Category Archives: Uncategorized

We need to be more ambitious about research and innovation

In this opinion piece Pierre Barthélemy, Cefic executive director research and innovation, explains how Europe can close the gap on its global competitors in R&I and how the Commission’s next R&I framework programme, FP9, can help bring this about.Competitiveness and solutions to societal challenges are amongst the key priorities of the European Commission, directly addressing the concerns of the citizens. Horizon 2020 has been quite ambitious in tackling some of the societal challenges. However, in order to be more effective we should be even more ambitious about research and innovation.  Innovation can have an impact in all three dimensions of sustainable development: society, environment and the economy. Key focus areas for the chemical industry are energy and climate change, and resource scarcity, meaning that much of our innovation takes place in resource efficiency, circular economy and process intensification.The current structure of Horizon 2020 meets the need to get support for the entire “innovation value chain”— from front line research to breakthrough technology innovation and on to pilot scale demonstration of emerging solutions.   We need evolution, not revolution.  So, the next EU R&I Framework Programme should be built on Horizon 2020’s achievements. Moreover, the Commission should increase significantly the overall EU budget for research and innovation, strengthen the EU industrial leadership to guarantee sustainable application and implementation of European research, and continue financial incentives in the form of grants for all actors of the value chain, including small and large companies. Last but not least it should strive for better alignment among EU programmes and national initiatives.Industry lies at the core of the research and innovation ecosystem, and this applies even more so for the chemical industry, which is an enabler for many value chains.  Open innovation, based on collaboration with academia, research & technology organisations (RTOs), start-ups and SMEs, as well as customers, is a daily practice for us. Industry delivers impact. It takes science and knowledge out of the lab and deploys it on a wide scale, turning research and innovation into jobs, growth and benefits for citizens.The contractual public private partnerships, such as SPIRE and the Joint Technology Initiatives, and the bio-based industries joint undertaking (BBI), are one way industry can help make the EU research programmes more effective. These are unique platforms, pooling the diverse capabilities of both public and private partners and creating the critical mass for innovative breakthroughs. They also leverage the necessary funds for large-scale European projects within and beyond the research framework programmes.Let's block ads! (Why?)

Τύπος κατάφερε να κολλήσει το πέος του στα βάρη του γυμναστηρίου

Κανείς δεν μπορεί να καταλάβει πώς συνέβη, συνέβη όμως σε άλλο ένα απίστευτο κι όμως αληθινό περιστατικό.Κι ενώ τα βάρη είναι για τον όγκο, κάποιος σκέφτηκε να τα χρησιμοποιήσει προφανώς για άλλους σκοπούς, όταν συνέβη το μοιραίο.Αφήνοντας κατά μέρος πως η τρύπα στο κέντρο του βάρους είναι για να μπαίνει η μεταλλική μπάρα, στο μυαλό του λειτούργησε μάλλον ως υποκατάστατο.Η πυροσβεστική κατέφτασε λοιπόν εσπευσμένα, καθώς το πέος του άντρα κόλλησε στο βάρος και εγκλωβίστηκε. Ήταν στην πόλη Βορμς που συνέβη το μοιραίο, οι πυροσβέστες πήραν ωστόσο μια άλλου είδους εκδίκηση ανεβάζοντας στη σελίδα τους στο Facebook μια φωτογραφία με το κατεστραμμένο βάρος των 2,5 κιλών, έχοντας περάσει τρεις ώρες διαλύοντάς το με τη δέουσα προσοχή! Ναι, τρεις ολόκληρες ώρες.Ο άντρας είχε μεταφερθεί μάλιστα από το γυμναστήριο στο νοσοκομείο με το βάρος προσαρμοσμένο στην «οικογένειά» του, οι γιατροί δεν κατάφεραν ωστόσο τίποτα, όταν και κάλεσαν τους σκληροτράχηλους πυροσβέστες. Τρεις ώρες μετά, ήταν ελεύθερος.Η πυροσβεστική υπηρεσία έγραψε χαρακτηριστικά στο Facebook: «Παρακαλούμε, μη μιμείστε τέτοιες πράξεις»! Αν έγινε το πάθημα μάθημα, θα φανεί…Let's block ads! (Why?)

