A great success. This was Ecochem, the event on sustainable chemistry and bio-based economy which was held in Basel November 19 to 21. The three-day conference saw the presence of the major players (more than 2000 attendees and approximately 200 speakers) of the global bioeconomy: the chemical industry which is investing strongly into biotechnology. But also giants of other sectors, like Nike that has begun research programs for the use of biological resources in its products, strategic consulting firm like McKinsey – which confirmed that the future of the chemical industry will be green and sustainable – young biotech companies like the German Evocatal and the Portuguese SilicoLife, and investors like Sofinnova and Capricorn Venture.
“The chemicals market is changing. Fast. Society wants all the benefits that the chemical industry provides with none of the negative health and environmental problems and consumers increasingly demand products and processes that are more sustainable”, say the organisers, the British company Vego Ltd.
Ecochem was an opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities which are rapidly emerging, which require new thinking, new ways of working together throughout value chains and across disciplines, new products and technologies and new ways to remove barriers.
In Basel, market leaders including Dow, BASF, Clariant, Evonik, DuPont, Nestle, Nike, Volkswagen, P&G, Novartis, L’Oreal, ThyssenKrupp, Novamont, Versalis-ENI and M&G Group shared “insight, breakthrough research, and disruptive new concepts and technologies – all designed to inspire and equip the leaders of tomorrow with the critical strategic and technical knowledge, contacts and skills needed to reinvent businesses and economies”.
The strong message that comes from Ecochem is that to compete in the third millennium, Europe will have to work together, ensure regulatory stability and adopt a suitable logistical structure. But above all, focus firmly on research and innovation. According Pike Research, a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets, the Green Chemistry market will grow from 2.8 billion dollars in 2011 to 98.5 billion by 2020.