From Ruka, in Finland, to Turin, in Italy: September will be the month of the bioeconomy. The very first World BioEconomy Forum will be held in Ruka on 11-13 September. The Forum, born as an idea of Jukka Kantola, CEO of NC Partnering and KaiCell Fibers, will bring together professionals from the leading edge of the bioeconomy for face-to-face dialog in one of the world’s most beautiful areas of outstanding natural beauty. In Turin on 27-28 September will be held IFIB, the International Forum on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioeconomy.
LanzaTech, Virgin Atlantic and partners are one-step closer to building the world’s first large scale Alcohol to Jet (ATJ) facility producing commercial quantities of fuel in the UK. The commercial facility would convert low carbon ethanol produced from waste emissions, to jet fuel.
Amsterdam-based Avantium, a leading technology development company and forerunner in renewable chemistry, will officially open a pilot biorefinery for its Zambezi technology in Delfzijl, Netherlands. Opening ceremonies will take place in Amsterdam on 10 July and in Delfzijl on 13 July. The province of Groningen is supporting the pilot biorefinery with a RIG (‘Regionale Investeringssteun Groningen’) subsidy of €1.8 million.
“The bioeconomy promises to lead the next rising wave of global economic development. Renewable energy, renewable raw materials and recyclable products pose a positive challenge to our current fossil fuel dependence”. John Bell, Director at the European Commission in charge of bioeconomy, talks to Il Bioeconomista.
In this long exclusive interview, he talks about the new strategy on bioeconomy, the EU’s new research and innovation programme, the role of member states and regions and the connection between bioeconomy and society.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
“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
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.
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.
Around 700 high-ranking representatives from politics, science, civil society and the business sector and from more than 70 countries met in Berlin, Germany, from 19 to 20 April to discuss the latest developments and challenges in the global bioeconomy. This was the second time that German Bioeconomy Council had organized the Global Bioeconomy Summit in the German capital. “We created an event format in the Global Bioeconomy Summit that succeeds in bringing together broad international expertise on bioeconomy, innovation, biodiversity and sustainability.
Berlin will be the world capital of bioeconomy. Around 800 experts from more than 70 countries are expected to participate in the second Global Bioeconomy Summit in the German capital city. High-ranking representatives from politics, science, civil society and the business sector will meet from 19 to 20 April to discuss the latest bioeconomy developments. In focus: opportunities and challenges for an increasingly biobased and sustainable economy.
For the second time, the German Bioeconomy Council, with the financial support of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), has invited experts on bioeconomy, innovation and sustainability from all over the world to Berlin.
U.S. environmental group the League of Conservation Voters launched a $2 million campaign to press this year’s candidates for state and local office to embrace clean energy, citing a lack of leadership on the issue in Washington.
According to the International press agency Reuters, the effort seeks to tap into increasing local-level leadership on climate change since President Donald Trump took office on a vow to roll back environmental regulation and promote fossil fuels production.