The bioeconomy in the space: UPM Plywood, Arctic Astronautics and Huld to launch the first ever wooden satellite

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UPM Plywood, Arctic Astronautics and Huld are ready to launch the first ever wooden satellite, WISA WOODSATTM, into Earth’s orbit by the end of 2021.

WISA Woodsat will go where no wood has gone before. With a mission to gather data on the behavior and durability of plywood over an extended period in the harsh temperatures, vacuum and radiation of space in order to assess the use of wood materials in space structures.

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An exclusive interview with Philippe Mengal, executive director BBI JU

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Philippe Mengal, Director BBI JU

“I think the overall policy framework is clear about the strategic role of bio-based industries in achieving the EU sustainability objectives. There is also clarity about the direction of EU support in the coming decade.” Philippe Mengal, executive director of the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking talks to Il Bioeconomista.

Interview by Mario Bonaccorso

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International Women’s day. The bioeconomy revolution is led by women

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), around the world finding a job is much tougher for women than it is for men. When women are employed, they tend to work in low-quality jobs in vulnerable conditions and there is little improvement forecast in the near future. The current global labour force participation rate for women is close to 49% (for men it is 75%). The freedom to work – by choice, in conditions of dignity, safety and fairness – is integral to human welfare.

The Bioeconomy is led by women. This year, as every year, for the International Women’s Day, we dedicate a tribute to all women who are making the bioeconomy happen all around the world. With their huge competences and their infinite passion, they are the stars of the world bioeconomy. Our best and warmest wishes to all women.

This is just a partial list.

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An interview with Giulia Gregori, Strategic Planning Manager at Novamont

“The paradigm of the circular bioeconomy for Novamont means renerating territories, focusing on soil health and on the decarbonisation of the atmosphere”. To say it – in this interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Giulia Gregori, Strategic Planning and Corporate Communications Manager at Novamont, the company based in Novara, Italy, which is a leader in the world market of bioplastics. Gregori talks about the circular bioeconomy in the frame of the EU Green Deal and the circular economy action plan and talks also about Grace, the BBI JU demo project focused on hemp and miscanthus.

Interview by Mario Bonaccorso

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New European Partnerships and nearly €10 billion for the green and digital transition

Berlaymont, European Commission’s Headquarter in Brussels

The European Commission proposed yesterday to set up 10 new European Partnerships between the European Union, Member States and/or the industry. The goal is to speed up the transition towards a green, climate neutral and digital Europe, and to make European industry more resilient and competitive. The EU will provide nearly €10 billion of funding that the partners will match with at least an equivalent amount of investment. This combined contribution is expected to mobilise additional investments in support of the transitions, and create long-term positive impacts on employment, the environment and society.

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Welcome 2021: we want you to be the year of the real turning point

2020 has been a terrible year. And there is certainly no need to say why. The pandemic has clearly shown how urgent it is to solve the climate crisis and move towards a more sustainable economic and social model. Our liberal democracies and our community spirit have also been severely tested.

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Canada goes green with Enerkem in the Greater Montréal area

Enerkem Varenne

Canadian Enerkem, with a group of strategic partners, that include major investor Shell, along with Suncor and Proman and Hydro-Québec supplying green hydrogen and oxygen, and with the support of the Québec and Canadian governments, will build a biofuel and renewable chemicals plant in Varennes, in the Greater Montréal area.

Varennes Carbon Recycling (VCR) will produce biofuels and renewable chemicals made from non-recyclable residual materials as well as wood waste. The plant will leverage green hydrogen and oxygen produced through electrolysis, transforming Quebec’s excess hydroelectricity capacity into value-added biofuels and renewable chemicals. VCR will be a major creator of quality local direct and indirect jobs during its construction and operation.

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Simão Soares, CEO of SilicoLife, is the Most Innovative Bioeconomy CEO 2020

Our readers have voted. The most innovative bioeconomy CEO 2020 is Simão Soares, CEO of SilicoLife, the Portuguese company founded in 2010 which designs optimized microorganisms and novel pathways for industrial biotechnology applications. “Based on metabolic engineering and synthetic biology approaches, the company shortens the development time and costs of new highly effective processes for the production of specific target compounds such as chemicals, food ingredients or biopolymers.” Soares succeeds to Ken Richards (Leaf Resources), Tony Duncan (Circa Group), Jürgen Eck (BRAIN AG) and Alex Michine (MetGen), respectively most innovative CEO 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

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An interview with Chris Patermann. “We do not lose out of sight that we all live on the same planet”

Chris Patermann at the first edition of the Bioeconomy Investment Summit, Brussels, 9-10 November 2015

“It will be very relevant that in spite of these upcoming challenges by the pandemic in its aftermath we do not lose out of sight that we all live on the same planet, or better said with respect to the bioeconomy in the same biosphere, and finally that we have to survive jointly. Never before the slogan “Think global, and act local” had more value than today”. Chris Patermann, the man who is considered in Europe as the “father” of the bioeconomy, talks to Il Bioeconomista. In this long exclusive interviene, the former Director at the EU Commission talks about the Global Bioeconomy Summit, which was held in Berlin last November, and the bioeconomy after the pandemic.

Interview by Mario Bonaccorso

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The 10 Most Innovative Bioeconomy CEOs in 2020. Now choose the number 1

“Bioeconomy in everyday life” @ BioBased World 2015 in Frankfurt am Main

The 2020 that is drawing to a close has been a really tough year for the world population. The pandemic has exposed many of the limitations of our economic and social model. It’s time for a profound change that cannot ignore the circular and sustainable bioeconomy. The circular bioeconomy is innovation, the result of the skills and passion of researchers and managers able to create value and new high-qualified jobs, reconciling economy, society and the environment. At the end of 2014 Il Bioeconomista launched a new initiative: The 10 Most Innovative Bioeconomy CEOs.

We have asked a panel of world bioeconomy experts to tell us the Chief Executive Officers that have stood out as the most innovative during the last year.

Now we ask you to choose the most innovative CEO responding to our survey (open till December 11 at 7.30 am, Western European Time).

The most innovative CEO 2016 was Ken Richards (CEO of Leaf Resources, Australia)

The most innovative CEO 2017 was Tony Duncan (CEO of Circa Group, Australia)

The most innovative CEO 2018 was Jürgen Eck (CEO of BRAIN AG, Germany)

The most innovative CEO 2019 was Alex Michine (CEO of MetGen, Finland)

This is the result of 2020 (in alphabetical order)

Catia Bastioli, Novamont (Italy)

Veronique de Bruijn, Photanol (Netherlands)

Jennifer Holmgren, LanzaTech (USA)

Matt Lipscomb, DMC Bio (USA)

Christophe Schilling, Genomatica (USA)

Simão Soares, SilicoLife (Portugal)

Marcus Steilemann, Covestro (Germany)

David Sudolsky, Anellotech (USA)

Peter Vanacker, Neste (Finland)

Sytze van Stempvoort, Peelpioneers (Netherlands)