An interview with John Bell, Director at the EU Commission in charge of bioeconomy. “The bioeconomy promises to lead the next rising wave of global economic development”

John Bell, at the first edition of the Bioeconomy Investment Summit in Brussels

“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

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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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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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Global Bioeconomy Summit in Berlin: the traffic lights for the bioeconomy are green

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.

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Berlin will be the world capital of bioeconomy from 19 to 20 April

Telekom Hall in Berlin, venue of GBS 2018

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.

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US environmental group LCV launched a $2 million campaign to boost clean energy

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.

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The marine stakeholders demand more blue in the bioeconomy strategy

The marine biotechnology is high on the political agenda. Around 70 experts, company representatives and policy makers met at the European Parliament on March 21 to discuss what is needed for a successful European blue bioeconomy. The debate at the fully booked event revealed: the potential of the oceans is uncontested among experts, but its exploration requires close cooperation and knowledge sharing, a strong focus on sustainability, political commitment and finally, investor and consumer enthusiasm.

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Poland, Portugal and Romania: BIC’s reports show a great potential to develop the bioeconomy

Parliament in Lisbon

The Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC), the private partner in the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), has published three new Country Reports mapping the potential and identifying opportunities for expanding the bio-based industry in Poland, Portugal and Romania.

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An interview with Philippe Mengal, executive director BBI JU: “We need to reinvent our economy to face the challenges of climate change and resource constraints”

Philippe Mengal

“Europe is becoming a very attractive area to invest in bio-based Industries: where BIC members were announcing a portfolio of 2bn euros investment in 2014 the same survey announced 5 bn euros investments in 2017”. To say it – in this long, exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Philippe Mengal, executive director of the BBI JU. The Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking is a €3.7 billion Public-Private Partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium. Operating under Horizon 2020, it is driven by the Vision and Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) developed by the industry

According to Mengal, “The next decade is a critical period for the EU. We need to reinvent our economy to face the challenges of climate change and resource constraints. Europe is committed to excelling in smart, sustainable growth and mobilizing investment to create new products and new markets is key”.

Interview by Mario Bonaccorso

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