Brussels, 18 October 2017 - The SusChem Board announced Dr. Markus Steilemann as the new Chair, succeeding Dr. Klaus Sommer who served six years in this position.
Steilemann, who will lead the Board in managing SusChem’s strategy and activities, brings valuable expertise in innovation and management. He is the Chief Commercial Officer of material producer Covestro and - since 2015 - a member of the Covestro Board of Management. His responsibilities encompass all commercial functions, including innovation and the company’s three segments: Polyurethanes, Polycarbonates and Coatings, Adhesives and Specialties. Steilemann holds a PhD in Chemistry and started his career at the Bayer Group, where he moved to various management positions at the former Bayer MaterialScience, which has become Covestro in 2015.
“I am honoured to take the leadership of SusChem at a time when new strategies in the European research and innovation policy, missions and funding beyond 2020 are being designed,” Steilemann said, adding that SusChem is already working together with the European Commission on the preparation of the next EU Framework Programme after Horizon 2020. “The role of the chemical industry should feature prominently in it as the crucial link between scientific breakthroughs and societal challenges for delivering impact. The disruptive technologies needed to transform our economy and society towards a more sustainable future will be enabled through chemistry,” Steilemann underlined.
SusChem is a driving force behind the EU strategy for Key Enabling Technologies. Under Dr. Sommer’s leadership its strategy was refocused and its role for accelerating innovation reinforced. It now includes 14 national technology platforms, connecting national and regional sustainable chemistry initiatives and developing synergies with EU policy and funding schemes. Sommer played a decisive role in the discussions, initiated by SusChem, which lead to the establishment of the SPIRE Public-Private Partnership in the process industry.
Note to editors : Established in 2004 jointly by Cefic, DECHEMA, EuropaBio, ESAB, the German Chemical Society and the Royal Society for Chemistry (UK), SusChem is a forum that brings together industry, academia, policy makers and the wider society. Its mission is to initiate and inspire European chemical and biochemical innovation to respond effectively to societal’s challenges by providing sustainable solutions.
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