Optimizing Safety Through Leading Indicators

In the past, the most common way to measure the safety performance of a business was to look at “lagging” indicators. The number of incidents and injuries would be metrics tasked with painting a comprehensive picture of the EHS performance of an organization, even if they entirely were based on historic data. Lagging indicators are easy to measure, but typically offer insight into the outcome of a process only after an incident has taken place. That means they’re rather tricky to influence.Let’s think about our oldest of EHS friends: the numbers of incidents and injuries. They’re useful, sure, but only to measure safety performance to date. Thus, they’re of extremely limited use when attempting to improve future performance and prevent further incidents from taking place.Leading indicators can provide actionable EHS information that can help reduce risk and encourage teams to be more proactive in preventing incidents. You therefore can think of a leading indicator as a form of predictive analysis. Predictive data can go one step further than the “what” and “why” of an incident by giving an indication as to what might happen next.Research Into Leading IndicatorsWe recently worked with several companies on a leading indicator initiative. Each of these companies is applying a common approach to collect and analyze data from myriad risk-reduction activities such as incident investigations, near-miss reports, management system audits, risk assessments, assurance reviews, behavioral observations, field-level inspection programs, hazard analysis and many other processes. A recent analysis of a data set spanning 14 companies showed an average of 58 sources of data totaling millions of records over several years.On the surface, each of these organizations simply have been using a common “mechanism” to manage their own unique set of environmental, health, safety and sustainability risk-reduction processes and ultimately analyze the resulting data, i.e., the “outcome” (EHSS) data. However, at a deeper level, these companies not only are collecting data resulting from the outcomes (e.g., incident reports, injury details, spill quantities, near-miss types, root causes, audit results, assessment scores, inspection findings, etc.) but also the work practice behaviors reflecting the organization’s tendencies in executing such processes, such as the mean times between completion of critical process steps, rate of leadership involvement in nonmandatory proactive steps, distribution of employee involvement in proactive activities and more.With such a vast data set from both the outcomes and the work practice behaviors, these companies created a unique opportunity not only for themselves but also for anyone in the industry who is interested in finding the real leading indicators of performance – those activities, practices, factors, conditions, etc. – that are practically measurable and are proven to have a mathematical relationship to loss outcomes.[DD1] Drawing Leading Data from Lagging EventsIt has become common to find companies that have implemented an enterprise-wide incident database to collect data resulting from the outcomes of incidents. However, some companies also are executing corporate-wide incident management process improvement projects along with an information system that not only collects incident data, but also enables/facilitates each major step of the business process.As depicted in Figure 1 below, applying a risk-reduction solution for managing incident/near-miss events enables the full event life cycle – from front-line worker reporting events to leadership involvement and the remediation of action items – of the business process.SpheraFigure 1By comprehensively facilitating the entire risk-reduction cycle business process, the various levels of the workforce simply are carrying out the routine incident/near-miss work practice using a business process automation (BPA) tool. However, the byproduct of facilitating each major step of all near-misses and incident events on an integrated software platform is the ability to practically draw measurements from both the incident/near-miss event outcome data and the data reflecting the workers’ interaction with each step of those business processes.By analyzing the business process data to study the organizational treatment of these lagging events, leading metrics such as the percentage of the workforce involved in near-miss reporting, the ratio of near-miss to high-consequence reports, the rate of leadership participating in nonmandatory events, consistency of manager response to key steps, and many other potential Leading Indicators of culture and leadership can be created.Through this automation of lagging incident/near-miss business processes, the data for calculating both lagging outcome metrics and leading indicators is efficiently generated. The companies executing in this manner are achieving the ironic accomplishment of drawing leading data values from the occurrence of lagging incident/near-miss events.SpheraFigure 2 and Figure 3Integrating Key Work StepsMost companies deploy a vast array of different proactive business processes that fit the risk-reduction cycle pattern, ranging from formal corporate-level auditing processes to more casual field-level suggestion box/hazard ID type initiatives. Typically, the data resulting from the outcomes of such proactive activities is scattered throughout the organization on pieces of