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Innovation Ecosystems for plastics in a circular economy


Conference: Innovation Ecosystems for Plastics in a Circular Economy, co-organized by PIEP - Innovation in Polymer Engineering Centre and ECP4 - European, Composites, Plastics and Polymer Processing Platform, which will be held on the 12th December 2019 in Guimarães, Portugal.

The European Commission’s release of its Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy provides a great impetus for the plastics industry to increase the circularity of a material that offers extraordinary benefits for society. The whole Plastics Value Chain is committed to increase circularity and resource efficiency. This was affirmed in the signature of the Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration in September 2019. The declaration lays out how the alliance will reach the target of 10 million tons of recycled plastic used to make new products every year in Europe, by 2025.

Innovation is a global framework will play a key role in these initiatives and go hand-in-hand with cooperation between and along the whole plastics value chain. The complexity of the plastic value chain, due to the large number of stakeholders (producers of plastics and chemical raw materials, converters, brand-owners, retailers, actors in waste management and recyclers, etc.) makes the creation of Innovation Ecosystems necessary to face the Circular Economy challenges that lie ahead. To take advantages of these ecosystems to make plastics more circular and adjusting their life cycle accordingly will require a simplification of all associated systems (business models, product design, recycling, alternative feedstock’s, etc.).

At the conference, the Innovation Ecosystems of the whole Plastics Value Chain and the future Plastics Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda in Circular Economy will be discuss. Proposals to Retain and Grow Investment and Employment, fulfill Circular Economy objectives and meet societal challenges will also be examined.


14h00 Registration and Welcome

14h30 Open Session

Nuno Guimarães President, PIEP

Liliana Chamudis Varan Vice-President, ECP4

Guilherme Pereira Pro-rector, University of Minho

Sofia Ferreira Councilor for Environment, City of Guimarães

Bruno Pereira da Silva Project Director, Tech Transfer – Plastics for Future

Other Entities

15h00 Plastics in a Circular Economy

Moderator: Carlos Alves Bernardo Emeritus Professor, University of Minho

European Strategy for Plastics: Circular Plastics Alliance

Paolo Sandri European Commission – DG GROW

Plastic Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda in a Circular Economy

Nieves Gonzalez Ramon Innovation Manager, SUSCHEM / CEFIC

15h45 Circularity by Design of Materials and Products

Moderator: Júlio Viana University of Minho / IPC

Biomimicry and Circular Economy

Bruno Machado Technical Director, LOGOPLASTE INNOVATION LAB

Plastics Use in Food Retail - Challenges and Opportunities

Fernando Ventura Head of Efficiency and Innovation Environmental Projects, JERÓNIMO MARTINS

16h45 Coffee Break

17h15 Circularity by Recycling and Alternative Feedstocks

Moderator: António M. Cunha University of Minho / DTx

Waste Management and Recycling - VEOLIA's Global Positioning

Silvia Abreu Business Development, VEOLIA

Chemical Recycling – Innovation In Plastic Recycling

Hernan Calvo Business Development Director, PLASTIC ENERGY

18h00 Closing Session


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Paolo Sandri

European Commission – DG GROW

Paolo has entered the European Commission in 2014. Since then, he has worked for the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs in the fields of relations with the European Parliament and Council, European Standardisation Policy and competitiveness issues for the chemicals industry in the EU. Since 2017, Paolo has worked on the definition, launch and implementation of the EU Strategy for Plastics in the Circular Economy. Paolo holds a Masters Degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Gorizia – Trieste (Italy).

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Nieves Gonzalez Ramon


Innovation Manager in Advanced Materials of The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC). Multidisciplinary competences and a wide range of skills and experience. Highly motivated by tangible goals with public and peer recognition in innovation oriented international and multicultural environment.

Jan 2016-Apr 2019. Borealis Chimie SAS, Rouen (FR): Senior Scientist/Project leader in Fertilizers; 2007 - 2015. FeyeCon Carbon Dioxide Technologies B. V., Delft (NL): Project leader/Senior Scientist in green technologies; 1997 - 2007. European Patent Office (EPO), the Hague (NL): European Patent examiner in Biopharmaceuticals; 1994- 1997. PhD in Biochemistry Dept of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, U. Zaragoza (ES): Thesis: “PIG-MAP, a novel acute phase protein, its biochemical and pathological characterization in the pig”; MSc Degree in Polymer Processing and Manufacture. North London Univ (UK). Dec. 1993 - 1st academic prize. Active Member of the European Platform of Women Scientist EPWS.

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Bruno Machado


Technical Director of Logoplaste Innovation Lab Europe (ILAB), which concentrates the activities of Packaging Development for Logoplaste that manages more than 900 projects Worldwide, for most of the FMCG in the world in Rigid Packaging Development. Since 2011, Biomimicry has been Integrated in the DNA of the Design and Conceptual principles for Packaging Design of Logoplaste Innovation Lab, making it the first company in the world to use it as base for packaging development.

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Fernando Ventura


His expertise extends from biodiversity management (such as the use of tools to assess impacts on ecosystems) to the integration of environmental criteria into supply chains. His work includes the implementation and coordination of environmental management systems, development of product and services’ life-cycle assessment as well as environmental audits and reviews’ execution. With over 25 years of experience from working in the public and the private sector, he looks at deploying training among employees, co-workers and suppliers as one the key-drivers to foster effective behaviour change.

Since 2004 in Jerónimo Martins where he coordinated the Portuguese environmental department, Fernando uses his experience in environmental management and sustainability to work on preventive strategies and management methods, leading today projects that foster natural resources’ efficiency and eco-innovation such as food waste and packaging eco-design.

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Silvia Abreu


With a degree in Environmental Engineering and training in Quality, Environmental and safety Management Systems, I started my career in 2002 as a Consultant/Auditor in Integrated Management Systems. In 2006, I began working in Quimitécnica Ambiente, first as a Sales Technician, where besides the preparation and follow-up of commercial proposals I had the opportunity to lead Total Waste Management Projects. Later on, I started coordinating Soil Remediation Projects in this company.

After extending my education in Business and Financial Management I joined the Renascimento team in 2010, until today, as Site Manager (Northern site). Apart from coordinating the commercial and operational activities, I also lead Total Waste Management Projects, as well as the management and acquisition of key accounts/clients.

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Hernan Calvo


I started working in the transport sector, developing high responsibility positions, participating in several start-up projects, and always looking for efficiency as well as value creation. During my professional development, I was able to hold the position of CEO & Managing Director in Companies operating in South America, Europe, Africa, US and in the Caribbean. This valued experience shaped the person that I am nowadays, able to combine cultures diversity, speaking four different languages, and with the ability to understand the needs of different markets and regions.

In the last years I’ve got involved in the plastic recycling business, specifically “plastic to fuel” and nowadays “plastic to plastic”, holding the position of Business Development Director in Plastic Energy. In our Company we recycle plastic to produce a TACOIL that is used to produce plastics again, achieving a Real Circular Economy.



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