Massimiliano Salini, and during a morning of intense discussions, views were presented from DG GROW, DG CONNECT and DG REGIO of the European Commission,
the Committee of the Regions, the industry, as well as ECRN members and regional representatives.
The objective of the event was to increase the awareness among ECRN regions of EU-level policy development and to showcase examples of regional experiences. By bringing together a
rich pallet of actors from various backgrounds – the EU institutions, industry and regional representatives, the event provided an effective learning platform through exchange of views
and expertise. The participants discussed the opportunities that EU initiatives open for regions and regional cooperation in the field of digitization, the role of public-private
partnerships as well as the role of regions for supporting cluster initiatives. More information is available here.
ECRN contributes to consultation on REACH REFIT evaluation
ECRN has submitted a response to the European Commission’s public consultation in relation to the REACH REFIT evaluation.
While the chemical regions see great value in REACH and support the measures taken in terms of REACH implementation,
there is also a need to address issues related to challenges faced by SMEs, supply chain communication, impacts of REACH on competitiveness,
as well as consistency of implementation and stability of the regulatory framework. The ECRN response is available
EU Industry Day stimulates debate on European industrial policy
ECRN Director Renatka Krcova (right)
and Network and Policy Coordinator
Miia Itänen (left) at EU Industry Day
The European Chemical Regions Network (ECRN) participated in the EU Industry Day on 28 February 2017 to discuss the future of European industry with 400 participants, high level policy makers, influencers and industry representatives. The EU Industry Day was the first of its kind, aimed at taking stock of existing actions to support industry in contributing to jobs and growth in Europe and stimulating debate on a comprehensive EU Industrial Policy.
ECRN supports a strategic approach to industrial competitiveness and will continue to participate in and contribute to further discussions and policy development. Strong and coherent industrial policy at the European level is also in the interests of the European chemical regions, and regional actors are ready and willing to play their part in the way working towards a common strategy. More information about the event here.
EU Industry Day (photo by DG
for Internal Market, Industry,
Entrepreneurship and SMEs)
ECRN promotes the views of the chemical regions on ETS
Ahead of the starting trialogue, ECRN has met with various representatives from Member States’ Permanent Representations to discuss the Emission Trading System (ETS) reform. The ECRN Director, Renatka Krcova and Lieven Top (Flanders) as the representative of the member regions have had fruitful discussions on the state of play with representatives of the UK, Italy and Germany.
In the coming weeks, ECRN will continue to highlight the interests
of the chemical regions by promoting the regional views also to the European Parliament and the MEPs.
ECRN position on ETS is outlined here.
ECRN welcomes Antonio Tajani as the President of the European Parliament
The European Chemical Regions Network (ECRN) welcomes the election of Antonio Tajani as the
President of the European Parliament. See the full statement of the ECRN President Fabrizio
ECRN President and Director visit Düsseldorf for a meeting with the German regions
The ECRN President Fabrizio Sala (Lombardy) opened ECRN’s new year on 16 January with his first regional visit. The visit was hosted by the region of North Rhine-Westphalia in Düsseldorf, where all the German ECRN member regions had the chance to exchange ideas and discuss priorities for 2017. The meeting with the German regions was complemented by an additional meeting between Mr. Sala and the ECRN Vice President Twan Beurskens (Limburg) to discuss key policy issues and other updates.
This regional visit was the first one also for the new Director of the ECRN Secretariat, Renatka Krcova, who outlined the elements of the ECRN action plan for 2017 to the members during the meeting. Visits and meetings in the regions will continue throughout the year, and all ECRN members will come together for the first Permanent Working Group meeting of the year on 1 February 2017 in Brussels.
ECRN views on sustainability presented in 4° Conferenza Chimica Sostenibile (Milan)
The fourth annual conference on sustainable chemistry was organized by Federchimica on 1 December 2016 in Milan. ECRN was represented in the event by Folco Ciulli (Lombardy), who presented ECRN and examples from the European chemical regions on the topic. See the presentations and more information about the event here.
ECRN President meets the Chair of ITRE
ECRN President Fabrizio Sala, ITRE Chair Jerzy Buzek and MEP Massimiliano Salini
On 9 November, ECRN President Fabrizio Sala exchanged views on industrial policy, REACH, and the competitiveness of the European chemical regions with Jerzy Buzek, the chairman of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) in the European Parliament.
President Sala highlighted the ways ECRN can contribute to European policy making, underlining in particular the vast experience, knowledge and innovation capacities embedded in the regional economies. Possibilities for joint events or other future activities were also addressed, as ECRN is keen to actively participate in discussions on chemicals policy and regulation, as well as policy areas such as industrial modernization, SMEs, research, innovation and skills development, energy, and circular economy.
New Director at the ECRN Secretariat in Brussels
As of November 2016, the ECRN Secretariat in Brussels will continue to support chemical regions and regional actors under the leadership of a new Director, Renatka Krcova. She takes over the position from Dr. Hanny Nover, who retires after years of dedication to interregional cooperation and competitiveness of European chemical regions.
The ECRN Executive Board and all ECRN members welcome Ms. Krcova to ECRN and look forward planning future activities together. Renatka Krcova joins ECRN with a long experience of working in the European Parliament and being engaged in EU policy development.
Workshop on Gaseous Industrial Effluents as Non-Fossil Feedstock for Sustainable Chemicals Production
ECRN collaborated with the European Commission (DG GROW) on a workshop on "Gaseous Industrial Effluents as Non-Fossil Feedstock for Sustainable Chemicals Production" on 9 November 2016.
During the workshop, we provided information about different activities in different European Regions on re-using CO2 and other industrial gaseous effluents as a feedstock, and discussed ways to facilitate the energy challenge by providing stored energy at a large scale and offering a solution to inter-seasonal challenges of supply and demand; decrease GHG emissions; boost the resource efficient use of gaseous resources and exchanged views on the different aspects of the related policy framework. Views on a systemic approach to support such activities and new forms of industrial symbiosis using such feedstock for the manufacturing of more sustainable chemicals were also addressed.
The event was hosted by ECRN member Lombardy in their representation in Brussels. For more information, see here.
New President of ECRN
After elections in the ECRN General Assembly on 16 June 2016, the ECRN has a new President: Fabrizio Sala from Lombardy. The meeting was hosted in the the Representation of North Rhine-Westphalia in Brussels and preceded by an Executive Board meeting (16 June) and a Permanent Working Group meeting (15 June). In addition to the change of presidency, the ECRN members elected a new Executive Board, adopted the annual action plan and budget of the network, and discussed other strategic issues and plans for future activities.
Mr. Sala is accompanied in the new ECRN Executive Board by Jörg Felgner (Saxony-Anhalt, ECRN Vice President), Twan Beurskens (Limburg, ECRN Vice President), Daniel Collet (Wallonia, ECRN Treasurer), and Marcin Wajda (Mazovia). The inaugural speech of Mr. Sala, the new ECRN President, is available here.