“It was a very interesting event, because for the first time the material use of biomass was really in the focus, instead of playing the second violin to bioenergy and biofuels only.” It is the opinion of Michael Carus, founder and managing director of the nova-Institut, relatively to the Bioeconomy Investment Summit which was held in Brussels on 9 and 10 November. With Carus, one of the most influential scientists in Europe, we talk about nova-Institut’s new study on biomass supply and demand, the CO2 economy and the circular economy.
Germany leads the world bioeconomy. Berlin was for three days (24-26 November) the venue of the Global Bioeconomy Summit which was attended by many of the protagonists of this meta-sector from Europe, Asia, Africa and America (approximately 700 people).
“Building on a strong and competitive agricultural and forest sector as well as on its technological expertise, the strategy should fully engage France on the bioeconomy road and position the country as a global leader in this field”. Boris Dumange, Director General of IAR Pole (French Cluster Industries and Agro Resources), talks to Il Bioeconomista about the bioeconomy in France, where the government announced its own strategy by the end of this year, the role played by IAR Pole, the goals of the intercluster 3BI and the measures the European Union needs to be more competitive. “We believe – Dumange says – actions such as a European preferred public procurement programme or temporary tax incentives for bio-based products could help to bridge the gap between innovation and market uptake and allow sufficient economies of scale to make bio-based products a competing alternative to fossil-based equivalents.”
“The European forest-based sector is clearly becoming more diversified, interlinked, and cross-sectorial. It is increasingly affected by issues such as climate change impacts and policies, energy policies, advances in new technologies, the increasing role of services, and trends towards low carbon bioeconomy. Furthermore, the forest sector is becoming more integrated with other industrial sectors such as construction, energy, chemicals and textile industries. The concepts of ‘forest-based sector’ and ‘forest-based bioeconomy’ are beginning to replace the conventional and a more limited concept of ‘forest sector’.” To say this – in this exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Marc Palahí, director of EFI, the European Forest Institute. With him we talk about the forest-based economy and its connection with the bioeconomy.
Chris Patermann is simply the “father” of the European bioeconomy. Since January 2004 he was Programme Director for “Biotechnology, Agriculture & Food” Research at the Research Directorate-General of the European Commission, which from 2007 also comprised Aquaculture and Fisheries as well as Forestry. During these years he was responsible for the elaboration of the new concept of the Knowledge Based Bioeconomy (KBBE), which today is known as bio-based economy or more simply bioeconomy in Europe. He was also appointed Chairman of the oldest Committee between EU Member States and the European Commission, the Standing Committee on Agricultural Research, SCAR. He also served for 4 years as co-chair in the important EC-US Task Force Life Sciences and Biotechnology Research. In August 2007 Christian Patermann retired. He now lives in Bonn and advises public and private institutions and companies, among them the largest German Land NorthRhine-Westphalia, the Fraunhofer Society, the Swiss Agricultural Research Council etc.
With Chris Patermann, who is one of the most influential people in the European bioeconomy, we talk – in this long exciting exclusive interview – about what was the vision that inspired the beginnings of the European strategy on bioeconomy, but also the future of this meta-sector through which the European Union can aspire to economic growth, creation of jobs and environmental sustainability.
Former AC Milan and France midfielder Mathieu Flamini is a bioeconomy’s supporter. He has revealed that he is one of the people behind GFBiochemicals, a bio-based company that has developed a process to produce levulinic acid on an industrial scale.
We can now drink our espresso and support the bioeconomy and circular economy, thanks to a wholly biodegradable and compostable coffee capsule for espresso machines. Once consumed, it can be collected with the organic waste and processed industrially to become compost. This is the circular economy principle of zero waste, according to which all used products can return to being a resource, with significant environmental benefits. The project – created and used by two of the most popular Italian companies, Novamont and Lavazza – won the Ecomondo Sustainable Development Award 2015 for the category “Waste and Resources”.
The European bioeconomy seeks a compass. Yesterday ended the Bioeconomy Investment Summit organised by the European Commission in Brussels, which has had starring the main players of the bioeconomy made in Europe. The event, which had as its clever director John Bell – director of Bioeconomy Directorate – leaves many open questions, but mainly provides the framework of a Europe divided between countries, between sectors, between large and small companies, including those who require a system of public procurement as the Biopreferred Programme in the US (with standards and labels) and those who say it is up to the market, those who say the bioeconomy is integral part of circular economy and those who say that it is better to run on two parallel planes. In short, adelante con juicio.