Without biotechnology there is no bioeconomy. And the bioeconomy is integral part of circular economy. This is the strong message that comes from EFIB, the European Forum on industrial biotechnology and the bioeconomy which was held in Brussels on October 27 to 29, organized by EuropaBio and Smithers Rapra.
In the frame offered by Square Center the main European bioeconomy’s stakeholders met to testify again that the bioeconomy is a road of no return to reconcile economic growth, creating new jobs and environmental sustainability. The star this year was the circular economy, new economic and social paradigm that looks set to give a big boost to the development of the bioeconomy. Waiting for the pre-announced new EU directive (which was already circulating at EFIB in a top secret way).
That the chemical industry, and not only, has now embraced the industrial biotechnology as a lever of development is becoming increasingly clear: DSM, Solvay, Evonik, Corbion – just to name a few – have presented the progress made in the production of bio-based products. And Gunter Festel, founder and CEO of Festel Capital, pointed out how the world market for chemical products derived from biotechnology will grow from 2010 to 2020 at an annual rate of 20%, from 92 billion in 2010 to 228 by the end of this year, up to 515 in 2020.
Europe, however, must do more to compete: it is essential to accelerate industrial scale up of technologies, to implement a system of public procurement, to attract stronger investments especially in new start-ups. Most of the investments of venture capital is focused on America, the US in particular. An issue already on the table of the European Commission, which will organize in Brussels the Bioeconomy Investment Summit. The appointment is at the Berlaymont on 9 and 10 November.