The main objective is the modernization of the chemical industry to a sustainable, energy- and resource efficient sector that is globally competitive and that provides innovative solutions.


Watch the contribution made by the S3 Chemicals Partnership on the 7th of July 2020 in the frame of the European Alliance Against Coronavirus  
The focus area of this thematic partnership is the Chemical Industry and its related industries. The main objective is the modernisation of the chemical industry to a sustainable, energy- and resource efficient sector that is globally competitive and that provides innovative solutions.

Formed under the European Chemical Regions Network (ECRN), this thematic area partnership has been developed on the ground of the inter-regional collaboration. ECRN is a network of regional authorities across Europe where chemical industry plays a key role for regional economic growth. The network has more than 10 years of experience in connecting chemical regions and their stakeholders across borders.

The sub-objectives of this partnership are to develop solutions on:
  • Sustainable production based on renewable raw materials and clean energy (decarbonised fossil energy and solar- and wind power)
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions (mainly CO2) and energy and resources consumption in chemical plants
  • Promoting new high value-added value chains and their integration across regional borders and across sectors, such as logistics, agriculture, forestry, energy, etc., in a way that complementarities of regional specialisations are utilized
  • Supporting close-to-the-market products, scale-ups, pilot and demo plants.

Key priority areas have been defined by the partners.

Work Process 

In order to enable a focused discussion within smaller groups, the partners split in 4 thematic working groups.

A thorough mapping of regional trends, needs and opportunities, as well as relevant actors in the value chain, infrastructure and markets will be performed in each working group. This will provide an overview of the existing expertise and opportunities for co-operation and investment projects. Each working group will further concentrate its aims on a list of projects related to new technologies, production methods, smart materials or business models.

To achieve a ‘demand-driven’ approach, participating regions have reached out to regional industrial representatives and technical experts. Mobilising broad stakeholders’ participation and contribution is an important part of the partnership work. By improving cooperation and the business case for investment, the partners will facilitate the combination of public and private funding in joint projects.

ECRN supports the Smart Specialisation Platform for Industrial Modernisation and manages this thematic area, by bringing its expertise in smart specialisation, partnership building and stakeholder involvement.

Thematic working areas

Partners deepened their priorities and selected 5 project ideas on which the Thematic Area will focus its energy.

  • Alternative feedstock

Valorisation of agro-food biomass (by Assolombarda, Lombardy)
Electric cracking technology (by Brightlands Chemelot Campus, Limburg)

  • Polymers

Plastics recycling (by Brightlands Materials Center, Limburg)

  • Chemical recycling

Chemical Recycling (pyrolysis) (by Unipetrol Centre for Research and Education (UniCRE), Usti)

  • Sustainable process technology

Flow Chemistry (by Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ))

List of regions involved

Contact details of the leading regions

ECRN Network and Policy coordinator, ECRN Secretariat

Contact details of JRC

Related documents

Monitoring reports containing a management report and a progress report prepared by the lead regions are available here:
Monitoring report Chemicals July-December 2020
(277 KB - PDF)

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