paper, spreadsheets, isolated databases and other nonintegrated systems, rendering broad measurements highly impractical.An enterprise-wide risk-reduction solution enables the integration of the key work practice steps and data elements across a wide array of different proactive processes.Per the previously mentioned average of 58 sources of activities fitting this pattern, [DD2] roughly 90 percent of those activities are proactive, assessment-based activities. By facilitating a wide array of processes on a common BPA tool, the data from both the outcomes of the activities and the work-practice behaviors is available for trending across previously segregated processes.With this approach, common measurements can be drawn from processes, which are routinely viewed as dissimilar. For example, the rate of employee participation per a behavioral-based safety (BBS) process can be combined with the rate of participation in other dissimilar processes such as risk assessments, hazard ID reports, inspections, self-assessments, walk-through audits and many others to calculate a comprehensive rate of proactive employee involvement, a key measure of reporting culture.In addition, the final major step for all risk reduction cycle activities entails the process of managing the action items required to install protective controls and ultimately reduce the risk. With efficient access to action item data from so many different processes, the leading indicator metrics that can be drawn from action item execution are broadly applicable and readily measurable as well.The Key: Buy-in From Operational ManagementGaining the support of top management is in the critical path for leading indicators to capture their fair share of this KPI landscape. In a recent workshop conducted with leaders in environment, health, safety and sustainability (EHSS) from several global operator and service companies in the energy industry, the overwhelming choice as the greatest obstacle to executing leading indicators was the propensity of top leadership to use lagging metrics in annual management performance objectives and in some cases as key components of manager incentive pay programs.In today’s cost-competitive marketplace, budgets already are tight. Therefore, convincing operational management to allocate the necessary resources for execution of the programs that support a leading indicator initiative is met with resistance rooted in skepticism. If you cannot convincingly demonstrate that investing in such “leading” activities will result in better EHSS performance, they won’t allocate the resources to execute such a program. To overcome this obstacle, the most effective leading indicators must meet the two following criteria:1. Minimize additional resources required for execution.2. Provide sufficient proof that executing leading indicators will improve EHSS performance.Practical, usable, efficiently calculated metrics with a strong value proposition are required to compel top leadership to give leading indicators a prominent place on the KPI score cards of operational management.The key components of leading indicators, which effectively may rival the practicality and importance of lagging metrics as KPIs to be executed on an enterprise scale are:Simple, close connectivity to the outcome/results.Objectively and reliably measurable.Interpreted by different groups in the same way.Broadly applicable across company operations.Easily and accurately communicated.Why do Lagging Metrics Still Dominate?Many companies are tracking and analyzing leading indicators in isolated areas of their businesses but few are applying leading indicators to rival the age-old incident rate as the primary KPI for judging an operation’s EHSS performance. One reason for this dominance is the practicality of having a near standard in producing a normalized performance metric, which can deliver an apples-to-apples comparison of loss rates across the enterprise.Whether a company uses a calculation similar to the OSHA standard or prefers the more internationally used denominator of 1 million exposure hours, the two key components of safety loss rate measurement – the number of incidents and the quantity of work hours – are much more broadly applicable and readily measurable, thus rendering this type of lagging indicator a more efficient and practical alternative.In addition to the convenience of lagging indicators, how many times have you heard: “It hasn’t happened here, so it is not a problem”? Given both this human reactionary tendency and the convenience of lagging metrics, leading indicators have quite a battle ahead if they are to gain equal share of the KPI landscape for operations management.About the authors: Carrie Young is vice president of Consulting Services at Sphera, and is an expert in providing environmental and safety performance improvement through the development of integrated management systems, analytics, organizational capability, enterprise software and governance. She has been helping companies with business process transformation and insights for over 20 years. Todd Lunsford is director of Process Improvement at Sphera, and serves operational excellence project advisor to Sphera customers, enabling them to make critical decisions using the insights gained from their business process data. Lunsford leads business process and usage assessments to advance operational excellence maturity, drawing upon years of experience leading global deployments of operation risk solutions.Let's block ads! (Why?)

