The European Commission published a Strategic Research and Innovation Plan (SRIP) to accelerate the shift to safe and sustainable chemicals and materials. In order to boost the protection of people and the planet against hazardous substances, the SRIP highlights crucial research and innovation needs for this transition and guides funders in their investments.
In addition to listing the research and innovation needs for the whole life cycle of such chemicals and materials, SRIP also provides guidance on how to make the most of such R&I activities. The aim is to encourage and guide funders in EU, national and private financial programmes. It reflects the priorities of authorities, scientists and companies alike.
Mariya Gabriel Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:
"Protecting people and the planet calls for a strategic approach. We can harness a big economic opportunity by focusing on safe and sustainable chemicals and materials. European industry can gain a competitive advantage and win consumers’ confidence by investing in such innovative solutions."
The Commission will refer to the SRIP in the upcoming Horizon Europe work programme 2023-2024 expected to be adopted before the end of the year, as an overarching strategy. In order to maximize SRIP’s impact the Commission sets out a monitoring scheme for its implementation.
The zero-pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment is one of the four interlinked policy goals of the European Green Deal. Underlining the role of research and innovation the Commission recently published a report on how Horizon 2020 project results help us to preserve biodiversity, while keeping land, water and air clean.
The SRIP, first announced in the 2020 Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability and part of the Green Deal zero pollution ambition , identifies research and innovation (R&I) areas crucial for boosting the transition to chemicals and materials that are safe and sustainable. It provides a comprehensive outlook of R&I needs from production to (re)use, disposal and the decontamination of our environment.
The Chemicals Strategy aims to tackle the dual challenge of answering to Europe’s need for essential substances and protecting human health and the environment. The EU must have access to these chemicals and materials and achieve its Green Deal goals in a time when manufacturing and supply chains are increasingly complex. In this context, developing a strategic approach to research and innovation for safe and sustainable chemicals and materials is also an economic opportunity.
David Spichiger, SCS