Call for Papers

Call for a Special Issue of the Journal of Business Chemistry (JoBC)

IPM2022: Transform the European Process Industries
4th International Workshop on Innovation and Production Management in the Process Industries

Setting the scene

The family of industries generally denoted as “the process industries” spans multiple industrial sectors and constitutes a substantial part of the entire manufacturing industry. One definition of the process industries is as follows: “The process industries are a part of all manufacturing industries, using raw-materials (ingredients) to manufacture non-assembled products in an indirect transformational production process often dependent on time. The material flow in production plants is often of a divergent v-type, and the unit processes are connected in a more or less continuous flow pattern” (Lager, 2017, p. 203).

With the European Green Deal, the European Commission expresses its strong commitment to transform Europe to the first climate-neutral continent. More and more stakeholders consider a transformation of the industry as inevitable. Thus, the public discussion has shifted from “whether” to “how” can a CO2-neutral industry be achieved. This represents a huge challenge for the process industries which builds not only the base of most industrial value chains but emits large amounts of CO2-emission, mainly due to high (non-renewable) energy consumption.

Incremental changes will not be enough, and a disruptive transition is needed to achieve CO2-neutrality and keep the European process industries competitive at the same time. Such a transition calls not only for technological innovations but also business model innovations and collaboration (A.SPIRE, 2021; Brown et al., 2021; Hansen and Schmitt 2021; von Delft and Zhao, 2021). Various recently published studies come to the conclusion that CO2-neutral process industries are theoretically feasible, especially in combination with the implementation of the ideas of a circular economy, but actions must be taken quickly to achieve this ambitious goal and many challenges in the implementation phase exist (Agora Energiewende and Wuppertal Institute, 2021; BDI, 2021; Zuin and Kümmerer, 2022).

Suggested research topics of interest

 The Journal of Business Chemistry invites the submission of research papers, contributions to the practitioner´s section and commentaries that relate the transformation to climate neutrality and the chemical industry. Possible research topics include but are not limited to the topics described below. Sustainability challenges can be analyzed from a variety of perspectives. We welcome contributions looking at the company perspective as well as contributions taking a system perspective.

We are especially interested in work at the intersection of natural sciences and business management practices.

  • Sustainable energy supply and corresponding infrastructure.
  • Sustainable feedstock – how to move away from linear production based on fossil raw materials: biobased feedstock, circular economy & recycling.
  • Socio-technical perspectives on the process industries´ transition to climate neutrality.
  • Cross-country comparison: How do different countries translate the EU Green Deal to their national contexts?
  • Suitable policy-mix to support industry transition.
  • New perspectives on sustainable business model development adapted to process-industrial contexts.
  • Intra- and inter-firm collaboration and technology transfer challenges and future capabilities to manage the process industries´ transition to climate neutrality.


Submission process & important dates

Prospective authors are welcome to contact the guest editor to discuss initial ideas for papers in this Special Issue (SI) and related questions about submissions. Full papers must be submitted to the Journal of Business Chemistry no later than 30 September 2022. Papers will be subject to the JoBC double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors, sample copies and other relevant information for submitting papers are available on The timeline for the Special Issue is as follows:

  • Deadline for full paper submission: 30 September 2022
  • Notification to authors of which papers have been selected for this Special Issue and start of the peer review process: October 2022.
  • Expected time of publication: June 2023.

A workshop entitled “Transform the European Process Industries – 4th International Workshop on Innovation and Production Management in the Process Industries (IPM2022)” will be convened at Industrial Park Höchst, 12. & 13. May 2022. This workshop is being held in collaboration with the Institute of Business Administration at the University of Muenster, Germany, and the Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. As a part of the paper development process for this Special Issue, prospective authors are welcome and encouraged to attend this workshop and to develop an early abstract of their paper. Please see IPM2022 for further information.


Workshop participation is by no means a prerequisite for SI authors and will not influence the selection of SI papers for full peer review.

Guest Editors

Prof. Dr. Ralf Ehret
Provadis School of International Management and Technology
Industrial Park Höchst
65926 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Dr. Marcel Loewert
Provadis School of International Management and Technology
Industrial Park Höchst
65926 Frankfurt am Main, Germany



Agora Energiewende and Wuppertal Institute (2021): Breakthrough Strategies for Climate-Neutral Industry in Europe: Policy and Technology Pathways for Raising EU Climate Ambition.

A.SPIRE (2021): Process4Planet Roadmap Update, available at:

BDI (2021): Klimapfade 2.0 – Ein Wirtschaftsprogramm für Klima und Zukunft.

Brown, P., von Daniels, C., Bocken, N., Balkenende, A. (2020): A process model for collaboration in circular oriented innovation, Journal of Cleaner Production, 286, pp. 125499.

Hansen, E., Schmitt, J. (2021): Orchestrating cradle-to-cradle innovation across the value chain, Journal of Industrial Ecology, 25, pp. 627 – 647.

Kümmerer, K. (2017): Sustainable chemistry: A future guiding principle, Angewandte Chemie, 56 (52), pp.16420 – 16421.

Lager, T. (2017): A conceptual analysis of conditions for innovation in the process industries and a guiding framework for industry collaboration and further research. International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, 9, pp.189 – 219.

von Delft, S., Zhao, Y. (2021): Business models in process industries: Emerging trends and future research, Technovation, 105, pp. 102195.

Zuin, G., Kümmerer, K. (2022): Chemistry and materials science for a sustainable circular polymeric economy, Nature Reviews Materials,


Call for papers: series “Spotlight climate neutrality”

Policy has set the goal for industry to become CO2-neutral and this affects all parts of the chemical value chain: From the choice of raw materials, processing, transport, packing to disposal after use. However, many questions remain unanswered and challenges in implementation exist. Therefore, we would like to introduce the series “Spotlight climate neutrality” that reviews the current state of science and gives experts from this field a platform to provide interesting insights to our community.

The Journal of Business Chemistry invites the submission of reviews and meta-analysis that relate the transformation to climate neutrality and the chemical industry. See below a list of topics that we find interesting. However, this call is not limited to the listed topics. The most important criteria for publication are the practical relevance and the contribution to business management practices.

Climate neutrality and the chemical industry:

  • Sustainable feedstock
  • Sustainable energy supply
  • Sustainable business models
  • Regulatory developments
  • Policy-mix for the support of the industry transition

The series starts with the June issue 2022, thus authors should submit their manuscripts between 1st and 28th February 2022 to Manuscripts have a maximum length of 5,000 words including an abstract of max. 150 words. Do you plan to hand in a manuscript for a later issue? Feel free to contact us.
Our submission guidelines can be found at Submission Guidelines | Business Chemistry.



Prof. Dr. Jens Leker
Managing Director of the “Institute of Business Administration at the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy”
University of Münster, Germany
Leonardo-Campus 1
48149 Münster, Germany

Prof. Dr. Hannes Utikal
Managing Director of the “Center for Industry and Sustainability”
Provadis School of International Management and Technology, Germany
Industrial Park Höchst
65926 Frankfurt am Main, Germany


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