France adopts its national bioeconomy strategy. An interview with Antoine Peeters, IAR

grande-1-palais-elysee.jpgThe bioeconomy speaks French. Yesterday the Government led by François Hollande endorsed its national Bioeconomy Strategy. After Spain and Italy last year, France is one of the last major biobased EU Member States to publish an official framework for the production and valorization of renewable resources.
Antoine Peeters, Head of External Relations and Partnerships at IAR – The French Bioeconomy Cluster, talks to Il Bioeconomista.

Interview by Mario Bonaccorso

How big is the French bioeconomy?

The French bioeconomy sector is big. Europe’s leading agricultural power (22,9% of cereal production, 32,9% of sugar beet production, 24,5% of rapeseeds and turnip seeds production), France’s bioeconomy represents 1,7 million jobs and more than 300 billion euros turnover on an annual basis (source, Nova Institut & IAR). It is home to several biobased and biotech champions and can counts on a highly performing R&D system.

What are the specificities of the French Bioeconomy?

The French bioeconomy is very much linked to local territories and the valorization of locally produced biomass in integrated biorefineries. Closely linked and working with farmers and agri-cooperatives, this moto has always been driving the support actions developed and implemented by IAR – The French Bioeconomy Cluster and its members.

How is the strategy going to help French biobased actors?

The French Bioeconomy Strategy confirms this approach for the development of a sustainable bioeconomy. It aims to propose a coherent framework for all initiatives undertaken in the sector, supporting an increased and sustainable mobilization of locally produced biomass to boost its efficient use and valorization to answer our needs (food and non-food).
While the French bioeconomy was already one of the most developed and competitive bioeconomy, we believe that the adoption of the strategy is a strong signal from the Government which will reinforce the position of France as one of the world bioeconomy leader.

What are the next steps?

The document published yesterday draw a vision of the French bioeconomy. The Government announced its intention to develop an action plan in the coming months and to establish a national bioeconomy council bringing together industries, NGOs, academics and research institutes as well as local, regional and national decision makers.
As the French Bioeconomy Cluster, IAR and its members have been strongly contributing to the development of the national Bioeconomy Strategy. We will, for sure, continue to contribute to the discussion and work in collaboration with the Government to reinforce France bioeconomy sector competitiveness.

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