An exclusive interview with Julius Ecuru, BioInnovate Africa Programme

Julius Ecuru

“Governments and development partners should provide policy and economic incentives to industry to transition into smart manufacturing that meets our needs and decarbonizes our world”. Julius Ecuru, programmemanager at BioInnovate Africa Programme, talks to Il Bioeconomista. BioInnovate Africa supports scientists and innovators in the region to link biological based research ideas and technologies to business and the market. It is supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and is based at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya. Current BioInnovate Africa partner countries are: Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Interview by Mario Bonaccorso

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Global Bioenergies to convert currently poorly valorised softwood residues into second generation renewable isobutene

Marc Delcourt, co-founder and CEO of Global Bioenergies

Global Bioenergies started a 3-year project to demonstrate a new value chain combining its isobutene process with technologies developed by Sekab and Neste Engineering Solutions, two of Europe’s leading technology developers. The aim is to convert currently poorly valorised softwood residues into second generation renewable isobutene for subsequent conversion into gasoline and jetfuel. A €13.9m grant agreement was signed with INEA on behalf of the European commission.

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An interview with Iris Aquilina Anderson, leader of the Bioladies Network. The bioeconomy from the female perspective

“The bioeconomy is a relatively new sector and so one could hope it is not yet ‘contaminated’ with the prejudices. In a way, it is a perfect territory for women to conquer and showcase the plethora of their skills.” To say it – in this exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Iris Aquilina Anderson, leader of the Bioladies Network. Iris has 35 years of policy, business and research experience specialising in the bioeconomy, agriculture, energy and sustainability issues. She is an evaluator for BBI JU and H2020 and is currently the First Ambassador of BBIA, a trade association promoting the bioeconomy in the UK and a Committee member of the Natural Materials Association, part of IOM3.

Interview by Mario Bonaccorso

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The Pasadena Fire Department goes green with Finnish Neste

The Pasadena Fire Department, a California city northeast of Los Angeles,  switched much of its fleet of apparatus from operating on petroleum diesel to using Neste MY Renewable Diesel, produced by the Finnish company Neste. The department plans to transition all its fleet apparatus to renewable diesel by 2019.

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Avantium and R&F Chemical joined forces in South Korea

Avantium’s pilot plant in the Nerherlands

Dutch biochemical company Avantium  joined forces with South Korea-based R&F Chemical to boost its Catalysis business in the region. “South Korea – Avantium said in a note – has a highly-advanced technology and chemical sector, and several established national research facilities offering the perfect environment for Avantium’s Catalysis business with a strong focus on catalysis research”.

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BioAmber Inc. filed a voluntary petition for relief under chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code

BioAmber has been listed on the NYSE since May 2013

BioAmber Inc. filed a voluntary petition for relief under chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code and that its two Canadian subsidiaries, BioAmber Sarnia Inc. and BioAmber Canada Inc., filed a Notice of Intention to make a proposal under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada), with a view to strengthening the company’s financial health and solidifying its long-term business prospects.

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Amyris and Firmenich to develop bio-based fragrance ingredient

John Melo, President and Ceo of Amyris

Amyris, Inc., the industrial bioscience company headquartered in Emeryville, California, has successfully collaborated with its fragrance partner, Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and flavor company, to support the development and commercialization of Z11.

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Bio-Botanica Inc. and Genomatica sign a new partnership in the U.S. bioeconomy

Bio-Botanica Inc., a family-owned and operated company, specializing in botanicals for over 45 years and headquartered in Hauppage (New York), has partnered with U.S. biotech company Genomatica to create a new line of botanical extracts using a naturally sourced, sustainably produced butylene glycol. These products, manufactured by Bio- Botanica Inc., feature Genomatica’s proprietary ingredient, Brontide.

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U.S. BIO: the global economic value of the biobased economy is $355.28 billion

Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a new report on the bioeconomy, “Indicators of the U.S. Biobased Economy”, which measures substantial economic growth, job creation, and household income for the agricultural sector from biofuel and bioenergy production. Moreover, it indicates great potential for additional prosperity from future growth in renewable chemicals and biobased products. BIO, the U.S. Biotechnology Innovation Organization, calculates that the global economic value of the biobased economy – including industrial biotechnology, renewable chemicals and polymers, biofuels, enzymes and biobased materials – is $355.28 billion.

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Vivergo plant re-opens. The bioethanol industry calls for the Government to introduce E10 fuel

Vivergo bioethanol plant in Hull (England)

The Vivergo plant has re-opened following a four-month shut-down period following unfavourable trading conditions; in part – according to the British company – “driven by Government inaction on the future of renewable fuels and current market conditions”. It was closed in November and has been conducting maintenance and upgrade work during the closed period.

Over the coming months, it is hoped that conditions will improve as a result of the RTFO being passed through Parliament in March. This will come into effect later this month, increasing the use of renewable fuels in transport from 4.75% to a target of 9.75% by 2020.

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