Αυτή είναι η πιο άκυρη βουτιά που έχετε δει

Οι βουτιές από ψηλά σημεία και βράχους είναι ίσως από τις πιο διασκεδαστικές συνήθειες των διακοπών μας. Το αίσθημα της αδρεναλίνης κατακλύζει το σώμα μέχρι εκείνο να ακουμπήσει στο νερό. Δεν είναι λίγες οι φορές όμως που μία απροσεξία μπορεί να έχει επίπονες επιπτώσεις.Αυτό θα μπορούσε να σκεφτεί κάποιος, βλέποντας την προσπάθεια ενός τουρίστα στην Πορτογαλία να βουτήξει από έναν βράχο 15 μέτρων.Ο άνδρας βρήκε το θάρρος, πήρε φόρα και έκανε το άλμα, όμως λογάριαζε χωρίς το σκάφος που περνούσε εκείνη την ώρα από κάτω, με αποτέλεσμα να προσγειωθεί πάνω του. Ευτυχώς για εκείνον η τύχη του χαμογέλασε καθώς τη γλύτωσε μόνο με ένα σπασμένο χέρι.ΚΑΝΤΕ LIKE ΣΤΟ NEWSBEAST.GRLet's block ads! (Why?)

Cefic launches an upgraded chemical safety prediction software AMBIT 2

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Brussels, 20 September 2017 – Building on the success of the AMBIT open source software, developed by Cefic’s Long Range Research Initiative (LRI) in order to support industry with chemical safety compliance and innovation, Cefic will reveal a new generation AMBIT2 with a hands-on training workshop for companies on September 29. The visual materials from the event will be available after the training workshop

Energy efficiency, both an opportunity and a challenge for industry

Brussels, 20 September 2017  -  Speaking at a dinner debate sponsored by Cefic at the European Energy Forum in the European Parliament, Cefic director general Marco Mensink expressed unambiguous support for the “energy efficiency first principle”. He explained why energy efficiency is so relevant for the chemical industry – both as an opportunity in terms of new markets in the construction sector and as a challenge – in view of the sheer amount of clean energy needed for its low-carbon transition.Held on September 12th, amid lively Parliament debates around the ongoing revision of Europe’s Energy Acquis for the period 2030, the event, titled “Energy efficiency first – insights from the chemical industry”, attracted MEPs from various political groups, as well as Parliament staff and actors from the private energy landscape.The debate gave Cefic the opportunity to compare viewpoints with other active stakeholders, especially the EU Alliance to Save Energy and its President, Mrs. Monica Frassoni, invited to share the Alliance’s own views. Mrs Mechthild Woersdorfer, director in charge of renewables, research and innovation and energy efficiency, also reacted on behalf of the Commission.Whilst the three speakers seemed to agree on several issues like the need to increase ambition in the building sector, other aspects like the importance of targets gave rise to diverging opinions. The audience broadly welcomed the EU chemical industry’s commitment to energy efficiency, as well as its constructive approach to the ongoing policy debate.Check out the Event webpage   Read about the energy efficiency first principle of the Energy Union strategy.Let's block ads! (Why?)

Cefic and the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) call for full tariff elimination on bio-ethanol for use as feedstock in chemical industry, through EU-Mercosur trade negotiations

With respect to the ongoing EU-Mercosur trade negotiations, Cefic and the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) associations call for full tariff elimination on bio-ethanol, for use as feedstock in the chemical industry. Access for bio-ethanol to be used in the transport sector should be done through tariff-rate quota. Duty-free access to bio-ethanol limited to chemical use would provide “win-win-win” opportunities for all stakeholders involved:Duty-free access would help the chemical industry to develop further the bio-based chemistry segment and increase its share of renewable feedstock, boosting economic growth and jobs, and responding to growing market demand for bio-based products (e.g. bioplastics). This would also be in line with the recent Commission’s statement on Industrial Policy, that lists a series of actions on Circular Economy, notably ‘measures to improve the production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into bio-based products’;Requests by trading partners for access to the EU bio-ethanol markets could be channelled to a new market segment, the bio-based chemistry segment, preventing harm to the biofuel market supplied by European bio-ethanol producers. From a customs point of view, it is possible to eliminate import duties on imported bio-ethanol only destined for chemical uses by means of end-use control, so there is no risk of leakage to the fuels market;Duty free access for bio-ethanol would also help ramp up European ethanol output. By spurring the development of the bio-based chemistry segment, it will give a new market opportunity to European bio-ethanol producers, in addition to the biofuel market.For the moment, though, investments in bio-based chemistry are failing to materialise in the EU.This is due to different factors:EU production of bio-ethanol mostly forgoes meeting chemicals industry demand to supply the biofuel segment,import duties of 40-60% are currently applied on bio-ethanolthe current EU customs regime schemes available (Inwards Processing special procedure, tariff suspensions, etc.) leave the industry with short term, unpredictable and uncompetitive options, as they are subject to periodic review, anddue to the competition from end products from third countries’ producers sourcing renewable feedstock at world market prices. Duty-free access to supplies of bio-ethanol is a golden opportunity for Europe to combine the target of greater use of renewable feedstock with competitiveness goals. The European chemical industry and the Brazilian sugarcane industry look to the European Commission to unblock the current feedstock situation, through the ongoing EU-Mercosur negotiations. This would allow the industry to unleash investments in bio-based production plants in Europe.Let's block ads! (Why?)