An interview with Tony Duncan, CEO Circa Group, the Most Innovative Bioeconomy CEO 2017

Tony Duncan

Last December Tony Duncan, CEO of Circa Group, was nominated by our readers the Most Innovative Bioeconomy CEO 2017. In this long interview with Il Bioeconomista, he talks about this recognition, what is innovation, the bioeconomy and the next steps of his company.

Interview by Mario Bonaccorso

First of all, congratulations for the recognition as The Most Innovative Bioeconomy CEO 2017. What is innovation in the bioeconomy, from your point of view?

Thank you – it was certainly a surprise to be nominated, and the result is very much a confirmation of Circa’s approach and the efforts of the team over the past 9 plus years – staff, shareholders, researchers and partners!

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Stora Enso takes a step forward to replace fossil-based materials with renewable solutions

Stora Enso paper mill in Hyltebruk (Sweden)

Stora Enso launched bio-based lignin as renewable replacement for oil-based phenolic materials. Lignin is one of the main building blocks of a tree and makes up 20-30% of the composition of wood. Yet it has traditionally been discarded by the pulp and paper industries. However, Stora Enso has recognised the potential of this versatile raw material, which can be used in a range of applications where fossil-based materials are currently used.

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The master BioCirce awarded with the Italiadecide prize for teaching innovation

Giovanni Sannia, University of Naples Federico II, and Danilo Porro, University of Milano Bicocca, with the Prize

The master BioCirce received yesterday at the Parliament, from the President of the Italian Republic, the Italiadecide (Italy decides) prize for teaching innovation. BioCirce is the first European Master in Bioeconomy in the Circular economy. To organise it are four Italian universities from North to South (University of Turin, University of Milan Bicocca, University of Bologna and University of Naples Federico II), with the support of three of the main Italian bioeconomy players (Novamont, GFBiochemicals and Science Park of Lodi) and the Italian leading banking Group Intesa Sanpaolo, which is the only financial global partner of the Ellen McArthur Foudation.

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Enerkem completed a C$280 million investment round with BlackRock and Sinobioway

Enerkem’s biorefinery in Edmonton, Alberta

Great result in the Canadian bioeconomy. Enerkem Inc.,  a world leading waste-to-biofuels and chemicals producer headquartered in Montréal, completed a C$280 million investment round–its largest to date. In addition to new investors BlackRock and Sinobioway, existing investors also participated in this financing.

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Braskem and Leroy Merlin joined forces to offer 100% recycled plastic organizer boxes

Brazilian company Braskem joined the companies Martiplast, from the domestic utilities segment, and Leroy Merlin, one of the largest store chains in the construction market, to offer to consumers 100% recycled plastic organizer boxes.

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BP Verenium Biofuels plant in Louisiana is for sale

Aaron Equipment Company in conjunction with Reich Brothers and Phoenix Equipment Corporation recently acquired the BP Verenium Biofuels plant including over 40 acres of real estate and equipment located in Jennings, LA. The group plans to first offer the plant in its entirety and then piece meal to the buying public. Consisting of a full plant made up of hundreds of individual pieces of equipment and components, the liquidation marks Aaron Equipment’s expansion into the trendy biofuels equipment market after eight decades of providing new, used and reconditioned processing equipment to other industries. The sale offers a unique opportunity to save money while getting into or extending one’s reach in the sustainable fuels game.

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Masdar signed a partnership agreement with Bee’ah to develop the UAE’s waste-to-energy sector

Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, signed a strategic partnership agreement with Bee’ah to develop the UAE’s waste-to-energy (WtE) sector. This partnership will help contribute to the UAE Government’s Vision 2021 which targets, among other goals, diverting waste from landfills by 75 per cent by 2021. Waste-to-energy is the process of generating energy in the form of electricity or heat from the primary treatment of waste.

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Mariagiovanna Vetere, NatureWorks: “It’s time to give clear support to biomaterials! The EU Plastic Strategy is a missed opportunity”

Mariagiovanna Vetere at Circular Bioeconomy Arena Meeting in Milan on November 22, 2017

“With the Plastic Strategy the Commission presented an ambitious plan but it focuses only on mechanical recycling of conventional plastics and falls short in considering and evaluating the big benefits for the environment and for the ‘green’ jobs in Europe that bioplastics can provide”. Mariagiovanna Vetere, NatureWorks Public Affairs manager for Europe, talks to Il Bioeconomista.

Interview by Mario Bonaccorso

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Ingenza aims to develop new industrial biotech-based routes to commodity chemicals

The team of Ingenza

UK biotech company Ingenza has joined forces with leading universities and industrial partners to participate in the ConBioChem collaboration, a translational project focused on the development of novel platform technologies for the continuous bio-production of commodity chemicals.

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Aquafil and Genomatica join forces to produce 100% sustainable nylon

Italy-based Aquafil and Californian biotech company Genomatica join forces to create sustainable caprolactam, a key ingredient to producing 100% sustainable nylon. The collaboration between the two companies aims to develop a commercially-advantageous bioprocess (Genomatica’s GENO CPL process) to make caprolactam using plant-based renewable ingredients, rather than the crude oil-derived materials traditionally used by the nylon industry.

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